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Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress

Tasmanian Lifestyle Congress continued………….

Today, current approaches to manage myopia progression include atropine, Ortho-K and bifocal or progressive PAL spectacle lenses.
Atropine has been shown to slow down the progression of myopia however it has side effects including photophobia and reduced accommodation as well as long term safety concerns. (Chua et al, Opthalmology, 2006)
Ortho-K was originally developed to control refractive error however it is believed flattening the central cornea induces an effective peripheral power profile that may control eye growth. Disadvantages of Ortho-K include discomfort and increased risk of infections, also fitting this lens requires specific fitting and management skills. (Cho et al, Current Eye Research, 2005)
Bifocal and PAL spectacles have been used to try and slow the rate of progression of myopia. Results are variable and mixed mainly due to poos compliance of the patient. (Gwiazda et al, Invest Ophthal Vis Sci, 2003)

At TLC Jo Tanner, of Cooper Vision, talked about a dual focus myopia control daily disposable contact lens called MiSight. The lens was part of a three-year study carried out in Singapore, Canada, UK and Portugal on 150 myopic children aged between 8-12. The results presented at the BCLA (British Contact Lens Association) conference in Liverpool, UK showed the lens was effective in slowing myopia progression in children by 59%. This lens is currently on trial in Australia and may be available to us in the New Year or sooner.

All three, Kate, Paul and Joe agreed that contact lenses may be the way forward, when fighting the battle of myopia progression. Studies have shown children like the idea of wearing contact lenses, are more compliant than adults and parents are happy with children wearing contact lens provided they heave control of the lens wear.

After listening to Paul, Kate and Joe talk, the one take home message from the conference was that myopia progression will become a global epidemic unless we help tomorrows generation, whether it is with PAL/Bifocals, contact lenses, Atropine or Ortho-K or maybe putting the Ipad down and playing outside in the sun. The time to educate and advise has never been more important.

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