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HomeminewsWorld’s First Myopia Action Month Starts Here, Now

World’s First Myopia Action Month Starts Here, Now

The world’s first Myopia Action Month is taking place this month, with the aim to turn myopia awareness into action. A concept developed by Myopia Profile, the objective of Myopia Action Month is to set eye care professionals (ECPs) up for success in clinical myopia management.

Myopia Profile was founded over a decade ago by Drs Kate and Paul Gifford. Beginning with the practitioner website, myopiaprofile.com, it now includes a public awareness website, mykidsvision.org; a practitioner-only Facebook group; an online course portal; various social media platforms; free downloadable resources; and more.

If we are leading the eye care world in our attitudes towards best-practice myopia management, is this being translated into discussions with parents and evidence-based prescribing?

Myopia Profile resources are accessed by members of the eye care industry worldwide, with millions of engagements across its platforms each month.

As an extension of this resource, during Myopia Action Month, Dr Gifford said the plan is to empower ECPs to manage young patients with myopia more effectively and grow their expertise by bringing together foundational and practical resources, applicable to every scope and practice setting.

Growing Awareness But More Needed

Myopia awareness worldwide has exploded in recent years, with enormous growth in research, which has attracted strong engagement from clinicians. Not a conference goes by without topics on myopia management. To treat myopia, practitioners are now able to prescribe several options, including new spectacle lenses, contact lenses, and atropine.

“In our corner of the world, we are fortunate to have the wide scope of practice and favourable regulatory environment that permits us access to almost all the newest treatments. Perhaps for this reason, there is clear evidence that Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand lead the way in putting myopia management into action – or at least in our attitudes towards it,” said Dr Gifford.

Citing global surveys of myopia management attitudes and practices undertaken in 2015, 2019, and again in 2022, she said Antipodean eye care professionals have the lowest reported rates for prescribing single vision spectacles for children with progressive myopia.1-3

“As a co-author on these three surveys, my heart has swelled with professional pride at seeing these results; but is our reported proactivity translating into practice?

The Australian and New Zealand Child Myopia Report 2022–23 reveals that while myopia awareness is increasing amongst parents, most are unsure or don’t know what myopia is or about the risks it poses for eye health.4

“If we are leading the eye care world in our attitudes towards best-practice myopia management, is this being translated into discussions with parents and evidence-based prescribing for children with myopia?”

Accelerate Practice

Myopia Profile is known for its dedication to translating research into practice through education as well as the development of clinical resources, communication tools, public awareness activities, and practical guidance.

Myopia Action Month is the organisation’s next evolution, with plans to channel awareness into action by connecting ECPs with online education, physical resources, and insights to accelerate everyday practice in myopia management.

The Action Month has been supported by premier sponsors CooperVision, EssilorLuxottica, Johnson and Johnson Vision, and Topcon Healthcare; and by supporting sponsors Hoya, Menicon, Ocumetra, SightGlass Vision, and Visioneering Technologies, Inc.

Get Involved

The infographic provides an outline of what has been developed and planned for Myopia Action Month in September.

Already ECPs worldwide have been asked to ‘Get Ready’ by connecting to myopiaaction.com and participating in a survey to determine how best they can be supported to take action.

Additionally, practices have been helped to ‘Get Set’ with the launch of two new, free resources: an engaging, intensely practical one-hour online course for optometrists ‘Myopia Management Made Simple’, and the world-first training for practice staff, ‘Myopia Management for the Practice Team’. These resources, which are freely available and accessible to all types of practices throughout September, support clinical management and help practices provide the best possible experience for parents and patients.

Now, with a foundation of knowledge and confidence for both ECPs and the practice team, Dr Gifford is asking practitioners to ‘Go’ and take the next steps to start or grow their myopia management practices by completing an online seminar series.

One new 60–90-minute online seminar will be launched each week throughout September, where you’ll learn about clinical approaches, newest concepts, and myopia treatment products.

Dr Gifford said all practice team members and all settings of optometry practice can get involved in the world-first Myopia Action Month.

“In our region, we all know about the risks posed by myopia for children now and into their futures, and the benefits of prescribing proactive myopia control strategies.

“We are global leaders in myopia awareness, but with 43% of young progressing myopes still prescribed single vision across the world,3 there’s so much more we can do to take myopia action.

“Visit myopiaaction.com to be linked with all our resources, new courses, and the online seminar series. The benefits for you, your practice colleagues, and your patients are real. Join us this month: the time to take action is now!”

References
1. Wolffsohn, J.S., Calossi, A., Cho, P., Gifford, K., et al., Global trends in myopia management attitudes and strategies in clinical practice. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2016 Apr;39(2):106–16.
2. Wolffsohn, J.S., Calossi, A., Cho, P., Gifford, K., et al., Global trends in myopia management attitudes and strategies in clinical practice – 2019 Update. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2020 Feb;43(1):9–17.
3. Wolffsohn, J.S., Whayeb, Y., Logan, N.S., Weng, R., International Myopia Institute Ambassador Group*. IMI-Global Trends in Myopia Management Attitudes and Strategies in Clinical Practice – 2022 Update. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2023 May 1;64(6):6.
4. The Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Report 2022/23, available at childmyopia.com/forparents/?filter=myopia-report [accessed 27 July 2023].