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The Rising Tide of Myopia: A Call to Action for Eye Care Professionals

In today's digital age, our lives are increasingly dominated by screens and near-work activities. While this has brought about numerous benefits, it has also contributed to a concerning trend – the growing prevalence of myopia among children and young adults. As eye care professionals, we have an ethical obligation to inform our patients about myopia management and empower them to make informed decisions about their children's eye health. It's particularly relevant as we kick off Myopia Action Month, a time when we emphasise the importance of addressing this growing concern and taking proactive steps to manage myopia effectively.

A young girl on a laptop learning

"A 2022 survey showed that 43% of young progressing myopes are still prescribed single vision glasses. If we don’t act, we are staring into a ‘myopian future’ in which myopia presents an ever-growing threat to the vision, eye health and quality of life of current and future generations."

Myopia has emerged as a pressing worldwide health issue, and as an eye care expert, you understand that neglecting myopia management can lead to swift progression, significantly elevating the likelihood of severe sight-related problems like retinal detachment, glaucoma, and myopic macular degeneration as individuals enter later adulthood.

The Role of Eye Care Professionals

Eye care professionals play a crucial role in addressing the myopia epidemic. We are not just here to correct vision but also to preserve and protect eye health. Therefore, our ethical duty is to educate our patients about myopia management options and offer them the opportunity to make informed decisions for their children.

Early Intervention is Key

Myopia management is most effective when initiated early. By informing parents and guardians about the risks associated with myopia progression, we can encourage them to take proactive steps to protect their children's vision. This includes discussing lifestyle modifications, outdoor time, and potential myopia management options.

Customised Care Plans

Every child is unique, and their myopia management plan should reflect that individuality. As eye care professionals, we must assess each patient's specific needs, monitor their progression, and adapt our management strategies accordingly. This approach ensures that parents and children are actively engaged in the process and have a sense of ownership over their eye health.

Informed Decision-Making

Education is a cornerstone of myopia management. By explaining the potential risks of myopia progression and the benefits of various treatment options, we empower parents and children to make informed decisions. This includes discussing the potential side effects and the commitment required for treatments like Ortho-K lenses or atropine drops.

Regular Follow-Up

Myopia management is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. Eye care professionals should schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor progress, adjust treatment plans, and address any concerns or questions that patients may have. This ongoing relationship builds trust and reinforces the importance of myopia management.

The rising prevalence of myopia presents a significant challenge, but it also offers an opportunity for eye care professionals to make a positive impact on the lives of our patients. By taking a proactive approach to myopia management, educating our patients, and involving them in the decision-making process, we can help reduce the risks associated with myopia and promote a lifetime of healthy vision. Together, as a community of eye care professionals, we can turn the tide of the myopia epidemic and safeguard the eye health of future generations.

Myopia Focus is dedicated to raising awareness about myopia and providing information and resources to our audiences. As part of our efforts, we want to create a space where eye care professionals can share their knowledge and insights on myopia with a wider audience. This will not only help increase understanding of myopia but also promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas within the optometry community. Interested in sharing your knowledge with our audiences, find out more.

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