We are at a turning point

A message from the President of the College of Optometrists.

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Welcome to the Spring edition of Acuity, the College journal dedicated to all aspects of professional development.

In our cover feature, Madeleine Bailey reports on myopia management, a topic of huge professional interest to me. This is a timely article, following the publication of College guidance and consensus statement, and more recently, the publication of the International Myopia Institute (IMI) white papers in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. All are important and valuable materials for researchers and clinicians.

Evidence shows promising results from a growing number of studies in myopia management, but there is still much to learn and we are at a vital point in the development of the evidence base. A number of interventions, including the use of orthokeratology, multifocal contact lenses and spectacle lenses, and low-dose atropine are showing significant clinical effects in the slowing of myopia progression. We must now push forward with further research to continue to build on the evidence for efficacy, continue to gather data to rule out adverse responses, and to monitor the crucial aspect around myopia management – what happens to refractive development and eye growth once a myopia control intervention is ceased?

So, research and clinical data collection are pivotal in the successful roll-out of myopia management. Solid data on the efficacy of an intervention is important. Awareness of the risks of adverse responses and monitoring for their occurrence, prediction of the likely outcome following cessation of an intervention, and the practical and economic impact for patients are all vital aspects of the clinical decision-making process. As clinicians and researchers, we should work together to build all aspects of this important evidence base. Myopia management is a departure from the usual correction of refractive error. It is a therapeutic intervention with the aim of altering the rate of eye growth. As a profession, we need to demonstrate that we are exercising care as well as a risk-based approach in this area of clinical work. High-quality research will underpin the patient safety, intervention efficacy and practitioner confidence aspects of this work. This is a very exciting area of work for optometry and, if exercised correctly, will be hugely beneficial for our patients. I hope you find the article informative and, as always, we welcome your feedback at editorial@college-optometrists.org.

This is a very exciting area of work for optometry and, if exercised correctly, will be hugely beneficial



Professor Edward Mallen BSc PhD MCOptom

Ed graduated in optometry from Aston University in 1998, and completed a PhD at the same institution in 2003. He is now Head of the School of Optometry and Vision Science, and Professor of Physiological Optics at the University of Bradford. He also holds the position of Honorary Professor with the School of Health Professions, Plymouth University, and Visiting Professor at Aston University. Ed was appointed College President in March 2018.

Ed is the Ex Officio of the Education and Standards and Research Committees and the Lay Advisory Panel.

E: ed.mallen@college-optometrists.org