Putting myopia management into action

OT  heard from Yvette Waddell, CEO at Brien Holden Vision Institute, on Myopia Awareness Week 2024 and resources for practitioners

Two young girls are reading from open books on a library table, bookshelves in the background

Myopia Awareness Week 2024 is focused on putting the information and tools for myopia management into practice.

Brien Holden Vision Institute (BHVI), in partnership with Review of Myopia Management, is working to bring attention to the “myopia pandemic” through the awareness campaign, illustrating the high prevalence and associated complications of myopia.

BHVI said of the campaign: “Working together, we can become a powerful single voice that will help raise awareness and promote action.”

Discussing the awareness week, Yvette Waddell, CEO of BHVI, told OT: “Myopia is the most significant threat of the 21st century. That hasn’t changed since the publication of the late Brien Holden’s seminal research paper in 2016. We still estimate that 50% of the population will be myopic by 2050.”

The industry is in a strong position to slow the progression of the disease, Waddell said, with research from the International Myopia Institute improving understanding of the risk factors associated with the onset and progression of myopia, and developments in vision care technologies and products providing more options for interventions.

“This year’s campaign, developed together with Review of Myopia Management, is all about putting what we know and what we have into practice,” Waddell said.

“We’re imploring optometrists, ophthalmologists, and eye care practitioners to have meaningful discussions about myopia management with their patients, beginning with education and prevention advice, to deploying management strategies and providing access to products that can, and do, slow the rate of progression of myopia,” she continued.

Highlighting the importance of proactivity in preventing or slowing the onset of myopia, Waddell added: “It’s time now for the vision care industry to work cohesively as one to get the information, resources, and treatments into the hands of those looking after the next generation.”

The partners launched a dedicated website for the awareness week, featuring a toolkit and clinical resources for eye care professionals.

“Patient communication is key to deploying myopia management strategies, so we hope that by having these desk-side resources on hand, ECPs will be able to take better preventative action for their patients, guiding them to make healthier vision decisions,” Waddell explained.

Beyond the campaign week, industry supporters have created their own myopia resources, including the Review of Myopia Management, Global Myopia Awareness Coalition, WSPOS, International Myopia Institute, and more. A list of supporters can be found on the campaign website.