Nearsightedness, officially known as myopia, is the most common reason for patients to need prescription lenses or undergo laser vision correction surgery. Myopia is characterized by the ability to see nearby objects clearly but finding that objects that are at a distance appear blurred. The extent of this blurriness will depend on the severity of your myopia. Unfortunately, myopia tends to worsen over time. This means that anyone suffering from the condition will likely find that they need stronger prescriptions over time.
Myopia doesn’t only affect adults. An increasing number of children are being diagnosed with myopia every year – something which many experts have attributed to more time being spent indoors and using mobile devices. In a bid to slow the progression of myopia in children, many patients are turning to a myopia control treatment known as orthokeratology, or ortho-k, that is designed to do just this, and potentially prevent children from experience severe myopia and associated conditions in the future.
We are delighted to be able to offer myopia control treatment, here at our family eye care center in St John’s, FL.
The trouble with myopia is that as it progresses, the stronger your prescription lenses will need to be to correct your vision. In time, this can lead to your child needing extremely thick lenses and whilst they can be thinned to some degree, they still remain clunky in eyeglass frames. It can also become impossible to put such a high prescription into contact lenses, giving your child very limited options when it comes to correcting their sight.
Unfortunately, myopia has also been shown to increase your child’s likelihood of experiencing vision-threatening complications and conditions in the future too. These include:
A 300% increase in the likelihood that your child will develop glaucoma
A 1000% increase in the likelihood that your child will suffer a retinal detachment
And greater risk of:
By choosing to get your child’s myopia under control as early as possible, you are giving them the best chance at enjoying healthy eyes and great vision for as long as possible, which in turn will enable them to engage with their education and fulfill their potential.
Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, is a form of corneal reshaping contact lens. These specially-designed contact lenses will be created just for your child’s eyes. They work by applying gentle force to the cornea so that it adopts a more regular, domed shape that enables light to be refracted correctly onto the retina, and your child to see clearly without needing to wear prescription lenses.
Orthokeratology lenses are made from a special material that enables them to be worn overnight, and this is when the reshaping is done. Ortho-k lenses are so comfortable that they will not disrupt your child’s sleep in any way, and when they wake the next day, they can remove their lenses and go about their usual activities and enjoy clear vision without glasses or contact lenses. It will take up to a week of continuous nightly wear to reach optimal visual acuity, at which point this should be sustained for the entire day. However, the effects of the lens are temporary so if you stop treatment, your child’s eyesight will return to normal within a few days.
Ortho-k has been shown to significantly slow the progression of childhood myopia, making it a valuable treatment for parents who are concerned about the long-term health of their children’s eyes.
If you’d like more information about myopia control, please get in touch with our family optometrists by calling our offices in St John’s, FL today.