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Most people know myopia better by the term ‘near-sightedness’. It refers to the ability to see things close by clearly, but objects that are at a distance away appear blurred and don’t come into focus no matter how hard you try to see them. Myopia is now the most commonly diagnosed refractive eye condition in the world and has reached epidemic proportions. The numbers of children being diagnosed with myopia are increasing exponentially. Although it is not known exactly why some people develop myopia and others don’t, there are several factors that are believed to contribute towards its occurrence. These include increased time indoors and excessive screen time. Since children are spending more time than ever playing computer games and using digital devices, perhaps then it is unsurprising that so many are being diagnosed with myopia.
Myopia control is the term used to describe specific treatments that are carried out in order to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. Not only is myopia control important for preserving your child’s eyesight for as long as possible, it may also help to reduce the risk of vision-threatening complications that are associated with having severe myopia in later life. These include:
Almost a 300% increase in the risk of glaucoma
A 1000% increase in the risk of retinal detachment.
Since myopia and other refractive eye errors have also been shown to interfere in the way a child can access learning at school and in the world around them, by opting into myopia control you can prevent your child’s condition from worsening, increasing the likelihood that he can become successfully engaged in his education and achieve his full potential.
Ortho-K, or orthokeratology, is one of the most successful therapies used to help control myopia. You may also hear of the treatment being referred to as ‘corneal reshaping lenses’. That is because this is the principle behind this treatment. Refractive eye errors occur when the cornea is an abnormal shape and unable to refract light correctly onto the retina. Myopia occurs when the cornea is too curved or the eyeball is too long, causing the light to be refracted in front of the retina rather than onto it. Ortho-K works by temporarily reshaping the cornea so that the patient can see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses to correct their vision.
Our Ortho-K lenses, called Proactive Corneal Reshaping lenses, are specially designed from gas-permeable material so that they are safe to be worn while you sleep. Each lens is made for each specific eye based on your individual correction requirements. Once in place, the tear film flows under the lens to help reshape the cornea overnight. When you take the lenses out the next morning, your corneas will be reshaped enough so that you can see as much as 80% more clearly. The effects of Ortho-K treatment are accumulative. This means that the more that you wear the lenses at night, the greater the improvement in your vision will be and the longer it will last.
Myopia Control & Ortho K
As well as enabling patients to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses for a day or two at a time (when optimal improvement is reached), Ortho-K has shown to be a valuable treatment for myopia control in children and can actually slow the progression of the condition. By slowing or potentially preventing the progression of myopia, you can help your child retain clear vision for as long as possible, which will benefit their education and day to day life. This further reduces the likelihood of them experiencing complications associated with severe myopia in the future.
At East Main Vision Clinic, we are working hard to combat this debilitating vision condition in our community. If you would like to find out more about myopia control, or if you would like to find out if Ortho-K is likely to be a suitable solution for your child, please contact our vision clinic in Puyallup, WA today. We would be happy to come to your workplace or school to discuss this unique advancement in myopia control with your employees or students.