CooperVision Event Focuses on Parents’ Misunderstanding of Myopia

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NEW YORK—CooperVision hosted an event here in early November to unveil new research indicating that parents are not well-informed about myopia. The event featured a panel discussion of the implications of the research and highlights from the Harris Poll survey results.

The panel included Melissa Musen Gerstein, a co-founder of the multimedia company The MOMS, who facilitated the discussion. Others panelists were: Jen Trachtenberg, MD, pediatrician and author who is based in New York City; Donna Mazyck, executive director of the National Association of School Nurses, and CooperVision’s Michele Andrews, OD, who is senior director, North America Professional and Academic Affairs.

The audience was comprised of trade and consumer journalists, who sat behind desks arranged classroom-style while sipping red and white sangria from containers meant to look like juice-boxes.

The prevalence of digital devices means that all children today may be at greater risk for myopia, Trachtenberg noted in her opening remarks. “Parents give a phone or iPad to a child to self-sooth,” she said. That heavy digital device use is coupled with parents who know little-to-nothing about myopia, and the risk it poses to children’s development and eye health.

One-in-four children in the U.S. is myopic, but according to The Harris Poll survey results released the day of the event by CooperVision, only 33 percent of parents know what that term means, or how it can affect their children’s future eyesight. The survey was conducted among eyecare professionals (ECPs), including 155 optometrists and 158 ophthalmologists and 1,005 parents with children between 8-15 years old regarding their knowledge of myopia.