How Does Ortho-k Treat Myopia Progression?

Published on October 31, 2022 ​​​​​​​

Myopia commonly affects many people by weakening vision and changing the physical structure of the eye. It can increase the eye length or steepen your cornea. Tissues like your retina can stretch. As a result, you may have a high risk of experiencing severe eye conditions in the future.


Individuals with myopia often correct their vision through contact lenses and eyeglasses. However, these options cannot stop the progression of myopia. 



What Is Myopia?



Myopia, also called nearsightedness, is a refractive error. Objects nearby appear clear, and those at a distance look blurry. It develops when the eyes do not focus images on the retina but in front of it. As a result, you experience blurry vision. 


Myopia occurs when the eyeball is too long and prevents the light entering the eye from focusing directly on your retina. The abnormal shape of the eye lens or cornea can also cause nearsightedness.


Nearsightedness affects both adults and children. About 25 percent of citizens of the United States have myopia. It often gets diagnosed in children eight to 12 years old. It can worsen or progress during their teenage years. Individuals with nearsighted parents have a high risk of getting the condition.



What Is Ortho-k?



Ortho-k, also known as orthokeratology, is a myopia treatment. It involves using gas-permeable contacts to reshape the cornea while an individual sleeps overnight. Your eye doctor must custom-fit each lens to each eye. They will take measurements of your cornea curvature and size. After doing so, they will create custom-made lenses that can fit your eye shape. 


Your eyes will remain comfortable and moist while you wear ortho-k lenses overnight. They allow air to pass through and vault over your cornea. Undergoing ortho-k treatment entails wearing the lenses at bedtime and removing them in the morning. You can go about your activities during the day without glasses or lenses to correct your vision.


Ortho-k lenses reshape the cornea overnight to help you see in the morning without corrective lenses. Clear vision often lasts for the whole day.



How Ortho-k Slows Myopia Progression



Ortho-k has more benefits than helping correct vision temporarily. It can also slow the progression of myopia. Typically, myopia worsens with age. But orthokeratology effectively slows its progression in younger age groups. Starting the treatment early enough enables one to experience its best effect.



Why Slowing Myopia Progression Is Important



Slowing myopia progression helps prevent more severe eye conditions such as retinal detachment. It’s why eye doctors recommend that their patients begin treatment early.

Myopia can vary in degree from one person to another. Thus, the treatment goal is often to keep it from progressing further. Ortho-k helps by stopping the stimulus that causes your eyes to grow.



Safety of Ortho-k Lenses



The FDA declares ortho-k lenses safe for individuals of different ages, i.e., adults and young children. However, the only condition remains that they should be from highly gas-permeable materials. Ortho-k lenses have similar risks to traditional contact lenses.


Individuals who wear ortho-k lenses should practice adequate hygiene when handling the lenses. Doing so reduces the risk of getting microbial or bacterial eye infections. Wash your hands properly and ensure you disinfect the lenses correctly.


For more about ortho-k, visit Dau Family Eye Care at our office in St. John’s, Florida. Call (904) 713-2020 to book an appointment today.

132 Everest Ln, Ste 5
St. John's, FL 32259