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How does ophthalmology look at myopia management?

thumbnail childs ortho k 2There was a pediatric ophthalmologist who told his patient that Ortho-K, a form of myopia management, is a hoax, and a waste of time and money. This caused the patient to feel that they were scammed. While I wouldn’t say it’s a vast majority, and I would say it’s getting better, of course, but I think quite a few ophthalmologists just don’t care about myopia management or they give a bad feel to it.

You know, they have more of a surgical mindset. I think the medical model is predominant and pediatricians refer to pediatric ophthalmologists and assume that somebody who is a surgeon is supposed to be somebody who knows everything, plus they also know surgery, and that’s not the fact at all. They know surgery; they don’t know everything else, the same way if you have a problem with your teeth, you wouldn’t go to an oral surgeon. I often say that when you’re getting an opinion from an ophthalmologist, you’re getting an opinion from somebody who is an expert in a different area. They don’t understand the vision, they understand the structure.

That’s why they may discount vision therapy. That’s why they prefer LASIK as opposed to myopia management, and there certainly are doctors and there certainly are ophthalmologists who do myopia management, but what they’ve gone to school for, what they learn is more along the lines of, you’ve got that disease, here’s the medication for it. You’ve got strabismus, here’s the surgery for it. So there’s very much medication and surgical mindset as opposed to, “Let’s deal with the underlying problem.”

Somebody wants to learn how to play Beethoven, there’s no surgery for Beethoven, okay? You have to learn the skills, and vision is very much a learned skill. Managing nearsightedness is a learned skill that doesn’t have a quick and easy fix.

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