Published on November 16, 2021
Myopia is one of the fastest-spreading eye conditions today in the United States, making it a global public health issue. According to reports, almost five billion people will suffer from this condition by the year 2050. This is a worrying outlook. Most eye care professionals are seeing an unprecedented influx of people with and/or concerned about myopia.
Also known as nearsightedness, myopia is one of the most common vision conditions. People with this condition can see objects near them clearly. However, objects that are farther away seem blurry. It occurs from eye changes that cause light rays to refract or bend incorrectly. This causes the images to focus in front instead of on the retina.
Myopia may develop rapidly or gradually. It often progresses rapidly during childhood and adolescence and tends to run in families. Fortunately, a basic eye exam can determine whether one has this vision condition. Also, you can compensate for it with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
Did you know that it is possible to correct nearsightedness without having to depend on eyeglasses, contact lenses, or eye surgery? This idea might sound somewhat far-fetched to you, but you need to understand that it is a reality for many people. This is where ortho-k, or orthokeratology, can come in handy.
Ortho-k contact lenses are specially designed contact lenses that are gas permeable. You only need to wear them overnight while you sleep. They gently reshape your corneas to help you see more clearly the following day. You simply need to remove them when you wake up.
These are several reasons many eye doctors recommend ortho-k contact lenses. For starters, in addition to correcting myopia, they can be quite effective at correcting other vision issues such as farsightedness, astigmatism, and even certain cases of presbyopia. Also, and more importantly, they can effectively slow down the progression of childhood nearsightedness.
Ortho-k contact lenses float on top of your eye’s tear film. They apply gentle hydraulic, or water-based, pressure to the front of your cornea’s top layer, known as the epithelium. The pressure causes epithelium cells to move from the center of your cornea to its periphery. This cell migration causes a temporary reshaping of your cornea, resulting in the correction of your eyes’ refractive error.
After removing your ortho-k contact lenses, you should notice significantly improved vision that can last for up to one day. Sometimes, the improvement can last for three days. Your eye doctor will tell you how often you need to wear these specially-designed contact lenses. Some people may need to wear them every night. However, others may only need to use them every other night.
According to studies, orthokeratology can reduce the progression of nearsightedness in kids by up to 50 percent. Other studies suggest that using distance-only contact lenses or eyeglasses can focus light onto the retina in ways that can increase the eye’s axial length. This can accelerate the progression of myopia. This is another reason why ortho-k contact lenses are becoming the preferred option for myopia control.
To learn more about the benefits of ortho-k contact lenses, visit Dau Family Eye Care at our office in St. John’s, Florida. You can call (904) 713-2020 today to schedule an appointment.