Although there is no cure for nearsightedness to this present day, there are in fact a number of treatments that your ophthalmologist can recommend to slow down the progression of myopia, especially for children and teenagers.
Why Should You Be Interested in Myopia Control?
The concept of orthokeratology (ortho-K) has been around for more than 40 years as an alternative to undergoing corrective eye surgery. The gas permeable contact lenses used in ortho-k gently are used to reshape the front surface of your cornea when you sleep. After removing the lenses the following day, you will be able to see clearly without the need of using glasses or contact lenses.
Ortho-k lenses are generally prescribed to patients for two reasons:
1. For correcting refractive errors. These can include nearsightedness, astigmatism, hyperopia, and in some cases presbyopia.
2. For slowing down childhood myopia. Prescribed primarily for myopia control among children and teenagers.
Slowing down the progression of myopia in your child or teenager can really help keep your child from needing stronger prescription glasses each year. In the long run, ortho-k lenses can help prevent eye conditions that are developed later in life such as cataracts and detached retina problems associated with the use of thick corrective glasses.
How Can Ortho-K Slow Down Myopia Progression?
In what way then does ortho-k work in slowing down the progression of myopia? Well, it boils down to how myopia really develops and progresses. Myopia typically begins developing during the early childhood years and begins progressing more rapidly as children begin to reach their preteen years. Although it is true that myopia can also develop among older teenagers and young adults, it is much less common. Because myopic changes are permanent, it will be increasingly harder to see any progress in slowing down myopia when it is already very advanced (as is the case with adults). Ortho-k lenses used in children with myopia is used more as a preventative method to ensure the development of myopia in your child does not accelerate.
Out of all the methods for slowing down myopia progression, clinical trial results found under Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) has shown that ortho-k lenses slow down myopic progression the most. In a way, these lenses work like a mold that is approximately the size of your iris. This mold then helps in preventing the eye from growing too long, causing myopia. Although this method will not anatomically shrink your eye or cut off the parts that are too long, it will help control eye growth and thus, slowing down this growth.
If you are interested in Ortho-k treatments for controlling myopia, give us a call at (604) 522-1120 to learn more about how you could get this treatment.