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Myopia Management

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked

4 Common Myopia Myths Debunked 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eye elongates and rays of light entering the eye are focused in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it.

It’s by far the most common refractive error among children and young adults.

To help understand and learn more about what myopia means for your child’s vision, we’ve debunked 4 common myopia myths.

Myth: Myopia only develops in childhood

Fact: While it’s true that in most cases nearsightedness develops in childhood, it can also develop during one’s young adult years.

Myth: Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses cause myopia to worsen

Fact: Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses in no way exacerbate myopia. Optical corrections help you see comfortably and clearly. Another common misconception is that it’s better to use a weaker lens power than the one prescribed by your eye doctor. This is simply not true. By wearing a weaker lens you are contradicting the purpose of using corrective eyewear, which is to comfortably correct your vision.

Myth: Taking vitamins can cure myopia

Fact: Vitamins have been proven to slow the progression of or prevent some eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts. However, no vitamin has been shown to prevent or cure myopia. All vitamins and supplements should only be taken under the advice of your healthcare professional.

Myth: There is no way to slow the progression of myopia.

Fact: There are a few ways to slow down the progression of myopia:

Get more sunlight. Studies have shown that children who spend more time playing outdoors in the sunlight have slower myopia progression than children who are homebodies.

Take a break. Doing close work, such as spending an excessive amount of time looking at a digital screen, reading, and doing homework has been linked to myopia. Encouraging your child to take frequent breaks to focus on objects farther away can help. One well-known eye exercise is the 20-20-20 rule, where you take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Other options to slow myopia progression include:

  • Orthokeratology/Ortho-k. These are specialized custom-fit contact lenses shown to decrease the rate of myopia progression through the gentle reshaping of the cornea when worn overnight.
  • Multifocal lenses offer clear vision at various focal distances. Studies show that wearing multifocal soft contact lenses or multifocal eyeglasses during the day can limit the progression of myopia compared to conventional single vision glasses or contact lenses.
  • Atropine drops. 1.0% atropine eye drops applied daily in one eye over a period of 2 years has shown to significantly reduce the progression of myopia

Prevent or slow the progression of your child’s myopia with myopia management. Contact Family Eye Care to book your child’s consultation today!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Moshe Roth

Q: Can myopia be cured?

  • A: Currently, there is no cure for myopia. However, various myopia management methods can slow its progression.

Q: How much time should my child spend outdoors to reduce the risk of myopia?

  • A: Make sure your child spends at least 90 minutes a day outdoors.


Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

 

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Does The Use of Digital Devices Cause Myopia In Children?

kid with tablet 640Myopia (nearsightedness) occurs when the eyeball grows too long, or the cornea and/or eye lens are too curved relative to the length of the eyeball. This causes objects that are at a distance, to look blurry. More than 1 out of every 3 people who live in the US have Myopia. Myopia starts in childhood.

Being nearsighted is more than just an inconvenience. Children with moderate to severe myopia are at significant risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

The question is: is there a link between spending too much time on digital devices and myopia? The good things about computers and digital devices is that it is a learning tool, engaging our children, at least to a degree, now during COVID.. It keeps our children busy and entertained. What are the implications associated with all this screen time?

What Does the Research Show?

There is growing evidence that up-close tasks raise the risk of myopia in children. In an analysis of 27 studies on 25,000 children published in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers found that the more time children spent on near-work activities like reading, homework, writing, computer use, playing video games, and watching TV, the higher their risk of developing myopia.

The analysis found that the odds of myopia increased by 2% for every hour per week a child did near-work activities.

Some people ask: is it the computer that is doing this to my child? No. It’s how the person USES their visual system that CHANGES the visual system; over-focusing and over-converging.

Studies have found that children who spend a significant amount of time playing outdoors experience less myopia progression than children who are homebodies. Why is that? Again, the reason is how someone USES their system, CHANGES their system. Researchers theorize that looking at distant objects, such as a ball flying through the air at the far end of a sports field, and sunshine play a role in myopia prevention. Unfortunately, this statement demonstrates that those doctors don’t really understand the visual system. It is not the “outside” that is improving the system and preventing the myopia from progressing, rather, it is the fact that the child is NOT INSIDE working on the computer and over-focusing the accommodative system or over-converging the fusional system.

Some have advocated limiting the amount of time a child uses a digital screen. Realistically, that will not prevent the progression of myopia, because THAT is the way we do things now, both as children and as adults. Think about the amount of time that you spend on your computer or cell phone. It is probably significantly more than you did just 5 or 10 years ago.

To learn more about myopia or to slow its progression, contact Family Eye Care today. Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno will be able to help you with that.

What Are the Signs of Myopia?

  • Blurred vision: Using a digital screen for long periods of time can result in blurry vision, especially when focusing on distant objects. The most common way to address myopia in the past, and even still now, is that the doctor merely prescribes a higher and higher eyeglass power. The problem is that that does not address the underlying REASON for the myopia progression and it merely addresses the ultimate result. It addresses the “smoke” but not the “fire” that is causing the smoke.
  • Headaches: Untreated myopia can cause serious eye strain, which in turn results in headaches. Here, it is the over-focusing (accommodation) or the over-converging for long periods that is at the root cause for the headaches. Children often assume that this is normal and therefore can’t or don’t complain that this is a problem.
  • Head tilting or squinting: If you notice your child tilting their head while watching TV or squinting their eyes, it’s a sign that they are having difficulty focusing. This could be a sign of myopia. Again, here, the myopia is the result, but what most people want to address is what is the root cause for this?
  • Holding reading material too closely: Frequently children cannot verbally explain how they feel, but they can express it in a non-verbal way. If you notice your child moving closer to the TV or that they have trouble seeing the blackboard at school, this is a red flag that tells you that they are likely becoming more nearsighted.

What is myopia?

Myopia, pronounced (My-Ow-Pee-Ahh) is the medical term for nearsightedness. Nearsighted simply means that someone CAN see better at near than off at a distance. Just think of it as 2 separate words: NEAR + Sighted.

How Can I Prevent or Slow My Child’s Myopia?

Identifying myopia early can help slow its progression and prevent serious eye diseases later in life. As a parent, here is what you can do to help prevent your child from developing this eye condition:

  • Bring your child for an assessment by a Behavioral Optometrist so that doctor can identify the underlying reason for the myopia.
  • Some suggest limiting the amount of time your child spends on close work such as reading, homework, and screen time. However, as explained above, that is not realistic and not practical.
  • Good Computer-work hygiene IS important. Making sure that the computer is properly positioned and taking frequent screen breaks addresses the over-focusing problem. The 20-20-20 rule is a good thing to do: look across the room or through a window, at something 20 feet and beyond, for at least 20 seconds, every 20 minutes that you are working on the computer.
  • Encourage outdoor time of at least 90 minutes a day, preferably in the sunshine. Be sure your child wears UV protected sunglasses. Again, this is a good idea anyway, in or der to get physical activity, but those doctors that propose this, don’t usually understand that it is not the outdoors that is preventing the myopia, but rather limiting the in-door use of computer and other near work.
  • Discuss myopia management with your eye doctor to slow and potentially stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

How We Can Help Treat Myopia

If your child exhibits any myopia symptoms, schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Undetected myopia can cause many complications, whether academic, social, or emotional. Early diagnosis of myopia and other eye problems can improve your child’s performance in school, on the sports field, and can prevent serious sight-robbing eye diseases later in life.

Furthermore, if your child is diagnosed with myopia, we can help slow its progression with myopia management.

Our doctors work closely with each family and customize treatment programs for every child based on their unique needs. If you are concerned about your child’s myopia, schedule an assessment for myopia management to see if they can benefit from this life-changing treatment.

Answers to myopia include Orthokeratolgy, Vision Therapy, Special therapeutic eyeglasses, special myopia-controlling contact lenses such as MiSight and NaturalVue, Syntonic Phototherapy, and Atropine. In our office, we offer ALL of those. Some offices may offer some of those options.

To learn more about myopia management or to schedule an eye exam, contact Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison today!

Resources:

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Call Us 855-884-3937

Protect Your Child’s Vision; Have Them Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640Healthy outdoor play, even now in the winter, can help prevent your child from becoming more nearsighted.

Below are some 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 becoming more nearsighted (myopia progression) than children who don’t. Researchers aren’t certain as to why that happens, but we, the doctors at Family Rye Care in Old Bridge, have our own ideas as to why. Some believe that it is the sunlight and the fact that children are using their distance vision when they are outdoors. We think that it has a lot more to do with the fact that when children are outdoors, they are not looking at their devices and overworking the visual system at near.

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, such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Cataracts, nd Maculopathy.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing in the snow is fun and something everyone can enjoy. Obviously bundle up to stay safe and warm. 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 or a snow fort. This can be fun for the whole family! If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, then 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.

At Family Eye Care, our goal is to help slow 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!

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

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 Family Eye Care 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. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno 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 Family Eye Care to schedule an eye exam today.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Flattening the Curve: Ortho-K is an Answer to Battling the Myopia Epidemic

Mom Daughter Child Eye HealthYour child is likely spending more and more time on computer or digital devices. This can be overworking your child’s visual system in a way it was not intended to work. This can promote your child to become nearsighted.

Myopia (nearsightedness) is a vision epidemic that is spreading. It affects more than a quarter of the world’s population and could affect half of the population within 30 years. The reason it is important to slow myopia progression in childhood is because moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) increase the likelihood that you child will develop vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

Myopia, (nearsightedness) has traditionally been COMPENSATED for by wearing prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Please note that eyeglasses and contact lenses do NOT CORRECT vision. If they did, then children would NOT be getting more nearsighted each year.

When a child becomes more and more nearsighted over time, that is called progressive myopia. LASIK surgery is not approved for children because their eyes are still growing. Often parents say: “I will just wait until my child gets older and then they can have LASIK”. They say this thinking that LASIK does not have any negative consequences. The fact is that most adults that have had LASIK, ultimately need eyeglasses. LASIK makes the cornea THINNER so the person can see more clearly shortly after the surgery, but often that benefit is short-lived. LASIK cuts a perfectly healthy tissue and once it is thinner, it is more prone to then bulging out afterwards. The term for that is ECTASIA.

Why is myopia so widespread? To a small degree, it can be associated with genetics, but the larger reason is how we use our visual system. Again, eyeglasses merely compensate for how light is bent. It does not change how the eyes continue to over-focus. It is the over-focusing that produces the increase in myopia. When children spend many hours indoors, focused on a screen, that has pixels rather than print, that is a trigger for the myopia to increase. Research studies say that children who spent a significant amount of time in the sun experienced less myopia progression than children who did not. The reason is NOT that the outdoors reduces the progression, but rather, the reason is that those children are then not spending as much time looking at a screen.

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

Ortho-k is an FDA approved, safe, and popular treatment option for slowing myopia’s progression. Special custom lenses are designed to create non-permanent changes in the cornea. The lenses are made of a special gas permeable material that allows oxygen to pass right through them makes them very safe. This material allows even more oxygen through and does a soft contact lens. These lenses are designed specifically for each person and are customized based on the unique shape f each person’s cornea.

Ortho-k lenses are worn at night and removed in the morning, much as a mouth retainer is worn at night and removed in the morning once someone’s teeth have been straightened after wearing braces. When the child or adult wakes up, they then remove the night retainer lens and they are able to see clearly throughout the day. More importantly, the power does not increase, especially if combined with Vision Therapy. You, or your child can see clearly, swim, and play sports without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

We at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge, NJ, take great measures to make sure that our patients, both adults and children, understand how to care for their lenses. We stress the importance of washing hands first before inserting or removing the lenses, and using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses. First and foremost, Ortho-k is safe.

Annual eye exams are extremely important so we, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ can monitor and solve small problems before they ever have a chance to become a bigger problem. Lenses are replaced every year, much as a toothbrush is replaced periodically.

Other components within myopia management include Vision Therapy, Special Soft Contact lenses (MiSight and Natural Vue) and Atropine.

Ortho-k should be considered for your child’s short- and long-term ocular health.

We, at Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ have treated thousands of patients, both children and adults, throughout our area in the towns of Old Bridge, Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

References:

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Call Us 855-884-3937

How Do I Prevent My Child’s Myopia From Becoming Worse?

child reading 640×350If you’re a parent of a child who is nearsighted, 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. Roth at Family Eye Care, 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?

Both nature (genetics) and nurture (how we use the visual system) play a role in myopia development. Parents who are nearsighted, are more likely to have a child who is nearsighted.

There are many factors that produce myopia, but each person handles visual stress differently. Some factors are a visual system that over focuses, especially at near, such as when reading. Another factor is where the eyes point. If they tend to point in too much, that is also a factor. Those who avoid reading, usually don’t become as nearsighted, but in our world that is so computer and screen based, and the importance of reading and learning to advance in school and at work, that is impractical. There are answers to answer the myopia-progression question.

How Can I Prevent Myopia From Becoming Worse?

As stated above, avoidance of reading and working on computer is not a practical answer. Some doctors may advocate “time in the sunshine”. The only reason that works is because when someone is in the sun, they are usually not reading. It is not the sun that is preventing the myopia, but rather the fact that the individual is not doing near work.

How Can an Eye Doctor help with Myopia Management ?

Doctors that manage Myopia progression do more than prescribe regular compensating eyeglass lenses. There are methods that can help control its progression.

Current treatments include:

  1. visoin thearpy which address the underlying reason that the myopia is progresing
  2. Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”) special molding lenses that are worn at night while sleeping
  3. Special bifocal eyeglass
  4. Special Myopia control contact lenses
  5. Atropine

We begin with a comprehensive eye exam. Together with Dr. Roth, we can determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your child. Annual eye examinations are needed for all children, but especially for children that are progressing in myopia. Not all optometrists or ophthalmologists provide myopia management.

 

 

Dr. Roth and Dr. Tiomno, and the friendly staff at family Eye Care in Old Bridge, can answer your questions on Myopia Management. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you.

Family Eye Care in Old Bridge serves patients from Aberdeen, East Brunswick, Manalapan, Matawan, Marlboro, Monroe, Parlin. Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, Spotswood, Lawrence Harbor, Cliffwood Beach, and throughout New Jersey.

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 855-884-3937

Give Your Elementary School Student The Life-Changing Gift of Ortho-K

happy blonde childMyopia, 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

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 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.

References

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Ortho-K for Myopia Management

girl sleeping on bed 1359554It is often distressing for a parent when they realize that their child can’t see as well as they thought they should.

Picture this:

You have brought your child to the eye doctor. Both you and your child feel stressed as your child squints to see the letters on the eye chart. Most doctors still simply prescribe a higher and higher eyeglass prescription and you are frustrated.

There has been an incredible increase in the number and percent of children becoming more nearsighted (myopic). There are a number of ways this can be addressed rather than just falling into the old routine of simply prescribing a higher power each year. Eyeglasses are the traditional answer, but what if there was a better way to stem the progression.

Orthokeratology, often called Ortho-k for short, is one option. Most people have not heard of this choice even though it was developed over 60 years ago and it is FDA approved. Just as only some dentists become orthodontists, only some eye doctors choose to learn how to prescribe orthokeratology.

Ortho-K Has High Success Rates in Slowing Down Myopia

Today it is commonly agreed that eyeglasses to compensate for nearsighted vision is not enough. Most parents want a better answer for their children. Myopia progresses during childhood, and young adults may find themselves with high levels of myopia, and at risk of developing severe eye diseases. These serious eye diseases 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 special THERAPEUTIC contact lens that reshape the eye rather than regular COMPENSATING 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 and then the individual wears a retainer in the mouth to “retain” the position of the teeth. Ortho-k lenses purposefully induces temporary change that last through the following day. This is why Ortho-K is reversible and safe at any age. This is why, unlike LASIK, this is FDA approved for ALL ages.

Reshaping is accomplished by wearing custom-made lenses overnight, while your child is asleep. In the morning, your child removes the lenses, and the cornea maintains its new shape. The benefit is two fold.

  1. Your child can see the board in school.
  2. Your child’s prescription often does not get worse each year, as it would otherwise, with regular eyeglasses or regular contact lenses.

Clear vision is achieved by changing the corneal shape rather than a visual aid. This has been proven over and over since 1962.

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.

Dr. Roth has offered Orthokeratology for nearly 30 years and has considerable experience. We have many videos of many of our patients or various ages who have been in ortho-K for years. We use as special instrument called a digital corneal topographer that measures and maps the corneal surface. We can then design precise custom ortho-k lenses that are made specifically for your / your child’s eyes. The topographer enables us to monitor the improvement attained by using the special lenses and enables us to measure this with high accuracy.

Ortho-k is also popular because it is extremely convenient. Many kids don’t like to wear eyeglasses and feel self conscious. Regular contact lenses can dry out over time and makes the eyes feel dry. This then causes an extra distraction when reading an studying. Since 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 – custom overnight lenses reshape the cornea and provide clear vision during the day. These have been proven to slow down myopia progression and are safe. The lenses are worn only at night and the child is free of glasses or contacts throughout the day.
  • Vision Therapy addresses the underlying cause that is producing myopia. The “fire” that is producing the “smoke”.
  • Special Soft Contact Lenses, a specific type of contact lens, called a distance center multifocal soft contact lens, can slow down myopia progression.
  • Bifocal eyeglass lenses can also slow down myopia progression if a focusing problem is at its root.
  • 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.

    Several factors need to be taken into consideration when determining whether ortho-k is the correct answer for your child. These include age, myopia level, and general eye health.

    We will discuss ortho-k as one of the options to assess the best way to manage your child’s myopia. At Family Eye Care in Old Bridge NJ, we will help you find the best possible option for your child. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Roth 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/

     

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    How Safe Are Overnight Contact Lenses?

    boy in yellow zip up jacket 3771646Your optometrist recommended orthokeratology (ortho-k) treatment for your child — that is, wearing corrective lenses overnight. However, the idea of having your child wear contact lenses while they sleep may be worrisome. Can it lead to an eye infection, or scratch/ squeeze the cornea?

    A closer look into the research done on overnight ortho-k lens wear reveals the extent of any actual risk factors and how they compare to other contact lens options.

    What Are Overnight Ortho-K Lenses?

    Ortho-k lenses are custom-made contact lenses that are worn overnight to gently reshape the cornea, thus enabling clear vision the following day. Research shows that overnight ortho-k not only effectively removes the need to wear any glasses or daytime contact lenses, but can slow down the progression of myopia. Optometrists, such as , are therefore increasingly using ortho-k for myopia management as well as for patients who no longer want to wear any optical correction during the day.

    Is Your Child at a Higher Risk of Eye Infection With Ortho-K?

    An extensive study involving 1300 people at Ohio State University concluded that overnight ortho-k carries no more risk than any other type of contact lens modality.

    Hygiene plays a vital role in preventing infections with all contact lenses. During the lens fitting process, your eye care professional will provide you and your child with detailed information and guidance on how to clean and store the lenses, as well as what precautions to take. Make sure to carefully follow the instructions regarding the cleaning schedule and use only the appropriate solutions provided for the overnight lenses.

    Other Potential Risks With Orthokeratology

    Can an Ortho-k Lens Squeeze or Scratch the Cornea?

    An ortho-k lens floats on a tear film covering the eye. The reshaping is achieved by hydraulic force that is applied to the thin central part of the cornea without any tissue being squeezed or crushed.

    A corneal abrasion can occasionally occur and is usually the result of a fingernail or lens edge scratching the cornea. That said, the risk isn’t any higher with overnight lenses than with other rigid lenses.

    Do Overnight Lenses Involve a Higher Risk of Hypoxia?

    The cornea needs a regular oxygen supply. This supply is typically reduced when covered by a contact lens. Extended uninterrupted contact lens wear can cause hypoxia and swell the cornea — this applies to all contact lens modalities when worn longer than recommended.

    What is Corneal Staining?

    This is likely the most common of all contact lens complications. Corneal staining refers to the appearance of tissue disruption and other changes on the corneal surface. This may be due to a variety of causes, such as improper lens fit, foreign bodies, tear film disruption or irregularities at the edges of a contact lens.

    A corneal stain can also occur when a specific contact lens solution comes into direct contact with the cornea and the patient has a reaction to the chemicals in that solution. Research shows that children who wear ortho-k lenses are at no greater risk of corneal staining than those who wear soft contact lenses.

    What You Need to Remember When Handling Ortho-K Lenses

    • Always wash hands before inserting or removing contact lenses.
    • Make sure to strictly adhere to the cleaning and disinfection routine as instructed by your optometrist.
    • Provide your child with all the necessary assistance and support regarding the care of the lenses. Young children should not handle the lenses on their own.
    • Only use the solutions recommended by Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno. If you feel your child has an issue with any of them, please contact us.
    • Frequently replace the lens case to avoid microbial contamination and make sure you or your child do not touch the tip of the solution bottle.
    • Do not use tap water to rinse your lenses, always use saline solution.
    • Never use a soft contact lens solution for a rigid lens. These solutions are made of different liquids, each with their own guidelines and protocols.
    • If your child feels discomfort or experiences redness of the eye, contact Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno.

    How Safe Are Overnight Contact Lenses? from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

    Overnight Ortho-K Lenses are Safe

    Orthokeratology is a safe and effective method of providing clear daytime vision and of slowing down the progression of myopia in children.

    As long as they carefully follow the instructions regarding hygiene and the handling of the lenses, there should be no reason to worry. Children mature enough to understand the importance of these instructions will also be responsible enough to adhere to them.

    Get more information regarding overnight ortho-k lenses at Family Eye Care. Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno will carry out an eye exam and will happily answer any questions you may have.

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    Use Your Benefits in 2020 for Ortho-K

    something in my eyeDid your new year resolutions include any vision-related intentions? After all, it is the year 2020 — a year for perfect vision. This could be the right time to consider a more effective and worthwhile way to correct your or your child’s nearsightedness.

    Consider ortho-k (orthokeratology), a way to correct myopia that could give you or your child clear 20/20 vision. What’s more, it comes with certain financial advantages, as Ortho-k can be eligible for reimbursement with most health-related savings accounts.

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    Why Use Your Benefits on Orthokeratology?

    Whether you have funds that rolled over from the previous year or you just started your new health savings account this year, now is the time to plan how to allocate your benefits in 2020.

    Remember, vision-related issues should never be taken lightly. An investment in vision correction pays off in numerous ways. Ortho-k provides a safe, non-surgical, non-invasive, and comfortable corrective option and lets you take advantage of your benefits.

    What is Orthokeratology?

    Orthokeratology, also known as corneal reshaping therapy, are custom-fit overnight lenses that gently mold your cornea into a shape that bends light correctly onto the retina. This allows you to have perfect vision without wearing glasses or contact lenses throughout the day.

    Ortho-k Advantages for Adults

    There are advantages to Ortho-k besides the convenience of not wearing glasses or contacts during the day. Glasses or contact lenses often don’t provide clear peripheral vision, something you will have with ortho-k. Moreover, unlike LASIK surgery, which creates a permanent change to the corneal shape and involves the risk of complications, the ortho-k treatment is safe and reversible.

    Ortho-k Advantages for Children

    For children, there is an additional benefit. Myopia usually worsens until around the age of 21, sometimes at an alarming speed. High levels of myopia, generally above -3.00 dioptres, can pose a higher risk of serious eye diseases later on in life that can lead to loss of vision.

    Research has revealed that orthokeratology can slow down the progression of myopia, thus lowering the risks of developing macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and cataracts.

    Which Savings Accounts Cover Orthokeratology?

    You may not have to pay entirely for orthokeratology out of your own pocket, as many Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Accounts (FSA) can reimburse this kind of program. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) may at times also refund the ortho-k costs. Just make sure to check your specific plan, as not all plans are exactly the same.

    Use Your Benefits in 2020 to Correct Myopia With Ortho-K from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

    Use Benefits for Family Members

    It gets even better! You can use these funds either for yourself or for someone in your family. If you have a child with progressing nearsightedness, use the benefits to help him/her get the best vision ever.

    Many parents settle for glasses or regular contact lenses as they are less expensive than special ortho-k lenses. However, with a savings account, there is no need to compromise because you get a refund. Give yourself the opportunity to make the year 2020 a year of 20/20 vision for yourself or your child.

    At Family Eye Care, we prescribe and fit orthokeratology lenses and provide all associated services. Contact Dr. Moshe Roth and Dr. Steffani Tiomno today to schedule an appointment for an eye evaluation.

    We treat patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.

    Book An Appointment
    Call Us 855-884-3937