The number of childhood myopia cases has risen dramatically in the past few years. In order to address this "myopia boom" effectively, eye care groups are organizing huge conferences to spread useful information.
The British Contact Lens Association (BCLA) has organized one such conference in Great Britain. Kate Gifford, the former president of Optometry Australia, will be leading a few BCLA roadshows in major cities like Manchester, London, and Birmingham in the month of September.
The title of Gifford's talks will be "Fitting Kids – The Facts And Figures of Myopia Control." As you could've guessed from the title, all of these events will focus on how to fit children with contacts for nearsightedness.
While these roadshows are specifically designed for people who own a children's contact lens clinic, any eye care professional is welcome to join. A few other issues Gifford will talk about include myopia control, future lens designs, and clinical cases.
Paul Gifford, an Australian contact lens specialist, will also share his findings at these roadshows. A few issues Paul Gifford will talk about include the latest research into contacts for kids and the science behind controlling myopia. Dr. Gifford currently works for Gerry and Johnson Optometrists in Brisbane.
Keith Tempany, the president of BCLA, told reporters he's proud to host both doctors in these special talks. Tempany said, "Myopia in children is more prevalent than ever before and as a profession we have to be aware of what we can do to treat it effectively."
The two doctors will give their first talks in the Manchester Museum on September 26th. The next day, they'll put on a roadshow in Birmingham's Think Tank. Finally, the doctors will conclude their tour at the Holiday Inn – London Wembley on the 28th.
All of these talks will take place between 6 – 9PM each night. People who are already members of BCLA can attend these talks for free. Any non-BCLA members who wish to join can purchase tickets for £25 each.
There are many theories attempting to explain the "myopia boom." A few reasons for this rapid rise in nearsightedness includes an overuse of electronic media, lack of sunlight, and a lack of key nutrients in children's diets.
Although this myopia boom is affecting children all around the world, it's particularly pronounced in Asian nations. Believe it or not, over 90 percent of young adults in nations like Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan are nearsighted. Only around 25 percent of UK children are myopic.
Sadly, around 15 percent of these myopic patients in Asia have high myopia. This means they have a higher chance of suffering serious vision problems in the future.
Children with unaddressed myopia have far greater difficulty at school and have a higher risk of mental disorders in adulthood. It's important for all parents to take their children to regular eye appointments, especially if they notice their child getting frequent headaches, wiping their eyes a great deal, or having difficulty seeing in the distance.