Over the past few years the idea of prescribing myopia control has started to trickle into mainstream practice. Myopia control is often featured at clinical and scientific meetings, and patients may even be directly asking about myopia control options.
ODs new to the world of prescribing myopia control or unsure about the concept may want to consider offering it to their patients for two reasons:1,2
• Myopia control works
• Billions of myopes around the world could benefit from it
Furthermore, because myopia control is a scientifically backed treatment option for reducing myopia progression,1 it is an OD’s clinical duty to inform patients about all of their potential treatment options.
In addition, offering myopia control has the potential to generate a significant amount of revenue for a practice.
The purpose of this article is to offer readers with a framework for building their own myopia control practice while at the same time providing a scientifically backed reference, which can be used to better educate patients and allow the practitioner to make sound clinical decisions.
Health literacy is a common problem in the United States and around the word,3 and recent data likewise suggests that a patient’s understanding of myopia is no different.4
Specifically, a study of 330 clinical subjects found that while 89 percent of subjects could correctly define “nearsightedness” when given a three-item multiple choice question, only 64 percent of subjects who were given the same three answers stems were able to correctly define “myopia,” a synonymous term. This limited ability to correctly define myopia was not associated with sex, income, or education.4
These data overall suggest that when treating a myopic patient, one should clearly define the condition to all patients.
This lack of understanding was also observed in our clinic. This deficiency caused us to create multiple patient education tools, such as a consent form, a simplified brochure that was based on the consent form, and a user-friendly website (uab.edu/eyecare/myopiacontrol), so patients could more easily comprehend their condition. This knowledge would also more likely make patients more compliant with their treatment.3,5
The below sections highlight key topics that should be covered in patient education materials along with additional information to help the practitioner with patient questions.
Related: Treating and diagnosing myopia
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