Can Ortho-K Lenses Stop Myopia from Getting Worse in Children?
Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, is a common type of refractive error where close objects appear clear but distant objects appear blurry. Myopia develops in eyes that focus images in front of the retina instead of on the retina, which results in blurred vision. This occurs when the eyeball becomes too long and prevents incoming light from focusing directly on the retina. It may also be caused by an abnormal shape of the cornea or lens.
Who is at risk for nearsightedness?
Myopia or nearsightedness can affect both children and adults. The condition affects about 25 percent of Americans. Nearsightedness is often diagnosed in children between 8 and 12 years of age and may progress or worsen during the teen years. People whose parents are nearsighted may be more likely to get the condition.
Related Resources: Ways to Control Myopia Progression in Children
What are Ortho-K lenses?
Ortho-K lenses (orthokeratology), are an extremely valuable tool in our myopia treatment arsenal. Ortho-K lenses are rigid gas-permeable contact lenses that are worn overnight and removed in the morning upon awakening. These lenses are specially designed and fitted to reshape the cornea overnight while the wearer sleeps. Upon waking, the patient removes the lenses and enjoys clear vision for the rest of the day. Patients will NOT need to wear any eyeglasses or contact lenses at all during the day but can see clearly on their own after removing their Ortho-K lenses.
To achieve the best results possible. Ortho-K lenses are custom-fitted for each patient. Your eye doctor will take measurements of your cornea and create a set of Ortho-K lenses tailored to the unique shape of your eye. These lenses fit perfectly and allow air to pass through, making them safe and comfortable for overnight use.
How effective is Ortho-K for children?
Myopia is prevalent in children, with around 40% of kids in the US showing signs of this condition. A child with one or two nearsighted parents is even more likely to develop myopia.
Ortho-K is an important development in myopia treatment for children because it can not only correct myopia in the short term but actually prevent it from progressing further. This is critical because left untreated; myopia can progress as the eye continues to grow and can lead to more serious eye health problems, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, or macular degeneration. That’s why regular eye exams matter, even in kids with normal vision. Catching and treating myopia early can reduce the risk of developing these serious conditions later.
Related Resources: Treatments for Myopia in Childhood and How to Protect Your Child
Reasons to choose Ortho-K
Ortho-K lenses offer an efficient way to slow or even stop the progression of myopia in children. Kids are not candidates for surgical procedures, and Ortho-K is safe and suitable for all ages. As such, it is currently considered one of the best choices for myopia management in children.
Another way that Ortho-K helps kids is by keeping them from having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. Kids often lose glasses or contact lenses, and replacement costs for these items can add up. Because Ortho-K lenses are worn only to bed, they are much less likely to become lost or damaged. Especially if your child plays sports or leads an otherwise active lifestyle, not needing to wear corrective lenses during the day can be a significant convenience.
Related Resources: Am I a Good Candidate for Ortho-K Lenses? Here’s How to Find Out
If your child is experiencing signs of myopia, such as blurry vision, headaches, or eyestrain, contact us for an appointment. We have the training and up-to-date technology to provide the best eye care available and look forward to helping your child see better for life.