Petition Filed with FDA to Require Eye Care Professionals to Warn Parents that Distance Lenses Worsen Myopia

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The International Myopia Prevention Association (IMPA) has filed a Petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking enforcement action to require eye care professionals to advise parents of children with initial myopia that distance (minus) lenses worsen myopia and that myopia may be prevented by using reading (plus) lenses for computer usage and other prolonged close work.

The International Myopia Prevention Association (IMPA) has filed a Petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seeking enforcement action to require eye care professionals to advise parents of children with initial myopia that distance (minus) lenses worsen myopia and that myopia may be prevented by using reading (plus) lenses for computer usage and other prolonged close work.

The Petition is spearheaded by IMPA founder and author Donald Rehm in response to the absence of regulation for eye care professionals about what parents are told about the effect of distance (minus) lenses and the importance of using reading (plus) lenses for close work. A copy of the 58-page Petition and an animation explaining the basis for the Petition can be found at http://www.preventmyopia.org. Rehm is the author of the book: The Myopia Myth, The Truth About Nearsightedness And How To Prevent It.

Myopia is a significant health problem affecting at least 25 percent of all adults in the United States. In addition to causing blurred distance vision, myopia is a predisposing factor for retinal detachment, myopic retinopathy and glaucoma. Myopia is increasing worldwide, in part due to the increased amount of time spent in front of computer monitors.

Commenting on the Petition, Rehm said: “No one is even questioning why parents are told virtually nothing when eye care professionals prescribe glasses or contact lenses for their children. Hopefully, this Petition will at the very least trigger a serious debate about what consumers should be told. Let the eye care professionals justify why consumers are not given the information that they need. The time for change has come. Ophthalmologists and optometrists have an ethical and legal responsibility to reduce and prevent myopia if they can.”

About the International Myopia Prevention Association

The International Myopia Prevention Association was founded by Donald Rehm in 1974. Its mission is to increase public understanding of the causes and available treatments for myopia, and to help save the vision of young children.

For more information, visit http://www.preventmyopia.org.

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