Myopia is a common vision problem that affects approximately 30% of individuals. Many children and adults around the world suffer from nearsightedness. The refractive error often develops in childhood and tends to worsen, peaking in early adulthood. Studies show there are ways to stop the worsening of myopia. Orthokeratology is one of the most effective ways to halt or slow myopia progression.
Ortho-K is a myopia management treatment that involves the use of special contact lenses. The lenses are worn overnight and gently reshape the cornea. The clear dome over the eye surface (cornea) functions as an eye lens.
Changing the cornea shape can increase or decrease focusing power, reducing the need for eyeglasses or regular contacts. When the patient wakes up and removes the ortho-k lenses, the corneal change allows them to enjoy good vision all day. Patients must wear the lenses every night to maintain the new cornea shape.
Ortho-K lenses float over the eye's tear film and apply gentle pressure to the cornea. The water-based (hydraulic) pressure on the epithelium causes the cells to move from the center to the periphery. This movement helps to change the cornea’s shape, temporarily reshaping it and correcting the refractive error.
The gas-permeable overnight-wear lenses produce positive results within 24 to 72 hours. While some patients need to wear the lenses every night, others can wear them every other night. The frequency of wear will depend on the patient's vision condition.
Studies show ortho-k can reduce myopia progression in children by over 50%. Traditional myopia treatments, including eyeglasses and contact lenses, help to correct the vision. However, over time, patients will need a new prescription to deal with the gradual increase in refractive error.
The corrective lenses improve vision clarity, but they can also increase the eye's axial length. It is a major cause of myopia progression. Reshaping the cornea using orthokeratology can slow the progression.
Studies show that ortho-k can correct vision and slow myopia progression. Benefits of the management option include:
· It allows the child to see clearly all day without wearing glasses or contact lenses.
· It allows children to participate effectively in sports without glasses getting in the way.
· Preventing myopia progression can reduce the risk of developing certain eye diseases.
· Children experience satisfaction and improved self-esteem with ortho-k.
· Overnight lenses allow parents to supervise lens wear, cleaning, and care.
It is vital to wear ortho-k lenses as instructed to ensure effectiveness.
The ortho-k lens fitting process is similar to that of regular contact lenses. Eye specialists examine the eyes and measure the refraction to get the prescription. They measure the shape of the cornea to ensure the lenses fit perfectly.
The specialists teach children how to wear and remove the lenses. They also learn how to clean and care for them. Studies show that children are very proficient at learning how to handle contacts.
Ortho-K lenses are safe and effective for children. Research shows the lenses have a high safety profile with very few cases of infection reported. Note that poor hygiene and contact with water increase the risk of infection.
Studies show that if children are happy with the application and removal of the lenses, they can experience positive results. The efficacy of the myopia management option has seen an increase in popularity.
For more on how ortho-k reshapes your child's vision overnight, visit Memorial Vision at our office in Houston, Texas. Call (281) 496-1635 to book an appointment today.