Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common childhood eye condition that has serious consequences beyond just getting a new pair of eyeglasses each year.
Eyeglasses and traditional contact lenses compensate for a child that is nearsighted. most people are aware that the problem continues and usually the prescription increases each year.
Orthokeratology, sometimes known as Ortho-k, are special lenses that are worn at night. Ortho-k molding lenses have several advantages. They provide clear and stable vision without having to wear any glasses or contacts throughout the day, and in addition, they 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.
What is Myopia?
Myopia is the technical term for Nearsight. Nearsight means that someone can see better at near than they can at distance.
Myopia affects 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 distant objects look blurry because the light focuses 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 cause the lens of the eye to become cloudy, rendering it difficult or even impossible to see.
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.
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 that someone wears at night after they have had their braces removed, in order to keep teeth straight. Ortho-k is similar to Orthodonture. Ortho-k lenses gently reshape the cornea while you sleep. Ortho-k is FDA approved for both Children and Adults. You can then see clearly during school, or an adult can see clearly to drive. You can swim and play sports without requiring prescription goggles or sports glasses. Ortho-k halts the progression of myopia. This, in turn, can diminish your child's risk of developing any sight-threatening conditions in decades to come.
How Are Ortho-k Lenses Prescribed?
Our patients first have a comprehensive eye examination in our office and then an Ortho-k Evaluation. A topographer measures the exact shape of your cornea so we can custom design lenses for you. That enables us to obtain better results and reduces the number of visits needed.
When the lenses arrive, we will teach you how to insert, remove, and care for their ortho-k contact lenses at home. We will see you periodically to see make sure that you are attaining the outcomes we expect and if any adjustments are needed.
Ortho-k offer the ability to see clearly and it also lowers the risk of developing ocular diseases later in life.
We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, see patients from the surrounding communities of Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and those throughout New Jersey.