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New guide provides path for myopia control from monitoring to treatment

Johnson & Johnson Vision released a new guide for eye care professionals and patients with research-based recommendations for assessing, monitoring and treating myopia, especially in children.

The guide — Managing Myopia: A Clinical Response to the Growing Epidemic — is the result of a 1-year collaboration among optometric organizations, including the American Optometric Association (AOA), American Academy of Optometry (AAO), Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry and the Singapore Optometric Association, according to a press release from J&J Vision.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic, 65% of households report the use of online learning for children, increased digital screen use linked to near work, compounded by the fact that social distancing measures have limited the time children spend outdoors,” Robert C. Layman, OD, AOA president-elect, said during a virtual event hosted by J&J Vision. “This crisis can have far-reaching eye health and vision implications on generations to come.”

He noted that each diopter increase in myopia results in a 67% increased risk for myopia macular degeneration, along with higher risks for retinal detachment, staphyloma, primary open-angle glaucoma and cataract.

“There is no safe level of myopia. It behooves us to address this with all of our finest clinical tools available,” he said.

Key points from the guide include:

  • Monitor myopia in children between the ages of 6 to 12 months at least once before age 3 to 5, then annually through age 17.
  • Secure treatment as early as possible to slow progression.
  • Find the right treatment, which can depend on a combination of practitioner advice, parental preference and the child’s capabilities and maturity.
  • Monitor myopia progression at least every 6 months once treatment is established to assess barriers to use, compliance and risky behaviors.
  • Understand that the best gauge of myopia control efficacy is cumulative absolute reduction in axial elongation or refractive error.

The virtual event concluded with a question-and-answer session in which Layman and others provided further recommendations for addressing myopia.

Layman addressed the importance of sustaining myopia control methods, as research has shown that refractive changes can continue through 18 years of age. He said that in his practice he continues monitoring college-age patients who do heavy near work until their prescription has stabilized.

Texas State Optical Board Chairman Receives State Honor

(PRESS RELEASE) HOUSTON — The Doctors of Texas State Optical announce the announcement of the Texas Optometric Association’s 2020 Young Optometrist of the Year honor will be awarded to Dr. Reid Robertson, current chairman of the Texas State Optical Board of Directors.

As defined by the Texas Optometric Association (TOA), young optometrists are defined as those who have been in active practice ten years or less, including residency or fellowship who often show remarkable leadership skills when serving their profession, their patients, and their community. The TOA recognizes the deserving young optometrist for performance of outstanding services on behalf of the profession and to the visual welfare of the public.

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Stop Touching Your Face By Wearing Glasses, Not Contacts

As public health officials work around the clock to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, everyone else is trying their best to up their personal hygiene. Washing your hands for 20 seconds and not touching your face are two of the strongest recommendations the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has to prevent getting sick whether from COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus), cold, or flu. Once you’re actively trying not to touch your face, though, you’ll probably catch yourself scratching at your temple or rubbing your eyes around 400 times a day. One expert has a simple suggestion to cut down on the face-touching: swap out your contacts for glasses.

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So, you want decorative contacts for Halloween? What to know

Remember the last time you bought underwear from a random website, at the gas station or a flea market? Perhaps the packaging was questionable, or the quality was poor, but they were a perfect color you were looking. You examine them close and wonder, “Where did these even come from?”

Extreme? It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds, considering many Americans detrimentally play this scenario out every Halloween, not over underwear but decorative, costume contact lenses. In fact, 26 percent of Americans who have worn noncorrective, decorative contact lenses purchased them without a prescription from a source other than their eye doctor. And while questionable underwear certainly has its own issues, questionably acquired contact lenses can cause serious eye health issues or even permanent damage.

Whether corrective or decorative, all contact lenses are classified as medical devices by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and that means they require a prescription from an eye doctor before touching your eyes. Likewise, it means those knock-off, costume contact lenses packaged next to lottery tickets at the convenience store aren’t only of questionable legality, but they also could be dangerous.


Stephen Curry Started Wearing Contacts to Address Eye Condition

Warriors star Steph Curry saw a slight decline in his shooting last month and addressed the problem by starting to wear contacts.

Curry, 31, didn’t need corrective lenses due to his age or a sudden change in his eyesight. It turns out that Curry has suffered from a cornea condition called Keratoconus for all of his life, according to The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson II. Keratoconus is a disease where the cornea thins over time and begins to change from its natural circular shape to one similar to a cone. Because of it, the cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye and causes blurred vision.

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Complete eye exams in children could save their lives

Garineh M. Nersisyan, OD, writes in Healio (1/17) that more needs to be done to promote annual eye exams, because they are key to checking people’s vision and for the detection of sight-threatening and life-threatening diseases. Nersisyan mentions that “the American Optometric Association recommends a health check at 6 months of age, the first comprehensive eye examination at 3 years and again every 1 to 2 years after.” Nersisyan also says “that 86% of children begin the school year without having their eyes checked,” citing the AOA. Nersisyan also mentions that “Glen Steele, OD, AOA InfantSee and Children’s Vision Committee co-chair, stated that eye and vision disorders can impose a significant burden on patients, parents and the public.”

Continue reading Complete eye exams in children could save their lives.

Can you really go blind staring at an eclipse? Tips for safe viewing

CNN reports that “looking at the sun with” the “naked eye” during the upcoming Aug. 21 total solar eclipse could result in blindness from damage to the retina. AOA President Dr, Quinn explained, “When you look directly at the sun, the intensity of the light and the focus of the light is so great on the retina that it can cook it.” Dr. Quinn added, “If the exposure is great enough, that can and will lead to permanent reduction in vision and even blindness.” According to CNN, “the only time you can look at the sun with your naked eye is A) if you’re in the path of totality, where the sun will be completely covered by the moon, and B) during those two minutes or less when the sun is completely covered.” Otherwise, eclipse viewers are cautioned to wear eclipse glasses or use a Shade 13 welding filter. Read more here.

Eclipse sends eye doctors into overdrive

The AP reports “With the total solar eclipse right around the cosmic corner, eye doctors are going into nagging overdrive,” warning people of eye damage from “staring at the sun, even the slimmest sliver of it.” American Optometric Association President Christopher Quinn, OD, explained, “It’s really important to resist the urge to look even momentarily, directly in the sun because you have no real sense of time.” Dr. Quinn added, “What you think may be a glancing look could be a more substantial amount of time, and that can result in permanent damage.” Read more here.

Close To 175,000 US Preschoolers Struggle With Common, But Untreated, Vision Problems, Study Finds.

HealthDay (5/5, Mozes) reported, “Close to 175,000 American preschoolers struggle with common, but untreated, vision problems,” and that number is expected to rise in the next few years, researchers concluded. In fact, their “analysis projects that the number of cases of uncorrected poor vision in this very young population will jump 26 percent by 2060.” The findings were published online in JAMA Ophthalmology.

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