International, Local, News, Ophthalmology, Optometry, Research

Study reveals age optometrists are most comfortable fitting CLs in paediatric myopes

A new global myopia survey that involved Australian participants has revealed optometrists are comfortable with fitting children with contact lenses from 9-years-old while for parents the average age is 12.

CooperVision’s recently released ‘Global Myopia Attitudes and Awareness Study’ also demonstrated that while 82% of eyecare professionals worry their young patients will have significant eye health issues associated with myopia in future, 54% of them believe parents don’t understand the risks.

The survey involved 402 eyecare professionals and 1,009 parents with children ages six to 15 across Canada, Spain, the UK, Germany, Hong Kong and Australia and New Zealand.

In other findings, globally parents were more familiar with the term ‘nearsightedness’ than myopia, though the difference varied between countries. For example, at least eight in 10 parents expressed familiarity with ‘nearsightedness’ across all surveyed countries (82-98%), but only Spain (91%), Hong Kong (86%), and Australia and New Zealand (90%) could say the same for the term myopia.

Once parents had myopia explained to them, 87% were open to learning more about management solutions.

An infographic of the study can be found here. 

In terms of fitting contact lenses, 84% of eyecare professionals said they would consider them for their paediatric myopes to slow progression. Half of the respondents were comfortable fitting myopic children from the age of 8, with this increasing to three-quarters by age 10. The average starting age eyecare professionals were comfortable with was 9.1 years.

However, 58% of eyecare professionals said parents don’t want to put their children in contact lenses.

And for parents who would consider contact lenses, they preferred their children to start at an older age. According to parent data, half were were comfortable with their children wearing contact lenses from 11. This increased to three-quarters by age 14. The average starting age parents were comfortable with was 11.7 years old.

According to CooperVision, after learning specifically about its MiSight 1 day myopia control lens, 76% of parents believed it was safe and easy to use for children as young as 8-years-old.

“In these results, we see both opportunity and encouragement for myopia management globally,” Ms Jennifer Lambert, CooperVision’s senior director of global myopia management, said.

“A top priority for us and many of our partners is to strengthen myopia awareness among parents worldwide. This is an important step toward our vision for myopia management as a standard of care, and it will take teamwork and commitment from industry, eyecare professionals, paediatricians, parents and others to succeed.”

She added: “The indication that parents are open to learning about solutions once they understand the condition is welcome encouragement that these efforts will prove effective and worthwhile.”

More reading

Chinese myopia-lockdown study a portent for Australia

Myopia Profile and CORE join forces

Atropine dose comparison shows a clear winner for myopia control