We are pleased to announce that Myopia Focus Advisory Committee member, Bhavin Shah, has won a prestigious national award.
Bhavin, the founder of Central Vision Opticians practice based in north London, has been announced as the winner of the Myopia Management Award of the Year in the Optician Awards, organised by the Optician Magazine.
Myopia is the medical term for short sight, where people have to wear glasses to see in the distance. Over the past 20 years, there has been a huge global increase in the number of children who become myopic. In the UK, twice as many kids are now short-sighted compared to 2 decades ago. Unfortunately, it is a progressive condition during childhood, which means that once a child becomes myopic, it becomes progressively worse as they grow. At Central Vision Opticians the team have worked tirelessly over the past 7 years to develop a system to slow the progression of myopia in children successfully and safely.
The Optician Awards which was hosted in London were founded over 30 years ago, and recognise the highest levels of achievement in the UK’s optical industry. Central Vision’s founder, behavioural optometrist Bhavin Shah, said: “I am so thrilled and honoured to be recognised for the work that I do. It makes a lifelong impact on a child’s life.”
His revolutionary work with myopia (short-sightedness) management has helped hundreds of children as young as 5 years of age, by slowing down the progression of their condition.
“Myopia management should be considered for every child who develops short-sightedness. We have the knowledge and technology to help children, this makes a huge impact on their lives now and will protect their eyes in the future from the effects and damage that high myopia can cause.”
“I pull together lots of evidence-based research and studies to take a unique holistic approach,” Bhavin said. “I look at the lifestyle factors such as kids who do a lot of reading or using screens. Children are increasingly becoming more myopic. They should have lots of time outdoors (even in the cold weather) and be taking breaks from reading and using screens.”
An important part of Central Vision's strategy is the use of specialist contact lenses. “Children are generally happier with contact lenses than glasses, they can play sports better and, at the same time, the effect of slowing the change will protect their eyes in later life.”
As well as demonstrating outstanding results, effective communication is another component of the strategy that impressed the awards jury. Bhavin said: “I’ve been working on ways to communicate myopia to parents and children, finding the right way to deliver the right type of information so they understand. Parents and children have their own concerns and worries, and we address them honestly and authentically to provide the best individual service.
“We also have fantastic feedback from parents and kids about the benefits.”
Jason Higginbotham, Managing Editor at Myopia Focus comments: “We are very pleased to have such a passionate, talented, multi-award-winning myopia management specialist on our board, it ensures that moving forward we can continue to raise awareness and bring parents and eye care professionals the latest news and guidance in the myopia space.”