Home News NPR Gives Assist to Myopia Awareness

NPR Gives Assist to Myopia Awareness

Earlier in May, NPR aired a four-minute segment on the importance of outdoor play as a factor in slowing myopia progression. The clip noted that 42% of the U.S. population is myopic, up from 25% in the 1970s. 

The segment notes the three therapies available. But it also reports findings from an Australian study that showed that children spending more time outdoors did not have myopia progress at the same rate as those who spent more time indoors. Findings from that report were enough to convince Taiwan’s education department to encourage at least two hours outdoors for primary school children. 

AWARENESS IS HELPFUL

U.S. optometrists say that reports like this help raise awareness. 

Dr. Erin Tomiyama, myopia expert
Dr. Tomiyama

Erin Tomiyama, OD, PhD, FAAO, at Marshall Ketchum University, says, “It’s great to see myopia getting recognition from large platforms like NPR since they will reach a broader audience. I also love that they included an appropriate and actionable recommendation of two hours of outdoor time per day. The only caveat is that we know that outdoor time is helpful in delaying the onset of myopia but not necessarily helpful once a child has already developed myopia.”

Dr. Michele Andrews heads up myopia education at coopervision
Dr. Andrews

Michele Andrews, OD, Vice President, Professional and Government Affairs, Americas, CooperVision,, says, “The NPR story has already aired in more than 80 markets across the U.S., reaching upwards of 52 million people so far. The importance of this type of recognition—of myopia’s growing prevalence, of the FDA-approved way to slow its progression and of ways to prevent it in the first place—can’t be overstated. It supports CooperVision’s own efforts to do the same, as well as efforts from GMAC, The Myopia Collective and others. The more we make parents and families aware, the better chance that the eye care community has of helping protect their children’s vision from getting worse.”

Cheryl Chapman, OD, FIAOMC, FAAO, Dipl ABO, of Gretna Vision Source in Gretna, Nebraska,, says that the average NPR listener may already have heard of myopia progression, “I’m super pleased this report is out there because NPR is a well-known source. It takes time to raise awareness,” she says, so segments like this certainly help. In fact, she added the link to her practice Facebook page to keep the awareness going. 

 

SHARE THE CLIP

Hear the NRP audio and read the accompanying article here

 

Featured photo credit: Getty Images

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