A new report in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye provides an update to a 2015 survey that examined practitioners’ awareness of myopia prevalence and their thoughts on the available treatment strategies. While practitioner concern about myopia and the reported level of activity have increased over the last four years, the recent survey found that the vast majority of practitioners still prescribe single vision interventions to young myopes.

The research team distributed the self-administrated, internet-based questionnaire in eight languages to reach eye care professionals (optometrists, dispensing opticians, ophthalmologists and eye care specialists) globally. Of the 1,336 respondents, concern for myopia’s prevalence was highest in Asia and lowest in Australasia. Asian clinicians, especially those practicing in China, were more concerned about the increasing prevalence of pediatric myopia in their practices than clinicians in any of the other continents.

Overall, practitioners perceived orthokeratology to be the most effective method of myopia control, followed by pharmaceutical approaches and approved myopia control soft contact lenses. The least effective perceived methods were single vision distance under-correction and single vision spectacles, as well as single vision soft contact lenses and refractive surgery options. These findings were largely consistent across all continents with some variations. However, 52% of progressing and/or young myopes were being prescribed single vision spectacles or contact lenses. Although a surprising number, the researchers noted that this was an improvement from the reported 68% in the original study four years ago. The main justifications for practitioners’ reluctance to prescribe alternatives to single vision refractive corrections were increased cost (20.6%) and inadequate information (17.6%).

The report concluded that practitioner adoption of appropriate techniques has improved but remains poor overall, noting that myopia control techniques are not being applied early enough in a child’s ocular development to provide the best outcomes. It also found that adequate practitioner education was lacking, along with, in most parts of the world, access to appropriately regulated myopia control products. The survey group hopes that the publication of the recent global consensus evidence-based guidelines will help inform myopia management in the future.

Wolffsohn JS, Calossi A, Cho P, et al. Global trends in myopia management attitudes and strategies in clinical practice–2019 update. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. November 21, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].