Managing Myopia: A Clinical Response to the Growing Epidemic

Johnson & Johnson Vision unveiled a new guide with recommendations for eye care professionals to assess, monitor and treat myopia in children in Response to the Growing Myopia Epidemic.

The guide, titled “Managing Myopia: A Clinical Response to the Growing Epidemic,” is a result of a year of collaboration with leading organizations in optometry, including the American Optometric Association (AOA), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) and Singapore Optometric Association (SOA)

Key points for eye care professionals and patients to consider based on the new guide include:

  • Monitor for myopia in children: Based on guidelines from the American Optometric Association (AOA), children need an eye examination between the ages of 6-12 months, then at least once between ages 3-5 and then annually through age 17.
  • Secure early treatment: The defining indication for beginning treatment is the onset of myopia. Identifying and treating myopia as early as possible, even pre-myopic, is critical to slow progression.
  • Find the right therapy: The right treatment for a myopic child depends on a combination of the practitioner’s advice, parents’ preference and the child’s capabilities and maturity. Depending on efficacy, practitioners and families can choose the best option for each patient, including orthokeratology, soft multifocal contact lenses, myopia control spectacles or atropine eye drops.
  • Monitoring myopia progression: Frequent monitoring, at least every six months once treatment is established, helps reduce barriers to use, identify non-compliant or risky behaviours, and address any problems as early as possible. Axial length and cycloplegic refractive error may be measured at frequent intervals, but should be evaluated over at least one year before considering therapeutic changes or supplemental therapy because progression can vary seasonally.
  • Communicating myopia control efficacy: Myopia control treatment effect tends to be more of an absolute effect than a proportional effect. The best descriptor of myopia control efficacy is the cumulative absolute reduction in elongation or refractive error (i.e. total mm or D).