This is my first blog post as the newly selected chairperson of an OAA committee tasked by the board to create a myopia prevention and control protocol. That is an exciting and important opportunity and I am honored and humbled to be given the appointment. The board has given me essentially free rein to pursue this endeavor using every modality available, of which orthokeratology is only one. Our first goal is creation of a document that will guide practitioners with the latest available data to maximize our ability to stop myopia.
I am only now putting the committee together so I am as excited as anyone to see where this will take us. Emmetropization and myopia development have had an explosion of meaningful research in the last ten years and modern orthokeratology found a scientific explanation for what most doctors were seeing with their patients: we can significantly slow myopia. There are other significant things that can be done. The committee will consist of leading researchers and practitioners in this emerging field and I will be tasking them with creating a coherent, compact guide to where we are currently. My personal goal is to help us all develop myopia prevention practices. Your association will continue to offer the world's best education in all things orthokeratologic. The design, fitting, trouble shooting and practice management of orthok lenses continues to evolve and we will learn about it all through the continuing education offerings. It gives me great pleasure to be part of such a dynamic part of vision care.
I created a website a bit over a year ago at http://www.MyopiaPrevention.org It was my attempt to bring the idea of myopia control to both patients and doctors. All of the good and bad of the site is totally mine - it was a labor of love with almost no input from others, especially a good graphic artist and web designer! You will find two menu items the most interesting - Treatments and Research. The Treatments menu lists most of the options that are available and the Research sections offer you direct links to over 200 articles about myopia development and control. And then one afternoon I decided I needed a protocol, so I made one up and put it under the For Doctor menu. My main expectation was that I'd get people to disagree with me, but that really didn't happen. I knew I had not created a quality document but I hoped it would lead to a discussion that could create a consensus of what myopia prevention should look like. I'm excited to say that I think that is now going to happen. I'm looking forward to replacing that page.
Myopia prevention and control is going to rock our profession and your practices are going to be at the forefront. We have the ability to slow myopia right now and our ability is improving rapidly. Considering that care of the myope for more than a century has mostly been a variation of "prescribe minimal minus to best VA", it is going to be a radical change to say "prescribe to prevent myopia." Just think what will happen when every doctor is doing that.
Richard L. Anderson, O.D., F.O.A.A.
Richard L. Anderson, O.D. is a fellow of the academy and has been assigned to head a committee tasked with creating a myopia prevention protocol. He has practiced in Camarillo California for more than a few years and his passion for myopia prevention led him to most recently create a website for patients and doctors at http://www.MyopiaPrevention.org.