Myopia has been growing at a rapid rate in children, and it significantly increases a child’s risk for more serious eye diseases— even blindness—in adulthood. Myopia prevalence in the 5- to 19-years-old age group of American children is 42 percent, according to recent research.

Yet because so few parents are familiar with myopia, it goes untreated in staggering numbers, creating barriers for children.

If there’s any bright spot to the rise in kids’ screen time from virtual learning and online gaming, it may be that it’s prompting new awareness of myopia—and also new ways to manage it.

Myopia management is a long-term treatment program to keep the level of myopia as low as possible, and to reduce children’s risk of developing eye disease. It can involve the use of eyeglasses, contact lenses and eye drops—all scientifically proven to aid in the control of myopia progression. Myopia management has shown to decrease myopia progression by up to 78 percent.

The widespread push for myopia management is visible on many fronts.

Just last month (August 2020), CooperVision announced that popular U.S. television actress and producer Sarah Michelle Gellar is the spokeswoman for its Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program. This new, multichannel direct-to-consumer advertising campaign featuring Gellar will highlight the importance of annual comprehensive eye exams in monitoring the progression of myopia in children. It will be one of the largest consumer myopia management campaigns in the U.S. with a $33 million advertising value.

In addition, Jobson joined the Global Myopia Awareness Coalition (GMAC) last year as the official North American media sponsor for the group, which seeks to raise public awareness of childhood myopia, one of the major public health issues of our time.

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