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Myopia guide

Getting started

How to navigate through the range of management options and evolving research when starting out on the myopia management journey

children and smartphone
Getty/PCH-Vector

Knowing where to begin with myopia management can be a challenging task for practices that are new to the field.

There is a diverse range of treatment options, and myopia management is also an area of practice where research is rapidly evolving.

The International Myopia Institute (IMI) Yearly Digest for 2021 notes that 1000 articles on myopia were published between 2019 and mid-2020.

Optometrist Craig McArthur told OT that he recommends practices starting out in myopia management pick a product, complete the accreditation process (if applicable) and begin fitting.

He emphasised the importance of avoiding becoming overwhelmed with the range of options on offer.

“You need three things to get started: a slit-lamp, a booster seat to ensure children can reach your slit lamp, and something essential in managing children in practice – enthusiasm. The rest can come later, once your experience grows,” McArthur shared with OT.

“You already have the basic skillset required for starting a myopia clinic – the ability to fit contact lenses and the ability to produce a pair of spectacles with accurate optical centres,” he added.

McArthur shared that because there has been a growing interest in myopia over the past eight years, there is an abundance of resources available to the eye care professional (ECP) including lectures, websites and social media groups updated with the latest research in the field.

“The manufacturers have some excellent resources the ECP can dip in to,” he told OT.

Optometrist Sarah Farrant also highlighted the availability of high-quality online resources, including the British Contact Lens Association’s myopia management course.

For optometrist, Indie Grewal, it is important for ECPs to involve the whole family in myopia management

The level of involvement will vary according to the child’s age and confidence, he added.

“But as children become older and more accomplished, parents may step back because they have seen their child do it 100 times and they are happy that their child has a good habit,” Grewal highlighted.

Myopia management starts before a child becomes myopic

Indie Grewal

He emphasised that myopia management is not just about fitting contact lenses or fitting a pair of spectacles.

“Myopia management starts before a child becomes myopic. What we are looking at is ‘how hyperopic are they at the age of six or seven? Do they fit into some of the risk factors that we have for myopia – do they have parents who are myopic, are they spending a lot of time indoors on digital devices, do they have limited outdoor time?’ You have to take all of that into account,” Grewal said.

Parents should be advised if there is potential for their child to become myopic and what the significance of this is for the child and family.

“The ECP needs to set up regular screening of that child with regular eye examinations so they can be monitored carefully,” Grewal observed.

Further reading on myopia management, including the topics discussed above, can be found on the OT website.

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