Myopia: How Specsavers independent optometrists are working together

The World Health Organization declared myopia a global public health concern, with approximately half of the global population predicted to have myopia by the year 20501. Untreated myopia can lead to serious vision conditions later in life such as myopic macularopathy, retinal detachments, cataracts and glaucoma.

Given that myopia progresses mainly during childhood, there is a key window to intervene with preventative strategies, when the eye is more susceptible to growth and subsequent vision changes. This can reduce the risk of a patient developing sight-threatening conditions in adulthood due to the structural changes of the eye.

Optometrists within the Specsavers network raised an interest in introducing myopia management into their practice. Specsavers engaged its Optometry Steering Groups, a committee of independent optometrists in each province, on developing a training program with the option to introduce it to their practice.

The training program was designed in partnership with industry leaders to allow optometrists, opticians and their teams to receive comprehensive training to provide myopia management care and products.

Specsavers interviewed Drs. Maegan Folk, Ramandeep Toor and Theodor Buzea on their involvement with the Optometry Steering Groups and myopia management.

Why was introducing myopia management into your clinic important?

Dr Toor: After the pandemic, with work-from-home and more screen time, I was noticing that there was a significant increase in myopia. I grew up very myopic and I did not want my patients to have that struggle.

Dr Folk: Myopia is becoming more prevalent and will impact a growing number of people. Myopia control is something I’ve always wanted to incorporate into my clinic. Specsavers gave me the tools and they spearheaded the initiative. My clinic was one of the pilot clinics; it was fun to learn about it, bring it on and help start the initiative.

Dr. Buzea: I had been doing myopia management for a few years before becoming an Optometry Partner with Specsavers. I wanted to make sure that I was offering it again because I had seen the benefits to patients.

Would you have any recommendations for other optometrists considering myopia management?

Dr Buzea: If you’re feeling hesitant about myopia management, do some research. You’ll quickly realize why it’s so important for your patients.

Dr Toor: Incorporating myopia management within your clinic is a huge asset to have. Not many other clinics offer it and if you can implement these myopia control strategies early on, you can make a big difference for the patients.

Can you describe the purpose of the Optometry Steering Group?

Dr Folk: The purpose of the optometry steering group is to help develop the clinical road map for optometrists within Specsavers. I wanted to be a part of it to help guide how optometry will look in Canada. Specsavers does a good job of collaborating with us and taking our recommendations back to their lead team and I feel they are here to help us.

Dr Toor: We are a group of optometrists who specialize in constantly evolving the scope of practice. The group discusses further development of our clinical partnerships and how we can make further advances in our clinics. We also discuss the trajectory of optometry and share our best practices with one another.

Dr Buzea: Being part of the optometry steering group means that we can run projects and pilots. This allows Specsavers to go forward and present to the network of optometrists so we can make sound decisions. I want to make sure that we’re providing premium care. Not just the golden standard, but going above and beyond. As part of the steering group, I want to be responsible for helping provide newer and better technologies to patients. Providing tools and resources to optometrists in the Specsavers network can help empower eyecare professionals to get ahead of the curve to change the predicted trajectory of myopia. Many teams have already reported impressive numbers of patients receiving this care. Together we’re helping to make an impact in changing lives through better sight – not just in the short-term, but also in the future.


  1. Nouraeinejad A. More Than Fifty Percent of the World Population Will Be Myopic by 2050. Beyoglu Eye J. 2021 Dec 17;6(4):255-256. doi: 10.14744/bej.2021.27146. PMID: 35059569; PMCID: PMC8759558.2. Holden BA, et al. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology, 2016. 123(5): p. 1036-42.
Watch film