SAN RAMON, Calif.—A new special report is helping draw awareness to the increasing severity and prevalence of myopia in children among non-ophthalmic health care providers. The report, “Advancing the Treatment of Myopia in Children,” is published by Global Business Media as part of its Hospital Reports series, with support from CooperVision. The goal of the initiative and its authors is to bring greater attention and clarity about the global myopia issue to physicians, nurses and other non-ophthalmic providers.

“Addressing the problem of myopia progression requires collaboration across the health care spectrum, with physicians, nurses and other care providers working alongside optometrists and ophthalmologists,” said Gary Orsborn, OD, vice president of global professional, medical and clinical affairs for CooperVision. “As a global research, clinical and education leader on the topic, it’s our privilege to gather several experts to succinctly frame the issue, highlight the science and review intervention options. Our hope is this special report is one more step toward establishing myopia management as standard of care by eyecare professionals for the millions of children who are affected.”

The report can be viewed online by clicking here.

Myopia, commonly known as short-sightedness, causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina rather than directly on the surface, due to the elongation of the eye. It is projected to affect the vision of approximately five billion people globally by 2050, more than doubling today’s numbers. Myopic progression has been linked to sight-threatening conditions later in life such as cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic maculopathy.

The report contains the following insights from four global experts:

Dr. Annegret Dahlmann-Noor, consultant ophthalmologist and director of Children’s Service at Moorfields Eye Hospital, U.K.), opens the report by writing on why myopia matters. She contends that myopia is no longer an inconvenience, since its constant march will place increased burdens on quality of life and cause a rise in health care expenditure to both individuals and health care systems. As societal awareness increases and low-risk approaches emerge, identifying and treating children will be more commonplace.

Professor Nicola Logan of the School of Optometry at Aston University (U.K.) explores the range of myopia management interventions becoming more available to qualified health care professionals to address the surge in myopia prevalence with their young patients. Environment and lifestyle play a key role in the condition’s development, with consideration for offering behavioral interventions such as increased time spent outdoors and reduced time on near work. She then touches on optical and pharmaceutical interventions to slow myopia progression, including specialized spectacle lenses, dual-focus and multifocal contact lenses for daytime use, orthokeratology contact lenses for overnight corneal reshaping, and atropine.

Dr. Kate Gifford, the founder of Myopia Profile and a practicing optometrist in Australia, authors a risk-to-benefit comparison of myopia controlling contact lenses. After reviewing multiple studies regarding contact lens safety in children and teens, she weighs short-term and long-term challenges that may arise with daily wear. Ultimately, Dr. Gifford concludes that the functional, psychological and preventative eye health benefits of myopia control contact lenses present a compelling first line management option for children under 12 with progressive myopia.

Professor Mark Bullimore, a prolific myopia consultant and adjunct professor at the University of Houston, shares why every diopter of myopia progression matters in response to a common question: “When we can correct myopia with spectacles, contact lenses refractive surgery, should we worry about slowing its progression?” His modeling indicates that in 30 years, approximately one-third of all visual impairment will be attributable to myopia; slowing it by even one diopter could reduce the prevalence of such impairment by 10 percent.

Added CooperVision’s Dr. Orsborn, “This report lays bare a real urgency to act by all health professionals, who can gain a better grasp of myopia progression’s expanding impact, help encourage routine eye examinations for children and refer parents to optometry and ophthalmology peers for counsel and care.”

For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of taking on myopia progression. The company offers a range of myopia management approaches for the global eyecare professional communities. MiSight 1 day soft contact lenses are scientifically designed and clinically proven to slow the progression of myopia in children, and serve as the foundation for the company’s comprehensive Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program.