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Urquhart Opticians partners with Myopia Focus to raise awareness of the myopia epidemic

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

Urquhart Opticians has become the latest chain of independent opticians to join and support the campaign's efforts to increase awareness of the risks of myopia and change the way that myopia is viewed by both the government and the NHS.

Urquhart Opticians was founded more than 100 years ago. Fast forward to today and Urquhart has eleven practices throughout Scotland including Kilmarnock, Ayr and Prestwick. Aside from being experts when it comes to eye care, all practices also have a myopia management clinic, where parents and their children can discuss different myopia management strategies and find a personalised solution to their needs.

Alistair Duff Clinical Director of Urquhart’s comments:

"We’re delighted to now be able to provide myopia management care to our communities across Scotland. We know myopia is on the rise and intervention is the only way to slow the progression for patients. Our team is happy to be supporting Myopia Focus and their campaign to raise awareness of myopia."

Jason Higginbotham, Managing Editor of Myopia Focus comments: “It is immensely rewarding to see the positive feedback we have received globally following the launch of Myopia Focus earlier this year. Our campaign is starting to build momentum and it is encouraging to see specialist myopia management practices such as Urquhart Opticians supporting our campaign. Our website also now offers 11 more practices right across Scotland, ultimately helping us to help more parents find a local specialist near them.

The Myopia Epidemic

In the UK, the prevalence of myopia (short-sightedness) in children aged between 10-16 years old has more than doubled in the last 50 years. However, what many people do not know is that a personalised eye care plan can significantly decrease the progression of myopia in children by as much as 50 per cent or more.

In response to the myopia pandemic that is gripping children in the UK, Jason Higginbotham a renowned optometrist alongside a team of myopia management specialists decided to launch Myopia Focus. A parent-focused portal to raise awareness of the myopia epidemic, connect parents with local myopia management specialists and help them understand their child’s condition.

Myopia Focus also has several prominent myopia management specialists who are backing the portal including Keyur Patel, Bhavin Shah, Morven Campbell and Sandip Doshi amongst others who have all joined the advisory committee for Myopia Focus. To further spread the latest guidance and knowledge in the myopia management space we also have several contributors who are actively supporting our campaign.

Alongside raising awareness of a condition that according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicted to affect half of the world’s population by 2050, Myopia Focus is also campaigning for a change in the way that myopia is viewed by both the government and the NHS. In a proactive response to this, we have launched a petition to ensure that myopia is recognised as an ‘ocular disease’ and for children to receive equal and free access to effective means of myopia management.

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