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Orthokeratology in Slowing Myopia Progression

There has been a lot in the news recently about the impact orthokeratology (ortho-k) can have on slowing the progress of myopia in children. A group of doctors from the Department of Ophthalmology Affiliated Eye Hospital of Shandong University in China recently reviewed the professional literature and studies that had been conducted in the past to determine the effects of orthokeratology in slowing myopia progression.

They reviewed seven studies that included 435 subjects who ranged in age from 6 to 16 years and were followed from 2 years.  The conclusion was that orthokeratology may slow myopia progression in children and that further large-scale studies are needed to substantiate the current result and to investigate the long-term effects of orthokeratology in myopia control.

Myopia (nearsightedness) has become one of the most common ocular disorders worldwide. Myopia occurs in 20%-50% in Europe and the United States, and up to 70%-80% for young adults in some parts of East Asia. High myopia is a risk factor for cataract, glaucoma, myopic retinopathy, and retinal detachment. Therefore, it is very important to slow or even stop the progression of myopia in children.

Many researchers are investigating ways to control myopia progression. Orthokeratology, an optical correction mainly for correcting low-to-moderate myopia, is showing a potential to reduce the progression of myopia.  The benefit is that it is reversible and if the patient is unhappy with the treatment, he or she can simply discontinue wearing the lenses. Several medical treatments have been considered to reduce myopia progression, including topical application of medications, although there is no ideal therapeutic modalities to effectively prevent myopic progression.  Factors tha are considered are how effective a treatment is, its safety, cost, and the ease of application.

The experience in our office’s (25+ years) is that orthokeratology is a very effective method of reducing or eliminating the progression of myopia in children.  In addition, it gives them the freedom from glasses or contact lenses in school and on the sports field.  Orthokeratology for adults enables the same freedom in the workplace and in leisure activities.  We have prescribed for police officers and pilots, as well as for people that just want to be able to see and function well for both distance and for near.  We have an extensive experience in orthokeratology and have been successful in prescribing for children and adults that are nearsighted, farsighted, astigmatic, presbyopic (over 40 and need both distance and near correction.  Contact Family Eye Care to see if ortho-k is right for you.