Image: Myopia Profile Directors Kate and Paul Gifford and CEOs Christian and Rainer Kirchhübel of OCULUS (from left)
Clinical interest and questions on measurement of axial length in myopia management has grown 470% from mid-2019 to mid-2020 and another 35% in the last half of 2020, according to Myopia Profile and OCULUS. Measurement of the axial length and growth of the eye in childhood myopia is the recognized gold standard for research studies,(1) but instrument access and clarity on how to utilize the data remain key barriers to uptake in clinical practice.
“The axial length of the myopic eye appears to be more directly linked to the lifelong risk of eye disease and vision impairment due to increasing myopia, and hence should be our key modification goal in clinical myopia management. In our 2019 landmark reports, the International Myopia Institute (IMI) recognized the necessity of axial length measurement in myopia research, but also the numerous barriers to widespread clinical uptake and hence noted axial length as a desirable but not yet necessary element of clinical myopia management” said Dr Kate Gifford, lead author on the IMI Clinical Management Guidelines report and Director of Myopia Profile.
Myopia Profile is the world’s largest and most popular multi-platform digital suite for myopia management. Founded in 2016 by optometrist husband-and-wife Dr Paul Gifford PhD and Dr Kate Gifford PhD, Myopia Profile has grown from sharing of Kate’s self-developed clinical paper-based tools to a comprehensive website, online learning academy, professional Facebook group and more, with over 3 million active engagements per year across the platforms. Myopia Profile’s public awareness arm, MyKidsVision.org, includes a website, short survey on myopia risk factors, How-To video guides, and social media platforms for parents to learn about childhood myopia and how they can seek the best options for their children.
“Almost two years since the publication of the IMI reports, a clinical shift is evident. Analysis of engagement within our professional discussion forum, the Myopia Profile Facebook group, indicates that posts which feature axial length measurement or interpretation as a key topic have grown from around 5% of posts in 2019 to 10% in 2020. Alongside this expansion in interest has been enormous growth in engagement with these posts, with two of the top five most engaging posts of December 2020 being on the topic of axial length measurement” said Dr Gifford.
Myopia Profile and OCULUS partner in eyecare education
OCULUS Optikgeräte GmbH is an Optical Device company headquartered in Germany, who celebrated their 125 year anniversary in 2020 as a trusted partner for research and clinical diagnostics by eye care professionals around the world. In 2019 OCULUS launched the Myopia Master, which combines autorefraction, axial length and keratometry measurement with innovative risk and output analysis software for clinical management and patient education, powered by technology from the Brien Holden Vision Institute.
Christian Kirchhübel, CEO of OCULUS announces: “We are excited about the cooperation. OCULUS is focused on supporting eye care professionals around the globe. We are dedicated to saving and improving vision and visual performance with our precise, reliable long-lasting measurement solutions. We are known for innovations and their transformation, from the lab bench to the dedicated general eye care professional.”
David Kern, Product Manager of the Myopia Master adds: “We listened to Eye Care Professional’s needs and designed and manufactured a device to efficiently manage myopia, the Myopia Master®. We aim to educate ECPs about the importance of axial length measurement but also learn vice versa. The partnership with Myopia Profile is best placed to accomplish that.”
Myopia Profile and OCULUS have commenced a partnership to increase ECP knowledge and clinical confidence in measurement and interpretation of axial length in myopia. Specific educational content, research summaries and case studies will be developed, to be housed on MyopiaProfile.com and shared across the partnership’s multiple platforms.
“Myopia Profile’s mission encompasses providing clinical education for ECPs, tools and resources to support clinical communication and practice, and increasing public awareness of childhood myopia. With our reach to ECPs and parents in over 150 countries, working with OCULUS at this leading edge of translating research into practice is timely and important” said Dr Gifford.
More on myopia
Myopia currently affects around one-third of the world’s population,(2, 3) and its prevalence is rapidly growing, appearing to be driven primarily by environmental factors such as intensive education, less childhood time spent outdoors.(3) Increased time spent on digital devices may also be a factor, although current findings on this relationship are mixed.(4)
Myopia typically onsets in childhood and rapidly progresses, or worsens, until early adulthood.(5) Higher levels of myopia are associated with higher lifelong risks of eye diseases such as cataract, retinal detachment and myopic maculopathy.(6) Myopia is projected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050, with almost 1 billion people at significant lifelong risk of eye disease due to high myopia.(2)
Childhood myopia progression cannot be stopped, but a growing body of research indicates that specific spectacle lenses, contact lenses and pharmacological interventions (eye medications) can slow down this progression. Altering a child’s visual environment to manage near-work time and increase time spent outdoors can also help.(7) Reducing childhood myopia progression has the benefit of clearer vision with less changes, but even more so reduces lifelong risk of vision impairment due to myopia-associated eye diseases.(8)
For more information on myopia in children for parents and the public, visit www.mykidsvision.org.
- Wolffsohn JS, Kollbaum PS, Berntsen DA, Atchison DA, Benavente A, Bradley A, et al. IMI - Clinical Myopia Control Trials and Instrumentation Report. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019;60:M132-M60.
- Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology. 2016;123:1036-42.
- Morgan IG, French AN, Ashby RS, Guo X, Ding X, He M, et al. The epidemics of myopia: Aetiology and prevention. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2018;62:134-49.
- Lanca C, Saw S-M. The association between digital screen time and myopia: A systematic review. Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 2020;40:216-29.
- Parssinen O, Kauppinen M, Viljanen A. The progression of myopia from its onset at age 8-12 to adulthood and the influence of heredity and external factors on myopic progression. A 23-year follow-up study. Acta Ophthalmol. 2014;92:730-9.
- Flitcroft DI. The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Prog Retin Eye Res. 2012;31:622-60.
- Bullimore MA, Richdale K. Myopia Control 2020: Where are we and where are we heading? Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics. 2020;40:254-70.
- Bullimore MA, Brennan NA. Myopia Control: Why Each Diopter Matters. Optom Vis Sci. 2019;96:463-5.