No matter your level of experience in myopia management, you may be seeking solutions on how to better communicate with parents or streamline consults into an already busy practice. Recently, CooperVision hosted a panel of experts at Vision Expo West who shared their top myopia management tips.
Prescribe with Confidence: Kids Do Well in Contact Lenses
Some parents may believe their child is too young to wear contact lenses. If this scenario is playing out in your exam room, you can say with authority that kids as young as eight can achieve success as contact lens wearers, says optometrist Dr. Andrew Neukirch, Medical Director of Carillon Vision Care in Glenview, Illinois. If the parent’s worries are safety-based, Dr. Neukirch always points to the fact that 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.†1 For those parents who are concerned about their child’s ability to master lens insertion and removal, Dr. Neukirch shares this relatable anecdote: “I’ll ask the parent if their child is good at operating an iPad, and usually, the answer is yes. Then I’ll ask if the child is better at using the iPad than they are, and the answer is usually yes. I’ll then say, ‘Since your child is able to do this, I believe he is mature enough to technically handle putting a contact lens in his eye,’” Dr. Neukirch says.
Lean into your Myopia Management Staff Champions
Even eye care professionals (ECPs) whose appointment schedules generally run like clockwork can face time crunches between patients. That’s one reason it’s important to train and empower staff, since they can provide support to both the patient and the ECP during a myopia management visit, explains optometrist Dr. Ashley Tucker of Bellaire Family Eyecare in Bellaire, Texas. Dr. Tucker personally trained the practice’s two myopia management advocates, one of whom is always by her side in the exam room during consults. “They are as well versed about myopia management as I am,” Dr. Tucker says. “I’d love to say that I can manage every patient that comes in the office, but I can transition the baton to the people that I’ve trained when I need to step out and see another patient.” On these occasions, her myopia management advocate can continue the conversation on topics such as treatment options, fees and the myopia management contract. Additionally, families often appreciate having a staff person on hand to answer any follow-up questions, which is a plus for those parents who may be intimidated or uncomfortable asking their doctor what they may worry is a silly question, Dr. Tucker explains. “It’s been incredibly helpful to have that point person to triage questions.” In her experience, Dr. Tucker has found some families will call the office and ask specifically to speak to the myopia management advocate instead of the doctor, which in turn benefits her quality of life in the practice, she adds.
Share Your “Why” and Move Families to “Yes” on Myopia Control
Confidence is key when first prescribing myopia control treatment to parents, Dr. Neukirch states. During the educational component of the consult, Dr. Neukirch also shares his “Why” with parents. “I tell families that the main reason why I want to get their children into treatment is to reduce the risk of ocular disease later in life,”2 Dr. Neukirch says. If he’s still hearing no, he will make sure the patient schedules a follow-up visit in six months, since waiting a year is too long, he says. “This also communicates a sense of urgency to the parent. We do take axial length measurement readings during the first appointment so we can compare data,” he continues. For those parents who initially say no to treatment at the first visit, there is often progression found at the follow-up appointment. “Our capture rate at the second encounter is much higher,” he adds.
Launch Into Myopia Management with Ease
If you’re just getting started in myopia management, MiSight® 1 day offers ECPs an easy entry point, Dr. Neukirch says. “My favorite thing about the MiSightâ lens is that it comes in a fitting set. You’ve already got these lenses in your office, so if you’re just getting started with myopia management, there’s no question that this is the easiest way to start,” he says.
Additionally, age-appropriate children who are myopia management candidates are prime entry point opportunities to educate parents about myopia control. In these instances, Dr. Neukirch will also provide the families educational resources to take home and read. He’ll then suggest a one-week follow-up myopia consult visit with both parents. “Every single time we’ve done this, we’ve successfully gotten those age-appropriate kids into treatment,” he says.
*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.
†Compared to a single vision 1 day lens over a 3-year period.
Chamberlain P, et al. A 3-year randomized clinical trial of MiSight® lenses for myopia control. Optom Vis Sci. 2019; 96(8)556-567.
Tideman JW, et al. Association of axial length with risk of uncorrectable visual impairment for Europeans with myopia. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2016;134:1355 -1363.