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Myopia Management

Are Myopia Management Contact Lenses Safe for Children?

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthWe meet dozens of parents and children every day who come in for eye exams, myopia treatments and other services. During these visits, we welcome and address questions or concerns that parents have about their child’s eye health.

Because certain myopia treatments include contact lens wear, many parents ask whether they’re safe to wear for young children. Here’s what the research says:

A recent study, Adverse Event Rates in The Retrospective Cohort Study of Safety of Paediatric Soft Contact Lens Wear: the ReCSS Study, shows that contact lenses for children are just as safe for children as they are for adults. (This study appears in the January 2021 issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics.)

The study followed 963 children aged 8 to 16 over the course of 1.5 to 3 years (for a combined 2713 years of contact lens wear time) to determine the risk level associated with wearing soft contact lenses. All of the subjects were 13 years of age or under at the time of their first fitting, with more than half of the children fitted with soft contacts at or before the age of 10, on average.

The study results indicate that age doesn’t play a role in contact lens safety. In fact, the risks of developing adverse reactions to contact lens wear among children proved to be the same as in adults. According to the study, the rate of inflammatory conditions associated with contact lens wear were less than 1% per year of wear.

Multifocal Lenses for Myopia Management

One effective method of myopia management includes the use of MiSight daily multifocal soft contact lenses. MiSight contact lenses are FDA approved for the treatment of myopia and have been shown to effectively slow down the rate of myopia progression.

Many parents like this method as it requires minimal maintenance; at bedtime, the child discards the pair they are wearing, and inserts a fresh pair in the morning. It also rids the child of the need to wear glasses during the day, allowing them to freely partake in sports and other activities.

The myopia management program at The Center for Vision Development can help preserve your child’s gift of sight for a lifetime. Treating your child’s myopia will give them clear vision today, while reducing their chances of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.

it’s never too early to start treating myopia. Contact The Center for Vision Development in Austin today to schedule your child’s myopia consultation.

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640As temperatures drop, some parents may be wondering how to get their kids outside for some healthy outdoor play.

Below, we share tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of myopia progression than children who don’t. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why, it appears that sunlight and the child’s use of distance vision outdoors may play a role.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing with snow is something that everyone can enjoy. Bundle up your child so they stay safe and warm, and send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze.

If your kids like a bit of competition, you can conduct a snow castle building contest. This activity can be fun for the entire family!

If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, you can play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice.

They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can always give your child some sidewalk chalk and let them get creative on the pavement. The important thing is to have your child play outdoors.

At Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development, our goal is to help slow down your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Buda/Kyle, and throughout Texas.

Good & Bad Gift Choices For Children With Myopia

mario luigi yoschi figures 640Gift-giving season is just around the corner! If your child has myopia (nearsightedness), you may want to consider giving a gift that supports eye health and slows myopia progression.

Why Does Myopia Progression Matter?

Many parents assume that having myopia is only a matter of blurred distance vision, but that’s not the whole story.

Children who have myopia are significantly more likely to develop sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, like glaucoma, cataracts, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration. Rapidly progressing myopia further increases the risk of eye disease later in life.

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates, and light focuses in front of the retina instead of on the retina. The exact cause of myopia is unknown, but genetics play an important role. Certain environmental factors may also have an impact.

That’s why it’s important for parents to consider how holiday gifts can affect their children’s eyes and vision.

Gifts That Won’t Help Your Child’s Myopia

The first category of items to consider eliminating from your holiday shopping list includes toys or devices with digital screens. Although the association has not been clinically proven, most optometrists agree that increased screen time has a negative impact on myopia progression.

While spending time on screens is almost inevitable during the pandemic, it’s wise to be realistic about its potential ramifications for children. Even prior to COVID-19, the number of myopic children was steadily increasing, and projected to affect 50% of the world’s population by 2050.

Another gift to rethink: eyeglasses. Tempting though it may be to purchase new glasses for your child this holiday season, it’s important to remember that new specs can only correct blurred vision; they don’t treat the underlying cause of myopia.

Better Gifts For Myopic Children

Try encouraging your myopic child to spend more time outdoors by giving them new outdoor gear. It is well documented that children who spend more time outdoors in the sunshine have a slower rate of myopia progression, so why not add a new bike, basketball, or rollerblades to your gift list?

However, the best gift you can give your child with myopia is a personalized myopia management program.

Why Myopia Management?

Myopia management is the only effective way to slow down the rate of your child’s myopia progression.

The myopia management program at Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development offers three effective and safe treatments for myopia, including Ortho-K lenses, atropine eye drops, and multifocal contact lenses.

A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Denise Smith will determine the best treatment option for your child’s eyes and lifestyle.

Consider myopia management — a gift that will help preserve your child’s precious gift of sight. Call Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development to schedule an eye exam today.

Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Buda/Kyle, and throughout Texas.

FDA- Approved MiSight Contact Lenses Do Wonders in Reducing Myopia Progression!

If there is one thing that eye health professionals agree on, it’s that myopia is an eye disease of
growing proportions.

Having myopia as a child significantly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. Even children with low levels of myopia have a greater risk of glaucoma and retinal detachment compared to their non-myopic counterparts.

The good news is that slowing down the progression of myopia can drastically lower the risks of
developing eye disease later in life. Innovative products like MiSight 1-day contact lenses help
ensure a healthier future for myopic children.

As part of the Treehouse Eyes network, we are proud to be one of the first practices in the country to be certified to fit MiSight 1-day contact lenses for myopia treatment and be part of the Brilliant Futures Myopia Management Program.

CooperVision, which manufactures MiSight 1-day lenses, calls Brilliant Futures “the new standard of care” for children with myopia. “It provides inclusive practice, child and parent support to create the optimal environment for compliance, satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and long-term loyalty, all via a comprehensive management program featuring MiSight 1-day daily disposable contact lenses.”

What are MiSight 1-Day Contact Lenses?

MiSight 1-day contact lenses are soft lenses that are worn daily and disposed of after each use.
A fresh pair of contacts are placed into the eyes every morning to provide the child with a crisp and clear vision while also slowing the eye’s elongation — the source of progressive myopia.

These contacts are safe and easy for children to use since they require almost no maintenance.

MiSight Instagram ECP Social Media Image 6 (1)

MiSight 1-Day Contact Lenses: A Popular Choice

CooperVision recently partnered with Sarah Michelle Gellar, a well-known American actress, entrepreneur and producer, to help spread awareness about the importance of myopia management and annual eye exams for myopic children.

The need for myopia management hit home for Gellar, who is myopic herself and has a child with myopia. “My husband and I are both nearsighted and our myopia has continued to worsen over time. We want our kids to have a chance for better vision and lower their risk for future eye health issues” explains Gellar.

While regular eyeglasses or contacts help children see a whiteboard or tennis ball, “MiSight 1- day lenses offer children the benefits of clear vision while slowing myopia progression during their growing years. That is why I am thrilled to be partnering with CooperVision on this campaign,” Gellar says.

Moreover, many parents are pleased to learn that MiSight 1-day contact lenses are FDA approved. In November 2019, the lenses received FDA approval to slow myopia progression in children who are 8-12 years old at the time of their first fitting — making MiSight 1-day contact lenses the only FDA approved soft contact lenses for myopia management!

We Are Proud to Be Part of the Myopia Management Movement

In addition to MiSight, our highly trained and experienced doctors can offer other treatment options to manage childhood myopia, including specialized overnight-wear contact lenses and prescription eye drops.

Contact us today to make an appointment for a myopia consultation for your child. We’ll evaluate your child’s eyes and vision and recommend a personalized treatment plan that will work best for your child and your family.

Let us help ensure a clear and bright future for your child!

What’s All the Buzz Around Myopia Management?

Slow Childs Myopia FB Post5

Over the last few months, myopia management has been a hot topic in several major news and consumer publications. This extra attention is partly due to concerns that online schooling and increased screen time will impact children’s eye health. It’s also a result of the recent NIH-funded study confirming the effectiveness and importance of myopia management treatments in reducing the risk of developing sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

Myopia occurs when the eye elongates more than normal, causing light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retinal surface. The symptom of myopia is nearsightedness or blurry distance vision. Myopia is more than an inconvenience; rapidly progressing myopia drastically increases a child’s long-term risks of developing serious eye diseases. While most eye doctors only correct the blurred vision with prescription lenses, Treehouse Eyes doctors use myopia management to slow the progression of myopia.

Keep reading to find out why myopia management is gaining more attention and how it can help preserve your child’s eye health and vision.

What Are People Saying About Myopia Management?

If this is the first time you’re hearing the term “myopia management” you may be wondering what it is. In this June 2020 article, The Wall Street Journal recounts the experience of Raghu Parthasarathi, a father from Maryland, who calls the myopia management program “a godsend” after he witnessed the positive outcome following the treatment of his 11-year-old daughter’s rapidly progressing myopia.

But how is this “godsend” really impacting children’s visual health? In a Women Fitness article, Dr. Kevin Chan, Senior Clinical Director of Treehouse Eyes, explains that myopia isn’t merely poor visual acuity that needs to be corrected. Myopia can actually lead to serious eye diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. Fortunately, the myopia management program at Treehouse Eyes can effectively slow down the progression of myopia, thus reducing the future risks of eye diseases.

What Can Parents Do for Their Myopic Children?

In August, as part of a tribute for children’s eye health and safety month, Indianapolis Fox-59 aired a short segment explaining the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on children’s vision. Although studies haven’t yet determined the exact link between increased screen time and the progression of myopia, numerous optometrists across the country are noticing a steep increase in the number of myopic children. It is estimated that a third of American children have some form of myopia, and that by 2050 about 50% of the world’s population will be myopic.

As a parent, you may find this statistic worrisome. The first step to take is to ensure that the child is evaluated by an optometrist on a yearly basis to check for changing prescription and eye health. If it is determined that the child has progressive myopia, a highly-trained and experienced Treehouse Eyes doctor will prescribe a customized myopia management program to mitigate the risks of future sight-threatening eye diseases.

Another thing parents can do is to ensure that myopic children (or those predisposed to developing it) increase the amount of time spent outdoors. “It’s well documented that lack of outdoor time actually contributes to the onset of myopia,” Dr. Chan tells WTOP News in a recent interview. He explains that “higher levels of screen time can lead to the onset of myopia and other eye-related changes, such as dry eye. Over the long run, it can lead to the onset of glaucoma, other retinal complications or cataracts.” As a general rule, children should take a brief break from screen time every 20 minutes.

Dr. Gary Gerber, a leading optometrist and co-founder of Treehouse Eyes, explained in a recent article published in EducationDive that “getting kids outside more has proven physical, mental and emotional benefits, and crucially….proven vision and eye health benefits as well.”

Treehouse Eyes Is Paving the Way In Children’s Myopia Management

We believe that the following statement from a PlanoMoms article sums it up perfectly:

“Treehouse Eyes is the first healthcare practice dedicated exclusively to treating myopic children. Children using the Treehouse Eyes patent-pending protocol, the Treehouse Vision System, show an average 78% reduction in the progression of their myopia (individual results vary).”

Our goal is to provide the highest level of care to all of our patients, using the most advanced and effective methods of myopia management. Join the growing number of parents who provide myopia management to their children by contacting us today.

Flattening the Curve: Ortho-K Could Battle the Myopia Epidemic

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthMyopia (nearsightedness) is a vision epidemic that is spreading globally. It affects more than a quarter of the world’s population and could affect half of the population within 30 years. It’s important to slow myopia’s progression in childhood because moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) increase the chance of developing such vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

Myopia results from the eyeball being too long, causing light to land in front of the retina rather than directly on it. While myopia doesn’t have a cure, it can be corrected with prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. But these prescriptions must regularly be updated as a child’s myopia progresses. LASIK surgery is not an option for children or teenagers because their eyes are still growing.

Why is the myopia pandemic so widespread? Experts point to genetics and also to the fact that many young people spend most of their waking hours indoors. In research studies, children who spent a significant amount of time in the sun experienced less myopia progression than children who did not.

How Can Ortho-K Address a Child’s Myopia Progression?

Ortho-k is a popular treatment option for slowing myopia’s progression. It is safe and painless, using rigid gas-permeable lenses that are customized for your child or teen. Ortho-k lenses are inserted at night and removed in the morning. During that time, they temporarily flatten the eyeball. (Think of it as the optical equivalent of the retainer or bite plate that your child might wear to bed at night to keep teeth straight.) During waking hours, your child can see clearly, swim, and play sports without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

As long as your child handles the lenses according to the instructions of Dr. Denise Smith and observes hygiene protocols when using them — washing hands first, using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses — ortho-k lenses can be safely used.

Annual eye exams are vital so that Dr. Denise Smith can monitor the rate at which the myopia is progressing. If your children’s vision is rapidly deteriorating, we can offer myopia-management measures to slow myopia’s progression.

Ortho-k is a treatment worth considering for your child’s short- and long-term optical health. One child at a time, ortho-k can help in addressing the worldwide myopia pandemic.

 


Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development can provide ortho-k expertise to patients in Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Buda/Kyle, and throughout Texas.

References:

How Do I Prevent My Child’s Myopia From Worsening?

child reading 640×350If you’re a parent of a nearsighted child, you know that myopia (nearsightedness) can sometimes be challenging. What many parents don’t know is that rapidly progressing myopia is more than just a hassle — it can harm your child’s eye health. Children with rapidly progressing myopia are far more likely to develop potentially sight-threatening eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration later in life.

Fortunately, Dr. Denise Smith can help slow the progression of your child’s myopia with a customized myopia management program. Understanding what causes myopia to worsen and what can be done to slow it down can help safeguard your child’s vision.

What Causes Myopia to Progress?

Genetics play a large role in myopia development. Two nearsighted parents are more likely to have a myopic child than a couple with only one myopic parent, or no myopic parents at all.

No one knows exactly why myopia progresses, but spending most of the day indoors, focusing on near objects like screens and books, may be risk factors. More research is needed to determine whether the fact that children are spending less time looking at faraway objects like a moving baseball or a basketball net might be contributing to the increase in myopia cases around the world.

How Can I Prevent Myopia From Worsening?

One of the best pieces of advice for parents of nearsighted children is to increase their child’s outdoor playtime in the sun. In research studies, the progression of myopia was slower in children who spent a considerable amount of time in the sunshine than in children who did not.

The World Health Organization advises that children under 5 spend 1 hour or less per day in front of a screen, and no screen time is recommended for infants under 1. The Children’s Eye Foundation recommends outdoor play daily, and no screen time for children under 2. They also recommend no more than 1-2 hours per day for 2- to 5-year-olds, with frequent breaks.

How Can a Myopia Management Eye Doctor Help?

Myopia management eye doctors do more than prescribe corrective lenses. Although no actual cure for myopia exists, there are methods that can help control its progression.

Current treatments include:

  1. Atropine eye drops
  2. Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”) gas permeable contact lenses
  3. Multifocal glasses/contact lenses

Following a thorough eye exam, Dr. Denise Smith will determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your child’s eye health and lifestyle. Annual eye exams for myopic children are recommended to monitor any changes in vision. It’s important to note that not all optometrists provide myopia management.

 

 

Feel free to speak with Dr. Denise Smith or the friendly staff at Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development and ask any further questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, Buda/Kyle, and throughout Texas.

 

Pediatric Myopia: Nearsightedness in Children

Pediatric Myopia: Nearsightedness in Children

Myopia is an acuity disorder that causes poor distance vision. Objects past a certain length appear blurry to individuals with this condition. It may be difficult or impossible for children with myopia to read a board in a classroom or play sports where the ball may bounce away at any moment, out of focus, or any number of tasks that require distance vision. Unfortunately, the rate of prevalence of pediatric myopia has been increasing since the 1900’s, nearly doubling in frequency among children in the United States over the past century.1 So what causes myopia, and how can we work to prevent it?

Myopia results when light entering the pupil does not land exactly on the retina at the back of the eye. The retina contains thousands of light sensors, known as our rods and cones, which detect light and create the picture our brain sees when we look at the world around us. If the light our eye is detecting does not land on these sensors but instead lands in front of it, due to a misshape of the eyeball or cornea, as is the case in myopia, the picture our brain sees is distorted and hence appears blurry.

pediatric myopia

Image modified from https://mymyopia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MyMyopia-Infographic_Professionals.pdf

This disorder has been on the rise since the Industrial Revolution era, and the likely causes of this incline are not mysterious. Since that era, the number of children performing more near-work (reading, writing, viewing computer screens, looking at tablets, etc.) has increased while the amount of time spent outdoors has decreased. This is especially true of the last three decades, where much of children’s learning and daily activities are done online. There is a very strong correlation between too much screen/near-work time and the development of myopia in adolescents and adults. As myopia becomes more prevalent, so does the risk of future generations to develop it. The likelihood of developing myopia is 25% if one parent has the condition and 50% if both parents have the condition[i]. Myopia can be more dangerous than just requiring glasses. According to the Review of Myopia Management, the risk of developing glaucoma, cataracts, and macular retinopathy (disease in the retina) is significantly higher in individuals with myopia, and the risk increases with each diopter of myopia.[ii]

There are many ways of preventing the development or worsening of myopia, but in order to address the problem, the best way to start is by receiving a comprehensive eye exam given by an optometrist. School vision screenings can be a guiding tool, but the only way to be sure your child has received the proper diagnosis is to undergo a full eye exam. Pediatric eye care is very important, and eye exams should be given as early in a child’s growth as possible and preferably by the age of 3 years old, though an eye exam can be given as soon as 6 months of age. While glasses may be necessary for some children, they are not the key to preventing myopia or the development of more severe myopia. Rather, it is important to limit screen time and spend plenty of time outside. Physical exercise has also been correlated with limiting the development of myopia.[iii] One important rule to remember is 20/20/20: For every 20 minutes of near-work (reading or screen time), you should look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps prevent the weakening of the focusing muscles in the eye that could increase the severity of myopia. Vision therapy can also provide skills to patients to reduce the development of myopia by training patients to utilize their ocular focusing system more effectively!

If you would like to learn more about how vision therapy can help prevent myopia and other visual developmental disorders in children, contact our office, The Center for Vision Development, at info@cvdaustin.com. We offer comprehensive visual developmental exams in our Austin eye care clinic and visual therapy services in both Austin and Waco.

 

Key words: pediatric eye care, vision care Austin, Austin eye care

[i] https://mymyopia.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/MyMyopia-Infographic_Professionals.pdf

[ii] https://reviewofmm.com/relative-risk-of-ocular-disease-secondary-to-myopia/

[iii] https://www.eyeworld.org/article-physical-activity—myopia-prevention

 

Offer Your Elementary School Graduate This Life-Changing Gift: Ortho-K

happy blonde childMyopia, or nearsightedness, is an all-too-common childhood eye condition. Unlike eyeglasses and traditional contact lenses, which merely correct refractive errors, orthokeratology (ortho-k, special rigid gas-permeable) contact lenses, actually slow the progression of myopia. This is important because rapid myopia progression can lead to sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

Furthermore, ortho-k lenses are worn overnight, providing a clear and stable vision without having to wear any glasses or contacts throughout the day.

What is Myopia?

Myopia afflicts more than a quarter of the world’s population, a situation many experts consider an epidemic. By 2050, that number is expected to dramatically rise to 50% of the global population.

In addition to genetics, spending most of our waking hours indoors, and staring for long periods at close-up objects like smartphones and tablets, are among myopia’s main risk factors, and may explain the rapid rise in cases.

Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eyeball is elongated. This causes the cornea to curve beyond its normal shape, leading far away objects to appear blurry since light lands in front of the retina, rather than directly on it.

How Is Myopia Dangerous?

Mild myopia (-0.25 to -3.00 D) generally does not increase a person’s risk for eye diseases later in life. However, moderate ( -3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) are linked to serious, vision-threatening conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration.

Cataracts

Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, rendering it difficult or even impossible to see.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma develops when eye fluid build-up increases pressure on the eye, causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States and Canada.

Retinal Detachment

The retina detaches from the layers beneath it, causing field vision loss, flashes of light, floaters, and in the worst of cases — total vision loss.

Myopic Macular Degeneration

When myopia is extremely high, it can cause the retina to stretch, leading to macular tearing and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can result in irreversible vision loss and even blindness.

How Does Ortho-K Work?

Think of the retainer or bite plate you might have worn to bed at night to keep your teeth straight. Ortho-k is the optical equivalent. Your child’s eye doctor may prescribe ortho-k lenses to gently reshape the cornea every night. A child who wears them from bedtime until the next morning will enjoy clear, unimpaired vision the following day. This enables your child to swim and play sports without requiring prescription goggles or sports glasses.

Within months of wearing ortho-k lenses, the eyeball growth may decrease, thus halting myopia progression. This, in turn, can diminish your child’s risk of developing any sight-threatening conditions in decades to come.

 

 

How Are Ortho-k Lenses Fitted?

All tokens name=’SpCenterMC’] patients undergo a full ortho-k assessment before being fitted for these lenses. We will measure the precise curvature of the child’s cornea using a device called a corneal topographer, ensuring that the lenses fit perfectly.

After the initial fitting, patients will be provided with in-clinic training on how to insert, remove, and care for their ortho-k contact lenses at home. Periodic check-ups will help ascertain any changes in refraction and corneal topography, and adjustments to the lenses will be made accordingly.

Not only does ortho-k offer clear vision the next day; it also lowers the risk of developing ocular diseases later in life.

Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development serves patients from Austin, Waco, Round Rock, and Buda/Kyle, in Texas.

References

Why Do Most Practices Prefer Ortho-K for Myopia Management?

girl sleeping on bed 1359554Your child does not answer, and you can feel the tension in their body rising as they squint their eyes. They honestly can’t read the chart! The optometrist remains calm and assures your child that it’s okay. For you, however, this may be a very distressing moment.

Next, the optometrist explains to you that your child belongs to the 40% of North Americans with myopia – nearsightedness. To prevent the condition from rapidly progressing, the doctor suggests a treatment called orthokeratology. You’ve likely never heard of such treatment and wonder whatever happened to traditional eyeglasses.

Ortho-K Has High Success Rates in Slowing Down Myopia

Today it is commonly agreed that correcting nearsighted vision is not enough. Myopia progresses during childhood, and young adults may find themselves with high levels of myopia, and at risk of developing severe eye diseases. Among them are retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration, and glaucoma, conditions that can lead to vision loss or even blindness later in life.

Fortunately, modern optometry offers a variety of treatments to manage myopia and keep it from progressing to dangerous levels. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) has proven highly successful and is convenient for the wearer. Studies show a 36-56% slower progression of myopia in children treated with ortho-k compared to other options that have some to marginal success rates.

What Makes Ortho-K Unique?

Ortho-k is often referred to as corneal reshaping therapy. It utilizes a therapeutic contact lens rather than corrective lenses. Children as young as 6 can wear the ortho-k lens overnight to provide them with perfect vision during the day. The concept is similar to how dentists use braces, only that braces gradually induce permanent changes, while ortho-k lenses induce temporary changes that last through the following day. This is why Ortho-K is reversible & safe for nearly any age.

Reshaping is accomplished by wearing custom-made rigid contact lenses overnight, while your child is asleep. In the morning, your child removes the lenses, and the cornea maintains its new shape for up to 72 hours. Clear vision is achieved through an altered corneal shape rather than a visual aid.

Ortho-K Is Becoming the Standard for Myopia Management

Ortho-k has been available for more than half a century and has been gaining popularity in recent years thanks to advanced technologies, higher efficiency, and easier handling. Optometrists, such as Dr. Denise Smith have a digital corneal topographer—a device that measures and maps the corneal surface—in their practice. This allows them to carry out all necessary examinations for precise custom-shaped lenses, designed to meet your child’s prescription requirements with high accuracy.

Another reason ortho-k lenses are popular: they’re extremely convenient. Eyeglasses have never been popular among children, and regular contact lenses can move around in the eye and even get lost during play. Because children wear ortho-k lenses only when they sleep, and don’t need lenses or glasses during the day, they can go about their day unencumbered.

Ways to Manage Myopia

Four main treatments can slow down the progression of myopia. Each has its advantages and is suitable for different circumstances.

  • Orthokeratology – overnight contact lenses that reshape the cornea and provide clear vision during the day have proven to slow down myopia progression. Because the lenses are worn only at night, the child is free of glasses or contacts throughout the day.
  • Atropine eye drops – applying low-dose atropine eye drops once a day has been shown to slow down myopia progression. There are few side-effects of this medication, and the eye drops can be used in combination with corrective lenses.
  • Contact Lenses – a specific type of contact lens, called a distance center multifocal soft contact lens, can slow down myopia progression.
  • Multifocal lenses – both multifocal glasses and conventional multifocal soft contact lenses can slow down myopia progression to some extent.

Several factors need to be taken into consideration when determining whether ortho-k is a suitable option for your child. These include age, myopia level, and general eye health. Many optometrists prefer ortho-k; however, they may recommend any of the methods mentioned above after assessing the best way to manage your child’s myopia. At Myopia Management Center At The Center for Vision Development we will help you find the best possible option for your child. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Denise Smith to evaluate how to best prevent myopia from progressing and be comfortable at the same time.

Resources:

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03465748

https://www.myopiainstitute.com/types-of-myopia-control/