With myopia control, your child may be able to avoid the use of thick corrective glasses, which may lead to serious eye problems later in life.
What Is Myopia Control?
Myopia is a condition which is commonly also called near sighted or short-sighted, which makes it harder to see objects that are far away. It begins as early as 1st grade and continues to get worse or progress until around the age of 18. While Myopia has always been around recently it has become a major health concern because its occurrence is rapidly increasing. In Asian countries as many as 90% of university students and 80% of high school students have myopia, and in the US rates have doubled over the last 30 years.
Why Do Myopia Control?
1) Multifocal contact lenses for myopia control enable the child to no longer wear glasses during the day. According to recent research this increases the child’s confidence and social acceptance, decreases the risk of sports related eye injuries, and increases visual performance.
2) Myopia dramatically increases the risk of several eye diseases that can cause vision loss or even legal blindness such as Glaucoma, Cataracts, and Retinal Detachment.
3) Some myopic patients experience difficulty at school due to reduced visual abilities such as seeing the board. Between the time that a child receives their prescription until their next eye exam, their myopia may progress making their glasses or contacts ineffective and leaving their vision blurry. In many cases the child may also experience headaches and eye strain because their glasses are no longer correct to their eyes.
Popular Methods Of Myopia Control
Some of the treatment methods that work well for most cases of myopia are:
What are Ortho K lenses?
Ortho K (orthokeratology) is also known as corneal reshaping. It involves the use of ortho k lenses, which are rigid special customized gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. These lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea (the transparent part of the front of the eye). This molding of the corneal curvature helps to adjust the refractive power of the eyes.
These lenses are used overnight every night or every other night depending on the prescription. The user can be lens-free and spectacle-free during the daytime. Although this is not a permanent solution, it can keep the user’s daytime vision clear. When they are taken off in the morning, the eye begins to gradually go back to its previous state. If unworn, the eye returns to its natural state in a few days.
How Do Ortho K Lenses Work?
When ortho k lenses are worn at night, they compress the corneal epithelium, causing a reduction in the thickness of the center of the cornea. This molds the cornea while not causing any harm to the epithelial cells and stromal tissue. When they are removed in the morning, the cornea starts on a gradual journey to regaining its natural shape instead of bouncing back quickly. The shape given by the lenses stays for a minimum of 12 to 15 hours and even 2 – 3 days in some cases. At night or on alternate nights, the lenses should be worn again to maintain the compressed shape of the cornea.
Are Ortho K Lenses Suitable For Everyone?
Ortho K lenses are one of the safest measures to control myopia progression rate. They can be safely used by children and the elderly from 7 years old to 70 years old.
Good candidates are those who are myopic but don’t have other eye complications. When you visit your Kirkland optometrist at Optical Images, we will perform all the necessary tests to check if you or your child are suitable for Orthok. The European Academy of Orthokeratology says that it is most effective for people with up to -6.00D myopia with astigmatism not exceeding -1.75D.
Sportsmen and people who are into water sports may find these beneficial as it would keep them lens-free in the daytime. Also, it is beneficial for kids who aim to slow or stop the progression of myopia.
If you like to know more about ortho k lenses, contact our optometrists in Dallas or Carrollton, TX at the Contact Lens Center.
Advantages of Using Ortho K Lenses
- Corrective glasses or lenses not required during the day making them suitable for kids and sportsmen.
- No discomfort due to use of lenses during the day.
- Not painful
- Safe when the fit is good
- Effective - can reduce myopia progression by 55 to 100 percent
- Can be used by kids and elderly
- Can slow or stop myopia progression in kids.
Any Side Effects?
Side effects are similar to those with other contact lenses and refractive treatments. Some of them are:
- Corneal edema
- Visual distortions and aberrations
- Temporary discomfort, pain, irritation, redness, tearing
When a correct fit is achieved and the user is monitored, they should be quite safe. Report any problems or changes in your vision as soon as you notice them, they can be reversed within 3 days.
Multifocal lenses, which have different powers in different areas have been found to control presbyopia and myopia. These have been seen to effectively reduce myopia progression by about 50 percent, which is similar to the results of ortho-k lenses. These soft contact lenses are used like regular contacts, leaving your child with great vision while reducing the risks of high and medium myopia.
- One of the simplest treatments
- Kids love not having to wear glasses.
- Children need to handle them well
- They need to be used the whole day
When Should My Child Start Myopia Control?
Myopia control is most effective when started as young as possible. For this reason it is recommended by the American Optometric Association that children go for an eye exam before entering first grade, and then every 2 years if they have no vision issues. If the optometrist diagnoses the child as having myopia, then the experts all agree that either Ortho-K or Multi Focal contacts should be started as a means of reducing the progression. In addition to the methods above, our optometrist recommends that all children and even more so children with myopia spend as close to 2 hours per day outside. An analysis of research on myopia control showed an average reduction of 2% for every additional hour per week the child spent outside.
The Contact Lens Center has been in practice for 20 years. As a result of being one of the premier contact lens specialists in premier contact lens specialists in Dallas & Carrollton, TX. The Contact Lens Center has access and experience with contact lenses that other eye doctors do not currently utilize.
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We diagnose and treat the following eye diseases and conditions:
Astigmatism, Color Vision Deficiency, Cataracts, Contact Lens, Diabetic Care, Dry Eye, Eyeglasses, Glaucoma Care, Lasik, Macular Degeneration, Myopia Control, Presbyopia
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