Myopia Chat - Practitioners with Parents

ALL parents of myopic children should be given a MyopiaChat by their optician at first diagnosis of MYOPIA PROGRESSION (>0.50D increase in one year). It should no longer simply be described as ‘short sight’ in a way that a parent leaves the test room believing it to be of no harm to their child.

Myopia is now recognised as a disease (Jeffrey Walline), so failure to give a MyopiaChat may well have future legal repercussions as parents have a right to be informed that their child has been diagnosed with a disease. This site gives advice to parents on how to have a MyopiaChat with you. You can also assist parents to have a MyopiaChat with their child.

How to have a Myopia Chat with parents

It’s important to educate parents from the outset about why their child has myopia (genes & environmental e.g. increased screen time) and that more time outdoors and adapted screen time can control Myopia. Studies have shown that over 14 hours per week (2 hours/day) spent outdoors reduces the risk of developing myopia. Walking to school and no screens on car journeys are also beneficial good lifestyle habits worth establishing now.

Parents of children with diabetes are both informed of what might be a scary thing and advised on how to manage it i.e. about cakes/sweets, tech monitoring devices etc. In a similar way, parents should be educated about the link between myopia and long term eye disease, and how to manage it effectively.

Using the MyopiaChat chart + 5 parent questions

These questions below, that work with the chart, are being given to opticians and parents by the #MyopiaChat campaign to help a MyopiaChat happen in a way that parents and their children will understand. Maybe get the parents to ask you the questions and make sure they understand the answers, and don’t just nod politely! Worth noting again that a documented MyopiaChat would also cover you legally.

5 questions parents must ask their ECP

1. Does my child have myopia – what is it?

2. What line on the eye chart can they see now?

3. What line might they see in 5 years’ time?

4. What is their projected line on the graph?

5. What myopia control options are available to us?

The 4 main options for Myopia Management

  1. More time outdoors (14 hours/week)
  2. Myopia Control GLASSES
  3. Myopia Control DAY LENSES
  4. Myopia Control NIGHT LENSES (Ortho-K)
This first diagnosis chart has been designed as a collaboration between parents and optometrists to be used in the test room by ECPs to explain myopia progression in a way parents will understand, how management / control may be possible and the link between myopia progression and the risks long term of eye disease. Click on the chart to download it as a pdf.

Is Myopia a disease?

Is Myopia a disease?

Jeffrey J. Walline, OD PhD, Associate Dean for Research, College of Optometry, Columbus

Oxford Dictionary definition of a ‘disease’ is:

a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

– Myopia is a mismatch between the optics and length of the eye, so it is a disorder of structure

– Myopia occurs in humans

– Myopia produces distance blur (symptom)

– We didn’t fall down and suddenly become myopic, so it isn’t the direct result of physical injury

Myopia precisely matches the definition of a disease, but for some reason, optometrists don’t tend to think of it as a disease. If optometrists don’t think of it as a disease, then why would we expect our patients or insurance companies to do so?

Because myopia is a disease, we need to do more than simply treat the symptoms. We need to disrupt the disease progression in order to truly treat the disease. Would you ever prescribe only visual field-expanding prism to treat glaucoma? Of course not, so why would you treat progressing myopia with single vision lenses only?