ST. LOUIS—The World Council of Optometry (WCO) and CooperVision have announced a global partnership to raise awareness of myopia progression and encourage optometrists to embrace a standard of care to manage the condition. The joint initiative’s standard of care definition and promotion will be centered around evidenced-based approaches without bias toward any particular treatment methodologies. In many cases, the latest resources related to the early intervention, control and correction of myopia have not been widely accessible or actively addressed in certain sectors and countries.

The partnership between WCO and CooperVision will establish a global resource to include multi-lingual myopia management resources and programming, among other elements that will be separately announced in the coming months.

“Myopia is arguably the most widespread epidemic faced by the global optometry community,” WCO’s president Paul Folkesson said in the announcement. “Yet despite the increased prevalence and severity of the condition and its detrimental impacts on eye health, a standard of care does not exist to stem myopia progression. That is a disservice to our profession, patients and public health.”

He added, “Together with CooperVision, which has been instrumental in creating the myopia management category over the past decade, we can make an even greater impact by providing the platforms, tools and support needed for further progress.”

CooperVision’s Gary Orsborn, OD, vice president of global professional, medical and clinical affairs, noted that the World Council of Optometry and CooperVision share a vision of “a planet where myopia is effectively managed and controlled, not just corrected at a young age.”

Orsborn added, “The WCO has a clear, resounding and respected voice within the global optometric community, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this important topic.”

Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, causes light rays to focus at a point in front of the retina rather than directly on the surface. It is projected to affect the vision of approximately five billion people globally by 2050, more than doubling today’s numbers. Myopic progression has been linked to sight-threatening conditions later in life such as cataracts, retinal detachment, glaucoma and myopic maculopathy.