Myopia, often referred to as near-sightedness, is when a person’s long-distance vision is blurry. A person who is myopic can see things clearly up close, but objects far away are blurry.
Myopia is growing increasingly common among children today. Unfortunately, childhood cases of myopia tend to get progressively more severe as the child gets older.
Why should you be interested in myopia control? Because slowing the progression of myopia may keep your child from developing high levels of nearsightedness that require thick, corrective eyeglasses and have been associated with serious eye problems later in life, such as early cataracts or even a detached retina.
Myopia control is a treatment designed to slow down myopia progression. By controlling your child’s myopia, you can help keep it from getting significantly worse, preserving their distance vision and keeping their prescription lighter for adulthood. There has been more and more research demonstrating that Ortho-K lens wear is one of the leading methods in slowing down a child’s nearsightedness.
At ECLANT, we utilize the latest technology and research to offer the best management option for each patient and child. Ortho-K utilizes a specialty contact lens designed to gently mold the cornea (or front surface of the eye). Ortho-K lenses are a special kind of rigid contact lenses that your child wears overnight. The lens gently reshapes your child’s cornea correcting their myopia. The lens is taken out in the morning and the cornea keeps its new shape. It is designed to be worn only while you sleep and when removed in the morning, allow you to see clearly and naturally without any eyeglasses or daytime contact lenses. Ortho-K is a great option to being glasses-free without having to do surgery.
Ortho-K/Precision Corneal Molding
Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, is a nonsurgical alternative to refractive surgery, that reshapes the cornea with a series of custom-designed, gas permeable contact lenses that are worn overnight, while the patient is asleep. These lenses reshape the cornea overnight to provide improved vision during the day. Orthokeratology is a gentle, safe, and reversible procedure that was approved by the FDA in 2002.
Patients can obtain clear vision, with no need for glasses or contact lenses, without refractive surgery. While results of Ortho-K are temporary, they can be maintained by wearing the contact lenses overnight.
The practice of orthokeratology has been in use for several decades, even though, at that time, Ortho-K contacts were not originally approved by the FDA to be worn overnight. The overnight wear of cornea-reshaping lenses has been approved by the FDA and has helped to improve the appeal and effectiveness of this treatment.
Are You A Candidate For Ortho-K?
Ortho-K is ideal for patients with myopia, or nearsightedness, of up to six diopters or astigmatism of up to -1.75 diopters, although the best results are often achieved in patients with lower amounts. Patients who do not want to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day, but do not mind wearing them at night, often choose Ortho-K instead of surgery for vision correction. Dr. Johnson is an expert in the field of Ortho-K.
Many people who may not be candidates for LASIK, including teenagers and adolescents, seek treatment with Ortho-K instead, because the treatment can be performed on patients of all ages, as long as their eyes are healthy.
Certain patients may not be eligible for Ortho-K including those with the following conditions:
- Corneal infection
- Systemic disease
- Eye disease
- Eye injury
The doctor will be able to determine whether or not this procedure is appropriate after a thorough medical evaluation of the patients eyes and their overall health.
How Ortho-K Works
Ortho-K reshapes the cornea to allow light to properly focus on the retina for improved vision. To begin treatment, the doctor will measure the precise curvature of the corneas with a corneal topographer to determine the amount of correction needed in order for to achieve vision correction.
Temporary contact lenses will be provided while customized lenses are crafted. These lenses will be worn overnight and results may begin to be noticed the very next day. While only one pair of lenses is often needed to improve vision, some patients may require additional lenses in order to achieve their desired results.
Once desired vision improvements have been achieved, patients will wear special lenses while they sleep in order to maintain their new vision levels. If wear is discontinued, vision will gradually return to its original level.
The Benefits Of Ortho-K
Corneal reshaping offers many benefits over other forms of lens correction, especially for those patients who do not wish to undergo surgery or do not want to deal with the hassle of wearing glasses or contacts every day. This noninvasive nonsurgical treatment achieves results while patients sleep, making it convenient for nearly anyone. While results are not permanent, they are often more consistent than surgical results, in which vision may begin to blur.
The Results Of Ortho-K
With Ortho-K treatment, patients often see an improvement of two to three diopters in less than two weeks. During this initial period, you may experience glares and halos, but these side effects will subside with time. Results are not permanent, and will require continuous wearing of the contact lenses overnight in order to maintain the desired vision results.
Despite its ongoing maintenance care, most patients find the contact lenses used for Ortho-K to be comfortable. Even patients who experience discomfort or lens awareness with ordinary contact lenses are usually not bothered by Ortho-K lenses since they are worn during sleep.