CooperVision is bolstering its activity to reduce the impact of global myopia, committing funding to support a recently announced initiative from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and partnering with the World Council of Optometry (WCO) to create awareness of myopia and establish a standard for care to manage the condition.
The company also supports collaborative efforts including programs from the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.
Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness, causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina rather than directly on the surface. It is projected to affect the vision of approximately five billion people globally by 2050, more than doubling today’s numbers.1
Children need us to act now – there’s no time to waste… Those who progress to become high myopes have a 50% greater risk of glaucoma, are 17% more likely to need cataract surgery …
High myopia raises the risk of vision-threatening eye conditions such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, early cataracts and myopic maculopathy, a leading cause of blindness world-wide.2
Genetics and environmental factors play key roles in myopia. But increasing prevalence appears to be driven by environmental factors, including less time outdoors. More time spent on near-work activities, such as digital screen viewing, may also play a role.3,4,5
Raising Awareness of Risks and Interventions
The American Academy of Ophthalmology initiative aims to protect children from the vision-threatening consequences of high myopia (short-sightedness) by raising awareness of the increasing number of children at risk of developing high myopia and the effectiveness of new interventions to slow this common eye condition, so the worst consequences may be avoided.
Richard L. Abbott, MD, and Donald Tan, MD, led the Academy’s Myopia Task Force alongside recognised experts in myopia prevention and treatment, public health experts, and representatives from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Optometry, and the American Academy of Paediatrics. The resulting action plan is focussed on education, research, public health and advocacy. Its components are designed to reach the health care community, policy makers, and the public about the challenges created by myopia progression, the value of outdoor time and early diagnosis.
As part of its global leadership in developing evidence-based clinical and educational approaches that advance myopia management as standard of care, CooperVision has made a five-year commitment to help underwrite the program.
“For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of taking on myopia progression. We know that no single organisation, treatment or category of healthcare professionals can effectively address its impact on children worldwide. Collaboration is the answer,” said Rajeev Garg, PhD, Global Head Myopia Management Strategy for CooperVision. “By partnering with the American Academy of Ophthalmology on this new initiative, we’ll be able to reach a broader spectrum of clinicians, officials and parents who play an essential role in improving the vision, long-term ocular health and overall lives of children.”
“Children need us to act now – there’s no time to waste,” Dr Abbott said. “Those who progress to become high myopes have a 50% greater risk of glaucoma, are 17% more likely to need cataract surgery, and have a six times greater risk of retinal detachment and retinal tears. CooperVision’s support will assist our work with public health officials, paediatricians, researchers, and others to reduce myopia’s incidence rate, promote evidence-based interventions and slow progression. We are enthusiastic about their cooperation and deep dedication to the issue.”
WCO Partnership to Increase Myopia Treatment Awareness
CooperVision has also announced a global partnership with The World Council of Optometry (WCO) to raise awareness of myopia progression and encourage optometrists to embrace a standard of care to manage the condition.
The joint initiative’s standard of care definition and promotion will be centred around evidenced-based approaches without bias toward any particular treatment methodologies. A global resource that includes multi-lingual myopia management resources and programming, among other elements, will be made available to all sectors and countries including those that may not previously have had access.
“The World Council of Optometry and CooperVision share a vision of a planet where myopia is effectively managed and controlled, not just corrected at a young age,” said Gary Orsborn, OD, vice president of Global Professional, Medical & Clinical Affairs for CooperVision. “The WCO has a clear, resounding and respected voice within the global optometric community, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this important topic.”
1 Holden et al, – Global Prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology 2016. 123(5):1036-1042
- Tideman JW et al. Association of axial length with risk of uncorrectable visual impairment for Europeans with myopia. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134:1355-1363.
- Xiong S, Sankaridurg P, Naduvilath T, Zang J, Zou H, Zhu J, Lv M, He X, Xu X. Time spent in outdoor activities in relation to myopia prevention and control: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Acta Ophthalmol. 2017 Sep;95 (6):551-566. doi: 10.1111/aos.13403. Epub 2017 Mar 2. PMID: 28251836; PMCID: PMC5599950.
- Huang HM, Chang DS, Wu PC. The Association between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 20;10(10):e0140419. doi: 10.1371/
journal.pone.0140419. PMID: 26485393; PMCID: PMC4618477.
- Lanca C, Saw SM. The association between digital screen time and myopia: A systematic review. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Mar;40(2):216-229. doi: 10.1111/opo.12657. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31943280.