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Orthokeratology for Kids Suffering from Myopia

Myopia Control for Children

Child Grinning ThinkingBefore we discuss the use of orthokeratology in kids’ eye care, let’s explain the basics of what it is and how it works. Typically called ortho-k, this cutting-edge treatment is an effective way for people with myopia (nearsightedness) to achieve clear vision without wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses during the daytime hours. Even after years of needing vision correction, ortho-k will allow you to leave your eyeglasses and contacts at home when you head out for the day. And this is all accomplished without a need for surgery.

Our eye doctor is experienced and skilled in fitting adults and children with ortho-k lenses. Many patients, young and older, have benefitted from the advantages of sharp vision after being fitted with orthokeratology in our office.

Clear Vision – Without Eyewear

Also called vision shaping, ortho-k involves wearing specialized hard, gas permeable lenses while you sleep. These lenses gently mold your cornea into a new shape, thereby resolving any refractive error and correcting myopia. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll be able to remove the lenses and enjoy crystal-clear eyesight. The effects generally last one to two days, so the ortho-k lenses must be inserted nightly on a regular basis.

Benefits of Ortho-k for Kids

Myopia, always common in children, is an increasing problem. The number of kids who are nearsighted has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. The reason for this remains blurry, yet one possible culprit is the increased amount of time kids spend indoors gazing at digital screens, with limited exposure to natural light. Many parents are alarmed by their child’s need for a new vision prescription yearly, and parents and kids are disturbed by the increasing thickness of their eyeglass lenses.

Ortho-k offers an efficient way to slow, or possibly stop, the continued progression of nearsightedness in kids. In case you’re wondering why surgery isn’t a better option, keep in mind that laser procedures, such as LASIK, are not suitable for young children. As studies have demonstrated that orthokeratology is safe for all ages, it is currently regarded as the ideal option for myopia control in kids.

Additionally, ortho-k for kids also grants freedom to children who don’t want to be bothered by inconvenient eyewear. Frames are always falling off or being left behind, and replacement eyeglasses or repairs can run very high fees for parents. Ortho-k lenses are only worn in bed, so there’s virtually no risk of kids losing or damaging them. Regular contact lenses are often a poor choice for kids who spend a lot of their days in dusty, dirty playfields, and/or who are not able to commit to sterilizing contacts regularly.

Which kids are good candidates for ortho-k?

Any nearsighted child with healthy eyes is a possible candidate for orthokeratology. Regular eye exams with visual acuity testing are a necessary part of proper kids’ eye care. If your child has myopia and their vision prescription continually increases at each eye exam, ortho-k may be a good option. Your child’s vision and ocular condition will be evaluated to determine candidacy.  Please contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss orthokeratology and other options for Myopia Control.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), or Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)

Empress Eye Clinic offers Ortho-k as an effective technique for myopia control in children to reduce the progression of their myopia(nearsightedness) and risk of other eye diseases later in their lives.

We also offer Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), as a non-surgical treatment option for both Myopia Control for children and young adults, and for people suffering from mild to moderate myopia astigmatism and presbyopia. Ortho k is a safer and reversible alternative treatment for people that are not a good candidate for refractive surgeries such as LASIK, PRK, SMILE, and CONTOURA.

What is Ortho-k?

Orthokeratology also referred to, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) or Overnight Vision Correction, is a unique revolutionary technology that utilizes custom-fitted, oxygen-permeable rigid contact lenses to improve vision through the reshaping of cornea while you sleep. Simply remove your lenses in the morning and enjoy clear vision without wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day.

How Does Ortho-k Work?

The principle is similar to the use of a dental retainer used by an orthodontist to realign crooked teeth.

Ortho K uses advanced technology to reshape the surface of your eyes. A precisely shaped vision retainer Gas Permeable (GP) contact lens, uniquely designed for your individual eye shape, places gentle pressure over a layer of tear film on your cornea during sleep by a pre-determined amount to correct your eyesight prescription. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you're awake. The effect is temporary - generally enough to get you through a day or two - so you must wear the reshaping lenses each night to maintain good vision during the day.

Who Is A Candidate For Ortho-k?

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k), is a safe and effective method of correcting vision while slowing the progression of myopia in children. If you are the parent of a nearsighted child, learn how Ortho-k can also help preserve your child’s eye health.

Orhokeratology for Adults
Orthokeratology is frequently a good option for nearsighted individuals who are too young for LASIK surgery or for some other reason are not good candidates for vision correction surgery. Because it can be discontinued at any time without permanent change to the eye, people of any age can try the procedure, as long as their eyes are healthy.

Orthokeratology for Athletes
Ortho-k overnight lenses provide a perfect solution for athletes with myopia. They eliminate the need for wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day while ensuring stable, clear vision and safety when playing sports.

Ortho-k is also appealing for people who work in dusty, dirty environments that can make regular contact lens wear difficult.

What Results Can You Expect From Ortho-k?

The goal for ortho-k is to correct your vision to 20/20 without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials of both CRT and VST lenses, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).

Success rates for ortho-k tend to be higher for mild prescriptions. Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with ortho-k.

How Long Does Ortho-k Take?

Though you may see some improvement in your vision after a day or two of overnight ortho-k, it can take several weeks for the full effect to be apparent. During this time, your vision will not be as clear as it was with glasses or contacts, and you are likely to notice some glare and halos around lights. It's possible you may need a temporary pair of eyeglasses for certain tasks, like driving at night, until your vision is fully corrected by the ortho-k lenses.

Is Ortho-k Comfortable?

Some people have comfort issues when attempting to wear gas permeable contact lenses during the day. But since ortho-k GP lenses are worn during sleep, comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.

Cost Of Orthokeratology

Ortho-k is a significantly longer process than a regular contact lens fitting. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple pairs of lenses. Also, GP lenses used for ortho-k are more costly than most regular contact lenses. Therefore, fees for orthokeratology are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. Currently the cost is $2500 and in some cases more for the fist year including a pair of finalized specially designed retainer contact lenses and all professional fees for the first year. The cost reduces to $1500 for the 2nd year and after. Fees are subject to change without notice.

Can I Have LASIK After Ortho-k?

Yes, it's possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology. But because ortho-k lenses reshape your cornea, you must stop wearing the lenses for a period of time (usually several months) so your eyes can return to their original shape and stabilize. Be sure to tell your LASIK surgeon that you've worn ortho-k lenses, so they can advise you how long you should wait before having the surgery.

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