If your child has just been diagnosed with myopia (nearsightedness), you might be wondering about your options to correct it. Of course, wearing glasses or contacts everyday can help treat myopia, but many are unaware of orthokeratology, an alternative, effective, and convenient solution for vision correction.
Not only can orthokeratology (Ortho-K) correct myopia on a daily basis, but it can also help control myopia progression in children. At The Eye Doctors, our doctors are experts in Ortho-K treatments and want to help you learn more about this groundbreaking advancement in the field of optometry so you can determine if Ortho-K is right for your child.
What is Ortho-K?
Myopia occurs when the cornea, the front, clear portion of the eye, is misshapen. When light enters the misshapen cornea, it cannot focus properly, causing problems with distance vision.
Ortho-K uses specially designed contacts to temporarily reshape the cornea and correct nearsightedness. You’ll sometimes hear these lenses referred to as corneal refractive therapy (CRT) lenses — worn while your child is sleeping.
The CRT lenses act as a mold that gently reshape your cornea so that you can see clearly throughout the day, eliminating the need to wear daily contacts or glasses.
Who Can Use Ortho-K?
Ortho-K can work wonders for both adults and children, however, the best results have been shown for children between the ages of 6 and 12.
Regardless of age, Ortho-K is designed to correct vision for light to mild myopia and isn’t suggested to address severe myopia that is -4 diopters or lower. Strong candidates for Ortho-K also have good overall eye health. Speaking with an experienced optometrist at The Eye Doctors is the best way to determine if Ortho-K is the right choice for your child’s specific vision correction needs.
Why Should My Child Use Ortho-K?
Ortho-K Can Prevent Myopia Progression
Is your child’s myopia getting more severe? It may be because myopia can progressively worsen, especially in children. This has been a growing problem worldwide and has spurred research on treatments that will lessen the progression of nearsightedness.
After a two-year study, researchers found that Ortho-K can have both a corrective and preventive/control effect in childhood myopia. This means that controlling myopia can help lessen the chances of a child contracting serious eye conditions later in life, such as:
- Cataracts: Researchers found that highly myopic eyes tend to develop cataracts earlier than normal eyes
- Glaucoma: The Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney studied myopia and glaucoma and found that those with myopia are two to three times more likely to develop glaucoma compared to those without myopia
- Retinal Detachment: It was discovered that those with myopic eyes are four times more likely to experience a retinal detachment compared to nonmyopic eyes
If you have any questions about your child’s refractive issues and how they will affect their sight later in life, our professional eye doctors are always happy to help.
You’re Sick of Replacing Glasses
At the Eye Doctors, we know that life is messy and that accidents happen. Lenses get scratched, earpieces and nosepieces need adjusted, and glasses are broken past the point of no return or even lost, but this isn’t the case for children who use Ortho-K.
By wearing CRT lenses throughout the night, children won’t have to wear other corrective eyewear during the day, and you won’t have to worry about frequent maintenance or replacement.
Ortho-K Grants Children Freedom
If you wear glasses or contacts yourself, it’s probably easy to understand how children can feel limited by using corrective eyewear.Some of our young patients simply don’t want to wear glasses. They think that wearing glasses will change how their classmates view them or will get in the way during sports or other activities. In some cases, we’ve even had parents who report that their child would rather have blurry vision than wear their glasses.
In this case, we recommend Ortho-K. Children only have to use Ortho-K during the night, meaning that they can be free from their glasses throughout the day – without suffering from blurry vision.
Ortho-K Can Be Better Than Soft Contact Lenses
Many parents will consider getting their child soft contact lenses so that they don’t have to wear glasses. While soft contact lenses can be an answer for some, Ortho-K is also a viable option for vision correction.Because soft contact lenses are used throughout the day, problems with the lenses drying out or with their stability can affect a child’s vision. This is not the case with Ortho-K because CRT lenses are worn only at night.
Plus, if a child experiences an issue with their contact lenses during the day, like when they’re at school, it can be difficult for parents to help their children with their contacts. However, Ortho-K lenses are only used during the night, where a child is never far from their parent or their lens care products.
Ortho-K is a Safe Alternative
Ortho-K is a painless, FDA-approved treatment for vision correction. Many of our patients adjust to wearing contacts quite easily, and quickly adapt to putting in and taking out their CRT lenses. You can rest assured that Ortho-K and CRT lenses are safe and effective, especially when in the hands of our experienced eye doctors.At The Eye Doctors, we’re dedicated to providing you with a vision correction solution that matches yours eyes’ needs and helps you reach your vision goals. If you think Ortho-K may be the answer to treating your child’s myopia, request an appointment with us by calling (813) 632-2020.