Myopia, the inability to focus images that are far away, has been abruptly on the rise. While our chance of being myopic is inherited deeply into our genes, the degree and severity of it not necessarily is. However, the incidence of this disease and the prevalence of higher amounts of myopia are now seen more repeatedly every day in the chairs of every eye doctor. The reason for this is not pointing toward genetic factors but rather to the changes in our environment that are tied to our lifestyle—particularly, a digital one.
While some people may think that Myopia is an easy fix—just put on glasses, contacts or have Lasik —they couldn't be more wrong about it. While all these may "fix" the defocusing problem in your eye, they cannot stop their progression, which is usually what leads to an increased risk of other manifestations of the disease in the eye like retinal tears, detachments, cataracts or glaucoma.
Orthokeratology is a method of vision correction that provides control of Myopia, especially in growing kids, and is considered the most effective method for myopia control by eye doctors. Kids are trained to put these uniquely designed contact lenses in their eyes before they go to sleep and take them out when they wake up (parents can also help). The effects that ortho-k produces in the eye allow them to see clearly during the day—without the need of wearing glasses or contacts—while their myopia is being controlled due to a method of defocusing that is created in the peripheral retina while wearing the lens. This peripheral defocusing is thought to be what prevents the progression. The kids can be free of glasses or daytime contact lens wear while their vision stays stable and healthy (win-win).
We have now one more method of taking control over our digital era and not letting it control us.
You can read more educational posts we have written about ortho-k and watch this video of one of our younger patients that is enjoying the benefits of orthokeratology.
If you are interested in knowing if you, or your kid might be a good candidate for orthokeratology, please contact our office for an appointment or schedule a comprehensive eye exam online.