Orthokeratology for Myopia: How Overnight Lenses Can Slow Down Progression

Orthokeratology for Myopia: How Overnight Lenses Can Slow Down Progression

Orthokeratology for Myopia: How Overnight Lenses Can Slow Down Progression

Orthokeratology for Myopia: How Overnight Lenses Can Slow Down Progression

Myopia is a refractive error of the eye that affects millions of people worldwide. When you have myopia, you can see objects close to you clearly, but those farther away appear blurred or indistinct. This condition results from an elongated eyeball or an overly curved cornea, causing light to focus in front of, rather than directly on, the retina. Orthokeratology represents a promising approach to managing myopia, providing clear vision without daytime glasses or contact lenses, and potentially slowing down myopia progression.

The Importance of Slowing Down Myopia Progression


The higher the degree of myopia, the greater the risk of associated complications. Slowing down the progression of myopia can be considered a preventative measure against future eye health issues.

Myopia control strategies aim to slow down the progression of myopia during childhood. These strategies can include glasses, contact lenses, atropine eye drops, and even lifestyle changes like spending more time outdoors. However, a newer and increasingly popular method of myopia control is Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K.

What is Orthokeratology?


Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a non-surgical procedure that uses specially designed, gas-permeable contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. By wearing these lenses overnight, individuals with myopia can enjoy clear vision during the day without the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses.

How Does Orthokeratology Work?


Orthokeratology works by gently reshaping the cornea's curvature, allowing it to focus light correctly on the retina. The Ortho-K lenses are worn overnight, during which they apply a controlled amount of pressure to the cornea, flattening it by a small degree. This reshaping corrects the refractive error and improves vision.

The correction achieved by Ortho-K lenses is temporary, lasting for a day or two. Therefore, to maintain clear vision, the lenses need to be worn every night. The exact duration can vary from person to person and depends on factors such as the degree of myopia and individual corneal characteristics.

The Benefits of Orthokeratology for Myopia


The benefits of Orthokeratology for myopia are manifold. First, it provides clear vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who find glasses inconvenient or uncomfortable, or for those who engage in sports or other activities where glasses or contact lenses may be a hindrance.

Ortho-K lenses can slow down the progression of myopia in children, reducing the risk of developing high myopia and associated complications. This aspect of Orthokeratology is particularly important given the rising prevalence of myopia and its potential long-term implications for eye health.

Ortho-K lenses are also safe and reversible. If one decides to discontinue Ortho-K, the cornea gradually returns to its original shape, and the refractive error reverts to its previous state. This reversibility is a significant advantage over surgical options for myopia correction, which involve permanent changes to the eye and carry inherent risks.

Is Orthokeratology Right for You?


Ortho-K requires a commitment to a nightly lens-wearing regimen and regular follow-up visits to the eye care professional. It also necessitates good lens care and hygiene practices to avoid complications like infections.

Ultimately, whether Orthokeratology is right for you or your child is a decision that should be made in consultation with your eye care professional. Your doctor can provide a thorough assessment and discuss the potential benefits and considerations based on your specific circumstances and needs.

To learn more about Orthokeratology for myopia, visit Advanced Eye Care and Optical at our office in Jacksonville, Florida. Please call or text (904) 996-1533 to schedule an appointment today. 

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