It is estimated that by 2050, 50% of the population will be short-sighted, which will create a potentially major public health crisis. Myopic patients in the long term are more susceptible to cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment*.
The aim is to raise awareness about the impact myopia is likely to have on the lives of our children, highlight the critical role optometrists play in treating myopia and help keep practitioners and staff informed about emerging trends in myopia control and management.
The goals are to delay the onset and manage the progression of myopia, giving better visual outcomes for the child in the long term and reduce further deterioration of vision.
Currently, there is no cure for near-sightedness. However, there are proven methods which can be prescribed by an Optometrist to slow the progression of myopia. These treatments can induce changes in the focusing of the eye to reduce the development and progression of near-sightedness.
Myopia control methods can include:
– Multifocal contact lenses
– Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”)
– Low dose atropine eye drops
– Executive bifocal eyeglasses
Michael Morton from the Brien Holden Vision Institute is presenting information at O+MEGA19 on why it is important to introduce myopia management into Optical practices. He will discuss key points that optometrists and practice staff need to consider to ensure success in myopia management from both a clinical and a business perspective.
Why is myopia on the rise?
The two main factors are:
Genetics – If there are two myopic parents, there is a 75% chance the child will have the same condition. One myopic parent 40%, and no myopic parent about a 25% chance, so it is strongly related to genes.*
Outdoor activity vs inside near activity – Children who spend a lot of time focusing on near objects, for example, reading or watching a computer screen, may have a greater chance of becoming short-sighted. Also, the lack of time outdoors in natural light may increase the chances of developing myopia.
The Brien Holden Vision Institute runs courses on these topics, click here for details
About Michael Morton
Michael Morton is the Online Education Coordinator for the Brien Holden Vision Institute. He completed his Bachelor of Optometry at the University of Melbourne in 2003. He practiced as a clinical optometrist around Australia between 2004 and 2010. He joined the Institute as a full-time staff member in 2010, completing his Masters of Public Health the following year.
His work for the Brien Holden Vision Institute has included developing online training, short courses and interactive learning tools for optometrists, presenting train-the-trainer workshops, and creating support systems and curricula for service delivery. He is currently developing and delivering the Myopia Education Program courses and in the past has worked on eye care projects across Asia, the Pacific, Africa, South America and Australia.
*Source: Brien Holden Visual Institute
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