My older sister arrived home one afternoon following a visit to the opticians with a pair of brown-rimmed, thick lensed spectacles.
She had been diagnosed with a squint during a previous visit and, alongside an accompanying patch on the odd occasion, the prescription was designed to manage her symptoms and maintain her vision.
She was perhaps around 10 years old at the time, I think. Yet because the optometrist on the small shopping parade where we lived took swift action, in a bid to correct the problem, progression halted and she was soon out of those specs with no correction at all. I don’t exactly remember all of the details as I was just a small child, but by the time my sister started secondary school, she didn’t wear spectacles any more.
I was reminded of my sister’s short-lived bespectacled years during a recent talk on myopia management at 100% Optical delivered by CooperVision’s Elizabeth Lumb.
The optometrist-come-European-professional-services-manager highlighted that, when it comes to myopia management, it’s time to stop talking and start doing.
Myopia, she said, is a big deal at the moment, with the condition affecting all regions of the world. Using research to emphasise her point, Ms Lumb shared stats that showed how, if current trends continue, 50% of the global population will be affected by myopia within a few decades.
With the consequences of myopia sight-threatening, Ms Lumb offered practitioners a three step action plan to managing the condition among their patients, particularly the younger ones. What was clear from Ms Lumb’s, and other myopia talks I have listened to, is that if myopia is not managed, progression will continue to increase and could become an epidemic.
I know my sister is grateful to the optometrist who stepped in and managed her squint – she hates to think what her vision would be like now, almost 25 years on, if that hadn’t happened. So next time a child presents in practice with myopia, why not take a leaf out of Ms Lumb’s book and ‘start doing.’
An article and video on Ms Lumb’s 100% Optical talk will appear online shortly.