MANCHESTER, England, 30 May 2019—Myopia is projected to affect the vision and ocular health of approximately five billion people by 2050, more than doubling today’s numbers1. The rising prevalence of this condition, also known as nearsightedness or short-sightedness, is sparking the need to go beyond solely providing vision correction, to also deliver accessible, effective methods to slow the progression of myopia in children.
One of the first companies to seek commercial methods that could broadly address the issue, resulting in the innovative MiSight® 1 day soft contact lens for myopia management2 CooperVision has brought a team of scientists, clinicians and executives to the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) Clinical Conference & Exhibition this week. Through a series of education panel discussions, scientific papers and posters, and workshops in Manchester, they will address common challenges and highlight opportunities for better outcomes for myopic children.
During the conference, which will draw global researchers, educators, and experts along with ECPs and industry representatives from the UK, Europe and beyond, CooperVision is unveiling five-year clinical data that examines how its landmark MiSight® 1 day soft contact lens has helped slow the progression of myopia in children. Additionally, new CooperVision-commissioned survey data out of the United Kingdom and Australia indicates the need for education on myopia management options, helping eye care professionals (ECPs) and parents become more comfortable with using a contact lens approach to help manage the condition.
Education is a common theme across our myopia management initiatives worldwide, especially when it comes to driving early intervention. Providing clinical and consumer data, insights and tools relating to myopia management are essential. Our considerable presence at the BCLA is one more step in helping ECPs—and through them, parents—understand and overcome the challenges of myopia,” said James Gardner, Vice President, Global Myopia Management for CooperVision.
New CooperVision Research Helps ECPs & Parents Embrace Myopia Management
New CooperVision-commissioned research conducted in the United Kingdom3 shows clear pathways to helping parents understand and adopt a clinically proven myopia management option, such as MiSight® 1 day contact lenses.
“Based on these surveys and discussions with ECPs, it’s clear that parents lack a basic awareness of what myopia is or its potential impact on the future health of their children’s eyes. There’s an unmistakable and urgent need for broad-based education about this worsening global issue,” said Gardner.
Among UK parents surveyed, 66% were aware that childhood myopia was progressive, but 76% were not aware of the link between myopia and the risk of future eye health problems. Myopia has been linked to issues such as glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy—later in life4. Given that lack of understanding, it perhaps not surprising that 58% of parents surveyed were not worried by their child's myopia.
The survey also revealed that 69% of parents were unaware of anything which helps slow the progression of myopia in children. Yet among respondents, 82% would be interested if there was a way to do so. Seven out ten of parents would consider contact lenses for their child if they knew they might reduce the risk of associated eye health problems later in life.
The need for more parental information about myopia isn’t a UK-only phenomenon. According to the newly-published “Australia and New Zealand Child Myopia Report – A Focus on Future Management,” almost half (49%) of Australian parents of children aged 17 years and under admit they do not know what causes myopia. Only 12% of parents know of the lifestyle factors that have an impact on child myopia (low levels of outdoor activity, low levels of light exposure, prolonged near tasks such as reading and gaming on portable devices)5.
The ECP’s role in helping educate parents about myopia management is paramount. According to the UK survey3, 92% of parents would expect their ECP to tell them about the options available to help slow progression. And 85% of the parents surveyed agreed with the statement “ECPs have a duty to advise on suitability for contact lenses so consumers know all their options.”
Yet some ECPs themselves could benefit from additional professional development, especially considering the speed at which myopia management is evolving. When asked why they are not yet offering myopia management to their patients, the top two responses from 143 Australian ECPs participating in a multi-city myopia event were not having specialist equipment (34.3%) and lack of knowledge (31.5%)6—both of which can be overcome with MiSight® 1 day contact lenses.
“Parents want to be informed about the options to slow the progression of myopia, and firmly believe it is part of the ECP’s role to provide this information. Partnering with practitioners, together we can deliver much-needed education so that parents better understand the condition and become comfortable with the benefits of MiSight® 1 day contact lens wear,” said Gardner.
Scientific and Industry Education Leadership
BCLA 2019 also presents CooperVision with the opportunity to share additional scientific advancements with ECPs and research peers. Four paper presentations, 11 posters, two workshops and the three panel discussions encompass the company’s breadth and depth of study. New five-year study data from CooperVision’s MiSight® 1 day clinical trial provides a view of myopia progression rates in children wearing the specialized contact lenses for an extended time frame7
In a panel scheduled for 11 a.m. GMT tomorrow, CooperVision brings together leading myopia management experts for a two-hour discussion. Chaired by Prof. Jeff Walline, the “Exploring Myths and Misconceptions in Myopia Management” discussion features Dr. Nicola Logan, Prof. Mark Bullimore, Prof. Philip Morgan, Dr. Sara McCullough and Sarah Morgan in what could be the most-attended program session in Manchester.
In addition, CooperVision-sponsored myopia-focused insights include a poster presented by Prof. Bullimore on “Myopia Control: Why Each Dioptre Matters.” He concludes that preventing one dioptre of myopia should lower the risk of myopic maculopathy by 40%. Furthermore, this treatment benefit is independent of the level of myopia. The study also proposes that long-term benefits to a patient’s visual health with reducing myopia progression outweigh the very low risk of serious adverse events that could occur with daily disposable soft contact lenses worn during childhood to help slow myopia progression8.
Dr. Logan will also present a standalone workshop focused on myopia management and how to deal with variation in response to myopia interventions.
An awards gala culminates the conference on Saturday, June 1. John Phillips, Stuart Cockerill and Paul Chamberlain have been named finalists for the prestigious BCLA Industry Award for their work developing, researching and commercializing the MiSight® 1 day contact lens.
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1Holden et al, - Global Prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology 2016. 123(5):1036-1042
2 MiSight® 1 day contact lenses are currently available for sale in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Nordic Region, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand. MiSight® 1 day is not approved in the United States.
3 CVI data on file 2019. Online survey in UK by YouGov Plc; n=280 myopic parents with children 8-15 years.
4 Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012;31:622-60.
5 CooperVision Australia and New Zealand: Child Myopia in Australia – consumer perceptions survey. Conducted by YouGovGalaxy August/September 2018. n=1003 parents of children at home aged 0-18 years.
6Myopia Management – The Time to Act is Now CPD-accredited continuing education events. Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane, Australia. March 2019. n=143.
7 Chamberlain P, Logan N, Jones D, Gonzalez-Meijome J, Saw S-M, Young G. Clinical evaluation of a dual-focus myopia control 1 day soft contact lens: 5-year results (2019 BCLA Clinical Conference & Exhibition).
8 Bullimore M. Myopia Control: Why each dioptre matters. BCLA 2019 Poster.