PRESS RELEASE
Tuesday, July 9, 2019
BCLA announces new Myopia Management Certificate



A new certificate in myopia management will allow eye care professionals to translate the latest research findings to their clinical practice as part of a drive to boost awareness of the “ticking timebomb” of a global eye health epidemic.

The BCLA certificate in myopia management, due to launch later this year, will help further raise its profile and bring it to the attention of a wider audience.

The online course will feature six narrated lectures and will include the latest evidence-based research presented in an easily accessible format to allow the learning to be shared and adopted by practice staff. 
The lectures will be delivered by a panel of renowned myopia management experts from around the world, including Gillian Bruce, Professor Pauline Cho, Professor Ian Flitcroft, Dr Nicola Logan, Prof Kathryn Saunders and Professor Jeff Walline.
Having worked with some of the leading researchers in the field to deliver this programme, past president Keith Tempany said: “Myopia has doubled in the UK in the past 50 years1. We now have a situation where almost one in five teenagers in the UK are myopic, with myopia most likely to occur between the ages of six and 13.
“This generation is set to be the most myopic the world has ever seen. We can’t simply stand by and do nothing. We need to wage war on this condition. It’s a ticking timebomb.
“This certificate gives us an opportunity to create a band of myopia management visionaries and advocates who can make a long-lasting difference to the eye health of generations to come.”
Myopia increases the risk of sight threatening disorders such as glaucoma, cataract, retinal holes and tears and a type of macula degeneration that is a leading cause of visual impairment2, which sadly is untreatable.
By 2020, it is estimated there will be 2.6 billion myopes in the world. This is likely to reach five billion by 2050, nearly half the world’s population3.
All those taking part in the programme will learn to appreciate the increasing epidemiology and burden of myopia, understand the risks for onset and progression of myopia, differentiate between the different myopia management strategies and consider when to implement.
Guidance will be given on how best to communicate the rationale for myopia management with children and parents and how to develop an appropriate myopia management strategy to use in practice. 
The CET-accredited programme forms part of BCLA’s commitment to supporting its members, who will be able to access all online materials required for this course free of charge.
It is the latest addition to the BCLA’s growing education portfolio, adding to the Dry Eye certificate which has proved popular with members since its introduction in 2017.
For more details, visit www.bcla.org.uk.

Notes to editors
For further information, or to arrange further interviews, please call Daniel Owens from Orange Juice Communications on 07909 916668 or email daniel.owens@ojpr.co.uk
1 McCullough SJ, O’Donoghue L, Saunders KJ (2016) Six Year Refractive Change among White Children and Young Adults: Evidence for Significant Increase in Myopia among White UK Children. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0146332. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0146332
2 Causes of visual impairment in people aged 75 years and older in Britain: Evans et al Br J Ophthalmology March 2004  and Flitcroft, Ian. (2012). The complex interactions of retinal, optical and environmental factors in myopia aetiology. Progress in retinal and eye research. 31. 622-60. 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2012.06.004.  
3 Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050: Holden et al Ophthalmology 2016;123:1036-1042 a 2016 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.