What is orthokeratology and Myopia Control? And will it help slow the deterioration of my child’s eyesight?

If you or your child is myopic/ short-sighted (struggles to see things further away) you might have heard about orthokeratology.

Also known as OK or ortho-k, orthokeratology has been around since the 1960s. However, it has gained interest recently for its ability to slow the progression of myopia (short-sightedness).

Orthokeratology involves wearing a specially-designed rigid contact lens overnight. Like a mold, the lens temporarily reshapes the eye while you sleep by gently changing the profile of the cornea (the eye’s clear, protective outer layer that acts like a powerful lens).

This corrects the myopia so when you wake up, you take the lens off and voilà!

The Pros

Orthokeratology may be an appealing option:

The Cons

The potential downsides include:

Myopia Control

Reducing risk of devastating eye disease later in life

It’s now projected half the world’s population will by myopic by 2050, and the World Health Organization has sounded the alarm, saying in one bulletin:

High myopia greatly increases the risk of macular atrophy, glaucoma and other causes of severe vision loss, the incidence of which is not reduced by wearing standard glasses.

Slowing the progression of myopia reduces risk of sight-threatening eye disease. It also means less frequent changes in vision, which can save money in the long run from needing fewer changes to glasses.

Myopia progresses faster in younger years, so a myopia control prevention should be prescribed as early as possible. We don’t know exactly how orthokeratology slows myopia progression, but compelling research shows it does.

If you’re considering orthokeratology for your young child, you need to strike a balance. The child must be old enough to be handle it – but wait too long and the myopia control benefits it offers diminish.

You may need to help your child with handling lenses but children normal adapt very quickly and successfully to Ortho-K contact lenses.

Review all the options

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