Dr. Kristina Chen leads a busy life. She runs a solo-ECP MyEyeDr. office in Suwanee, Georgia, in addition to working several days a month at a second MyEyeDr. location in nearby Lawrenceville. Toggling between the two sites, Dr. Chen oversees a staff of four, including a new office manager, and her plate outside of the office is equally full, with a husband and two young daughters at home and a new baby on the way.
Despite an already brimming schedule, Dr. Chen recently added myopia management to her practice and describes the integration of this specialty into her day-to-day operations as a relatively easy process.
“I’ve always been really passionate about treating ocular disease,” Dr. Chen says. “Some people believe myopia is just a refractive error, but research has shown that it affects the eye in a more complex way than what was previously believed. My husband and I both have high myopia, and it made me think more about our children’s risk.1 This motivated me to help children with myopia achieve their best vision and eye health possible.”
Now that she’s reached a one-year milestone in myopia management, Dr. Chen continues to see rapid growth in this area of her practice and encourages her colleagues to follow suit by adopting it as standard of care.
“It’s really easy to get started in myopia management,” she suggests.
Here, Dr. Chen shares four simple principles that helped her successfully incorporate myopia management into her practice.
Cover Key Points in the Consult, But Keep it Brief
An ECP’s myopia discussion at the initial visit doesn’t need to be a drawn-out, lengthy speech, which could result in scheduling bottlenecks and information overload for families, Dr. Chen explains. Instead, a short, succinct myopia overview that covers the main points will spark parents’ interest, she adds.
“In the beginning, there was so much information to absorb, and I was excited to tell families everything there was to know about myopia management. Over time, I could see which parts of the discussion parents found interesting and which questions they asked most frequently, so I shortened my talk to the most important points, and I provide additional information in handouts and brochures that families can read at home,” she says.
Since many parents are unaware treatment options exist to slow myopia progression, Dr. Chen found communicating the basics motivates parents to learn more.
During the consult, Dr. Chen will also provide a short overview of treatment options. At her MyEyeDr. location, Dr. Chen prescribes MiSight® 1 day contact lenses. During her treatment discussion, Dr. Chen always mentions that MiSight® 1 day is the first FDA-approved* product proven to slow the progression of myopia in children, aged 8-12 at the initiation of treatment, a fact that she says goes a long way with parents.
Get Started with Your Existing Equipment, Knowledge and Schedule
1 day is a daily disposable soft contact lens, it’s simple to fit2,3and provides an easy entry for doctors to get started in myopia management, she explains.
“With MiSight®, doctors don’t need extra fitting and troubleshooting knowledge that’s often required with certain hard lenses,” she continues.
Additionally, practices aren’t required to invest in new equipment starting from day one and can rely on their existing technology to diagnose and manage myopia patients, Dr. Chen suggests.
For doctors who are interested in this specialty but concerned myopia-related visits will be too time-consuming, Dr. Chen affirms that extra chair time is minimal, and appointments can easily fit into even busy practices like her own, where exams are typically scheduled every 20 minutes.
Since myopia management consults sometimes require a slightly longer visit, Dr. Chen’s staff will look for a 30-minute appointment slot if available.
Rely on Available Resources for Staff Training and Parent Education
In the beginning, everyone in Dr. Chen’s office, including herself, was a newcomer to myopia management. To launch on the right foot, she and her staff took advantage of training resources provided by their CooperVision myopia management specialist, who continues to provide support to the office.
Dr. Chen and her team also use CooperVision’s numerous in-office education and marketing tools. The wealth of material available to ECPs includes patient brochures, consumer education videos, age-norm tear pads, parent education binders, and digital myopia simulators that give parents a first-hand glimpse of how their child with myopia sees the world. ECPs can also refer families to a myopia resources. One of Dr. Chen’s favorite educational tools is the myopia binder. She keeps one in each of her exam rooms and will flip through it during the visit to illustrate how myopia alters the shape of the eye, which can lead to eye health problems in the future.
ECPs can also lean into myopia management educational opportunities outside of the office. Dr. Chen recently attended a myopia management workshop hosted by CooperVision. These full-day events are designed to accelerate a practice’s clinical and business success and provide participants with the opportunity to learn from their peers.
“The Denver workshop I attended was so insightful,” Dr. Chen says. “The best part was gaining knowledge from speakers and networking with other doctors who are already involved in myopia management.”
Reap the Rewards
Once you get started in myopia management, one of the most rewarding aspects of this specialty is seeing positive results. Over the past year, Dr. Chen witnessed how treatment has helped slow myopia progression in the age-appropriate children she treats. “I’ve had MiSight® patients with no change in a year’s time, and others who’ve only progressed by a quarter diopter. We always emphasize that treatment slows progress but doesn’t stop it. A quarter-diopter change is awesome, especially when we sometimes see an eight-step change in a year.”
Dr. Chen has also taken advantage of MiSight® 1 day’s recent parameter expansion, with the range in the U.S. now covering -0.50D to -7.00D in 0.50-D steps after -6.00 D. “We started a patient in a -6.50, so I was really happy that power was available, and the mother was happy that we could fit her age-appropriate child in the lens,” Dr. Chen explains.
A specialization in myopia management also helps differentiate Dr. Chen’s practice, and she continues to gain referrals from current patients and their families. During the recent back-to-school season, Dr. Chen noticed a surge in new and existing patients’ interest in myopia management.
“When we were first starting out, we discovered members of the community were already talking about myopia. We now routinely have families tell us, ‘My friend was just in your office, and she told me about your practice,” Dr. Chen says.
About Dr. Chen:
The reason Dr. Chen became an optometrist was due to her strong passion for helping others live their best lives through better vision. Her goal is to give every patient the best eye care possible and to make a difference in the overall quality of their lives. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband and children, traveling, hiking, exploring the outdoors, cooking, and yoga
*Indications for Use: MiSight(omafilcon A) daily wear single-use Soft Contact Lenses 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.
† Compared to a single-vision 1-day lens over a 3-year period.
‡ Initial CL BVP selection and observation of fit follows same fitting protocol for single vision CLs; fit success rate same with MiSight® 1 day and Proclear® 1 day.
1. Mutti DO, Mitchell GL, Moeschberger ML, Jones LA, Zadnik K. Parental myopia, near work, school achievement, and children's refractive error. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002;43(12):3633-3640. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.0412.
2. Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year Randomized Clinical Trial of MiSight® Lenses for Myopia Control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8)556-567.
3. CVI data on file 2018.