ESSILOR OF AMERICA PARTNERS WITH TOP VISION EXPERTS TO COMBAT RISE OF MYOPIA
Newly formed Myopia Taskforce will establish industry-leading protocol for care that encourages early detection and comprehensive myopia management solutions.
PHOENIX – January 8, 2019 – Responding to a dramatic increase in prevalence of myopia in the U.S. in recent years, Essilor has announced a partnership with fourteen leading vision experts to take bold, immediate action to better treat and manage myopia.
Essilor announced its plan, which includes the establishment of a new Myopia Taskforce, at its annual sales meeting Tuesday, where industry heavy-hitters joined Essilor executives in pledging their commitment to establishing a recommended protocol and preferred method for comprehensive myopia care as part of the
Myopia Initiative in Action, or “MIA” program, which will be available to the optical industry later this year. “The rate at which the prevalence of myopia is increasing is staggering,” said Millicent Knight, OD, FAAO, FAARM, senior vice president of customer development at Essilor of America. “True to our mission of improving lives by improving sight, we are bringing together some of the industry’s top eye care professionals with diverse areas of myopia interest and expertise to address this problem together through new research and open collaboration.”
It is estimated(1) that nearly half of all Americans are expected to suffer from myopia by 2020 if appropriate steps aren’t taken to curb its rise. Essilor is focused on reversing that trend as part of its larger goal of eradicating poor vision in a generation.
“Myopia is more than simply a refractive error and it is increasing at an alarming rate,” said taskforce member John Lahr, OD, FAAO. “While refractive error remains the primary reason that most individuals seek eye examinations, we must view and treat myopia with a more comprehensive approach going forward.”
Fourteen highly-regarded vision experts have so far signed on to participate in the Myopia Taskforce:
- Dr. Thomas Aller
- Dr. David Anderson
- Dr. Craig Brawley
- Dr. Mark Bullimore
- Dr. Alan Glazier
- Dr. John Lahr
- Dr. Maria Liu
- Dr. Pamela Lowe
- Dr. Moshe Mendelson
- Dr. Pamela Miller
- Dr. Yi Pang
- Dr. Earl Smith
- Dr. Long Tran
- Dr. David Troilo
In 2018, Essilor launched an awareness campaign focused on myopia, particularly among children, which educated parents about early indications of nearsightedness and urged them to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for their children. The campaign included the release of “Out of Focus,” a first-of-its-kind, animated theatrical trailer, depicting the experiences of a young girl struggling with myopia. The film ran in movie theaters nationwide during the fall 2018 box office season.
“Out of Focus was a huge success for us last year, but it was just the beginning of our work to reverse the myopia trend,” said Sherianne James, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Essilor of America. “We have much hard work ahead of us, but with the right partners at the table, we are confident we can make a big impact in 2019.”
About Essilor of America, Inc.
Essilor, the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States, is driven by the company's mission of improving lives by improving sight. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 10,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the VARILUX®, CRIZAL®, TRANSITIONS®, XPERIO UVTM, EYEZENTM and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America, Inc. is the largest and most trusted optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of products and services to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International.
- Study published by the American Academy of Ophthalmology