All you need to know: MAYopia Day 2023

OT  reviews the programme and hears from AOP head of education, Dr Ian Beasley on key topics, how the event has evolved since 2022, and top tips

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Pexels/Tima Miroshnichenko

MAYopia Day is back for 2023 with a jam-packed schedule of seven webinars exploring the latest research, implementation of myopia management, tips for communication, and compliance.

On Sunday 21 May, starting at 9am and running until 6pm, the AOP, in partnership with Optometry Today, will deliver a day of myopia management education for practitioners alongside headline sponsor, CooperVision, and with sponsors Hoya, Topcon, Johnson & Johnson Vision, Essilor and Eyerising.

The day will begin with a session by Elizabeth Lumb, CooperVision’s director of global professional affairs for myopia management, who will present on Driving change to put the brakes on myopia, reflecting on current attitudes towards myopia management and how the picture may have changed.

The second session will present information on repeated low-level red light therapy, which has been proposed as a method for controlling myopia, followed by a webinar on patient-centred approaches to myopia management with optometrist Dr Trusit Dave.

The researcher and inventor will discuss terminology for illustrating the clinical and functional importance of myopia management, and provide an overview of the efficacy of myopia management interventions.

At 1pm, clinician-scientist optometrist, Dr Kate Gifford, will discuss The next generation – myopia controlling spectacle lenses, looking at spectacle lens designs and outlining research papers, concluding with clinical pathways for prescribing.

The fifth session of the day will see Sarah Farrant present on the importance of detecting the early signs of myopia, communicating with patients, and monitoring the progression of myopia.

The afternoon will be dedicated to Busting the myopia myths with Dr Monica Jong, the global director of professional education for myopia at Johnson & Johnson Vision.

Rounding off the day, dispensing optician and specialty optometrist, Indie Grewal, will deliver a presentation on compliance in myopia management, discussing cases of non-compliance and how technology and communication can support improvements.

A guide to MAYopia Day

AOP head of education, and OT clinical editor, Dr Ian Beasley, shares key information on CPD points and webinar topics, behind-the-scenes planning, and his top tips for the day.

Who is MAYopia Day for?

The event is designed for all practitioners, regardless of their scope of practice. All sessions are approved for optometrists and dispensing opticians, and five out of the seven sessions have more of a contact lens focus and so are suitable for contact lens opticians.

The online sessions are free to members, and non-members can join for a per-webinar fee of £25. Delegates can dip in and out of the programme to join the sessions that appeal the most to them or join for the whole day of education.

Each webinar is worth one interactive point, so delegates have an opportunity to earn seven CPD points across the day.

In what ways has MAYopia Day grown since last year?

At the first event in 2022, we delivered five sessions but due to demand from delegates, new products becoming available, and emerging technologies, there are a growing number of topics to cover and so we've now expanded the programme to seven webinars.

How does the event help practitioners to keep up-to-date on the latest and emerging research in myopia?

Myopia is changing so quickly, in terms of the research that’s emerging and product availability. The day is designed to provide a mixture of topics.

Some of the sessions are designed to specifically look at what’s changed over the past year, while others are setting the scene for those that are new to myopia management. The sessions are helpful for people that are already involved in myopia management, but also designed to allow an entry point for those that are yet to dip their toe into the water.

The day includes sessions that are looking to help address some of those challenges that people will have either while they're currently doing myopia management or set to start providing it. There's key aspects, such as: communicating with patients, and how you monitor the success of interventions. How do you ensure that patients comply further down the line? You don't want to go to all of this trouble to get someone into myopia management interventions only for them to fall out of it. So what can you do to prevent that? There is some myth-busting as well.

We have a really good line-up of speakers, including three international speakers in Dr Kate Gifford, Dr Monica Jong, and Professor Mingguang He.

There is an emphasis on skills such as communication in myopia management. What do you think this focus provides delegates?

The clinical side of myopia management, for the majority of practitioners, is not a huge leap. Experienced practitioners know how to fit contact lenses and how to dispense spectacle lenses. But we're now in a space with myopia where we're not just correcting a sight defect, we're looking to change the trajectory of it.

Why do we want to change the trajectory? Most parents will quite happily accept that if their kid has gone from -1.00D, to -2.00D, to -3.00D, and there's an opportunity to prevent them from getting to -6.00D, that has to be a good thing. What they might not be so clear on is that it's not just about those raw numbers, but it's their risk of ocular disease later in life. And because we haven't been able to really do anything about that before, we haven't had to have those conversations. That's why communication is so key.

The second part of that communication strand is not knowing how a particular individual will respond to those interventions. That is all about managing expectations and not over-promising. It is absolutely crucial. The third part of communication leads into compliance. What if the child isn't wearing the intervention as planned? How do you deal with that? What are the strategies for overcoming that?

What does it mean for the AOP to work with industry sponsors for this programme?

It is great that our industry partners recognise the value in having a professional body, in the AOP, that is trusted by the profession, to facilitate the delivery of this content, and how this aligns to the AOP’s guidance on myopia management.

What if a delegate can’t make certain sessions?

The webinars will be available as recordings on the website to listen to on demand for those that can’t make some or all sessions on the day.