People often ask me, “why did you choose optometry as a profession?” I answer that I had an optometrist during my teenage years, who impressed and inspired me! I love the idea of helping people see, improving quality of life, and being an important player in health care. I have been nearsighted almost all my life, and wear corrective glasses and contacts lenses. If only my optometrist had offered options for slowing down its progression! This missed opportunity drives my enthusiasm and passion for myopia control. This is conversation I have with every parent and child, whose eyes are getting worse year after year.
Myopia is a major public health issue, with 40-50% prevalence in the US & Europe. There’s nearly 80% prevalence in some Asian countries, with 5 Billion affected by 2050. This is why myopia control is widely practiced in China.
Those at risk for high myopia:
- Early onset: being diagnosed with myopia at an early age.
- 2 parents with myopia.
- Professionals, writers have more myopia than farm construction workers or seamen.
- Initial eye (axial length) measurements
- Not enough time spent outdoors.
- Excessive amount of reading & close work.
- Excessive amount of time on computers.
- High education level
- Urban more risk than rural location.
The 4 most effective methods for myopia control:
- Atropine eyedrops taken everyday. low dosage to decrease side effects.
- Ortho-K (overnight drops)
- Soft multifocal contact lenses like Oasys for Presbyopia and Biofinity multifocal D
- Multifocal glasses