By David Hsu
On 13 March, OWAGG hosted Lions Eye Institute ophthalmologist Dr Antony Clark for a CPD lecture on myopia control.
The presentation was a success with a good turnout of 17 members. It was our first CPD event for 2017, which is a great indication of what is to come this year. Three therapeutic CPD points were allocated to this talk.
One of the reasons for such a high attendance was that the topic was relevant. Myopia is a rising epidemic with the increased use of computers and tablet screens in school for children. It has been projected that by 2050, 49.8 per cent of the world's population will have myopia and 9.8 per cent of the world population will have high myopia of > -5.00 D.1 There is a much needed place in optometry for myopia control.
Looking to the future, it will create an opportunity for the early career optometrists to lead the way in myopia control as they will all have the ability to prescribe ocular therapeutics.
During the talk, Dr Antony Clark talked about the efficacy of different concentrations of atropine eye-drops in myopia treatment. Recent studies have indicated that a low dose concentration (0.01%) would have a lesser rebound effect and consequently a better effect than the traditionally used 1% and 0.5% concentration.
Dr Clark recommends that children who are older than five years with documented myopia progression of > -0.5 D in six months may be suitable candidates. He also noted that due to its low dose in concentration, the eye-drop will have minimal side effects (1-2 mm pupil dilation, no systemic side-effects reported, allergy is very uncommon < 1%, loss of accommodation of 4 D).
Currently the use of low dose atropine in the treatment of myopia is not approved in Australia. Such dosage is available only through local compounding pharmacists, which may cost $60-$70 a bottle for the patient. With further evidence from future studies, and a push from the industry, this may change.
1. Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050.
The Welcome Picnic on 1 March was our first event for 2017, and 20 OWAGG members new and old came along to share some excellent food and company.
The event was held at Kings Park overlooking Perth CBD and the Swan River, so it was nice and relaxing with a fantastic atmosphere.
The focus of the evening was to allow our new members to meet the committee and other OWAGG members. Everyone was talking to each other so I call that a successful event!