The Optometric Minute

Can Myopia Be Eradicated?

Sept. 20, 2017

Gary Gerber, OD, and Kevin Chan, OD, MS, FAAO, of Treehouse Eyes, discuss their quest to “rid the world of myopia.” Treehouse Eyes represents a new approach to slowing and, in some cases, halting creeping myopia in children by controlling the shape of the cornea, and not relying on a sequence of eyeglasses for vision correction as children age and their vision changes. Treehouse Eyes provides a unique, child-centered experience that departs from conventional vision care for young patients to address what Drs. Gerber and Chan see as a worldwide myopia epidemic.

Quest: Rid the World of Myopia
Approach Kids Differently in an Eye Exam

HUGE OPPORTUNITY. There is a myopia epidemic, affecting one-in-four children in the U.S. Myopia control can make a difference.

REDUCE DISEASE RISK. In addition to reducing the need for corrective eyewear and contact lenses, reducing myopia means reducing the risk of retinal complications and glaucoma later in life.

PROVIDE A KID-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT. A sign that’s also a white board that can be altered to write personalized messages to patients, low-level shelving with interactive objects, and carpet that can be cleaned easily, create a welcoming environment for children.

ALTERNATIVE TO EYEGLASSES. Glasses can run contrary to myopia control since they don’t control it, and may even make it worse if under-corrected.

 

A NEW APPROACH TO VISION CARE. Kids enter a lab, not an exam room, and they are engaged in the entire process of their vision correction. Keep the focus on the child, also explaining the process to parents.

WELCOME WHOLE FAMILY. Make room in pre-testing and exam rooms for the whole family to join the patient.

ENCOURAGE QUESTIONS. Have an interactive conversation in which the patient and parents feel they can ask questions at any point.

HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY. Be equipped to measure axial length every 6-8 months, as doing so is essential to myopia control.

USE ADJUSTABLE PRE-TESTING TABLE. Use a table that can be lowered to accommodate a child, and use instruments that also can be adjusted to keep children comfortable.

 

 

Gary Gerber, OD, is Chief Myopia Reduction Officer for Treehouse Eyes. He also is the founder of The Power Practice and hosts the weekly radio show The Power Hour. Contact: DrGerber@PowerPractice.com

Kevin Chan, OD, MS, FAAO, is the center director at Treehouse Eyes.

 

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