March 22, 2021

Program engages diverse coalition to prevent vision-threatening consequences of nearsightedness in young children

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 22, 2021—A recently announced initiative from the American Academy of Ophthalmology to protect children from the vision-threatening consequences of high myopia (nearsightedness) has attracted major financial support from CooperVision. The company will make a five-year commitment to help underwrite the program, part of its global leadership in developing evidence-based clinical and educational approaches that advance myopia management as standard of care.

The Academy-guided endeavor seeks to raise awareness of the increasing number of children at risk of developing high myopia and the effectiveness of new interventions to slow this common eye condition, so the worst consequences may be avoided. High myopia raises the risk of vision-threatening eye conditions such as retinal detachmentglaucoma, early cataracts and myopic maculopathy, a leading cause of blindness world-wide.1 

Genetics and environmental factors play key roles in myopia. But increasing prevalence appears to be driven by environmental factors, including less time outdoors. More time spent on near-work activities such as digital screen viewing may also play a role.2,3,4

Richard L. Abbott, MD, and Donald Tan, MD, led the Academy’s Myopia Task Force alongside recognized experts in myopia prevention and treatment, public health experts, and representatives from the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Optometry, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The resulting action plan is focused on education, research, public health and advocacy. Its components are designed to reach the health care community, policy makers, and the public about the challenges created by myopia progression, the value of outdoor time and early diagnosis.

“For more than a decade, CooperVision has been at the forefront of taking on myopia progression. We know that no single organization, treatment or category of healthcare professionals can effectively address its impact on children worldwide. Collaboration is the answer,” said Rajeev Garg, PhD, Global Head Myopia Management Strategy for CooperVision. “By partnering with the American Academy of Ophthalmology on this new initiative, we’ll be able to reach a broader spectrum of clinicians, officials and parents who play an essential role in improving the vision, long-term ocular health and overall lives of children.”

“Children need us to act now—there’s no time to waste,” Dr. Abbott said. “Those who progress to become high myopes have a 50 percent greater risk of glaucoma, are 17 percent more likely to need cataract surgery, and have a six times greater risk of retinal detachment and retinal tears. CooperVision’s support will assist our work with public health officials, pediatricians, researchers, and others to reduce myopia’s incidence rate, promote evidence-based interventions and slow progression. We are enthusiastic about their cooperation and deep dedication to the issue.”

CooperVision offers a range of myopia management approaches for the global ophthalmology and optometry communities. MiSight® 1 day myopia control soft contact lenses are the first FDA approved* product proven to slow myopia progression in children aged 8-12 at the initiation of treatment, and serve as the foundation for the company’s comprehensive Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program™. CooperVision Specialty EyeCare’s ortho-k brands include Paragon CRT® and CRT Dual Axis®, Procornea DreamLite® and GP Specialists. CooperCompanies and EssilorLuxottica recently entered into a joint venture agreement to accelerate commercialization of innovative spectacle lenses from SightGlass Vision, which are designed to reduce the progression of myopia in children. Approval and availability for each is country-dependent.

In addition to sponsoring the American Academy of Ophthalmology initiative, CooperVision supports other myopia-focused collaborative efforts around the world, including programs from the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness.

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* Compared to a single vision 1 day lens over a 3 year period.

1. Tideman JW et al. Association of axial length with risk of uncorrectable visual impairment for Europeans with myopia. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134:1355-1363.

2. Xiong S, Sankaridurg P, Naduvilath T, Zang J, Zou H, Zhu J, Lv M, He X, Xu X. Time spent in outdoor activities in relation to myopia prevention and control: a meta-analysis and systematic review. Acta Ophthalmol. 2017 Sep;95 (6):551-566. doi: 10.1111/aos.13403. Epub 2017 Mar 2. PMID: 28251836; PMCID: PMC5599950.

3. Huang HM, Chang DS, Wu PC. The Association between Near Work Activities and Myopia in Children-A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2015 Oct 20;10(10):e0140419. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140419. PMID: 26485393; PMCID: PMC4618477.

4. Lanca C, Saw SM. The association between digital screen time and myopia: A systematic review. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Mar;40(2):216-229. doi: 10.1111/opo.12657. Epub 2020 Jan 13. PMID: 31943280.

Indications for use: MiSight® 1 day (omafilcon A) soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses for daily wear are indicated for the correction of myopic ametropia and for slowing the progression of myopia in children with non-diseased eyes, who at the initiation of treatment are 8-12 years of age and have a refraction of -0.75 to -4.00 diopters (spherical equivalent) with ≤ 0.75 diopters of astigmatism. The lens is to be discarded after each removal.

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The Academy is the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons. A global community of 32,000 medical doctors, it protects sight and empowers lives by setting the standards for ophthalmic education and advocating for its patients and the public. The Academy innovates to advance the profession and to ensure the delivery of the highest-quality eye care. Through its EyeSmart® articles on, the Academy provides the public with the most trusted information about eye health. For more information, visit

About CooperVision
CooperVision, a division of CooperCompanies (NYSE:COO), is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of contact lenses. The company produces a full array of daily disposable, two-week and monthly soft contact lenses that feature advanced materials and optics, and premium rigid gas permeable lenses for orthokeratology and scleral designs. CooperVision has a strong heritage of addressing the toughest vision challenges such as astigmatism, presbyopia, childhood myopia, and highly irregular corneas; and offers the most complete portfolio of spherical, toric and multifocal products available. Through a combination of innovative products and focused practitioner support, the company brings a refreshing perspective to the marketplace, creating real advantages for customers and wearers. For more information, visit

About CooperCompanies
CooperCompanies ("Cooper") is a global medical device company publicly traded on the NYSE (NYSE:COO). Cooper operates through two business units, CooperVision and CooperSurgical. CooperVision brings a refreshing perspective on vision care with a commitment to developing a wide range of high-quality products for contact lens wearers and providing focused practitioner support. CooperSurgical is committed to advancing the health of women, babies and families with its diversified portfolio of products and services focusing on medical devices and fertility & genomics. Headquartered in San Ramon, Calif., Cooper has a workforce of more than 12,000 with products sold in over 100 countries.

News Release Contact:
Academy Media Relations
(415) 561-8534

Mike McDougall, McDougall Communications
(585) 434-2150