If you have a child that has glasses that seem to get stronger each year, you may have felt helpless to sit by and watch your child’s vision get worse. There is, however, current research that shows there is something you can do to slow down this deterioration.
Slowing down the rate of developing nearsightedness is known as “Myopia Control”. New studies are consistently showing that the rate of progression of myopia is slowed when the central vision is properly corrected but the peripheral vision is undercorrected. This is accomplished in one of two ways.
The first of these methods is known as Orthokeratology (Ortho-K). Ortho-K involves the us of contact lenses that reshape the cornea while you sleep. These lenses are inserted at bedtime, worn during sleeping hours, and removed upon waking. The lenses are designed so that when worn for several hours, they reshape the front of the eye to bend the entering light to a proper focus without the use of corrective lenses. The appeal of this treatment is that the vision is only corrected in the central part of the vision, not the periphery. This reduces the stimulus for the eyes to become increasingly nearsighted.
Ortho-K has two-fold benefits: it corrects the vision without the use of lenses during daytime hours while your child is active or away from home, and recent studies demonstrate it reduces the rate of progression of nearsightedness by approximately 70%.
A second alternative for myopia control is the use of soft contact lenses that have the full correction in the center of the lens, but an under-correction in the remainder of the lens. The concept here is similar to Ortho-K, that by under-correcting the peripheral vision, the eye is not stimulated to get progressively nearsighted. These special lenses are a unique design used only by the doctors at the Cornea and Contact Lens Institute of Minnesota.
Our myopia control programs not only offer the latest in myopia control therapy, but with the use of our technology, we can precisely measure your child’s eye length and curvature before treatment, and annually thereafter. We then provide an annual report graphing the change in your child’s prescription and eye shape relative to the predicted change for their age. This allows you to accurately track how the myopia control treatment you choose is working. This one of a kind program takes myopia control to a level offered in very few offices in the entire nation. If you are interested in a consultation for myopia control for your child, please call and schedule an appointment to see if and how myopia control may benefit your child for a lifetime.
LINKS to websites with more information about Myopia Control:
If you are looking for an alternative to laser surgery that can improve your vision in a similar fashion, you may be interested in orthokeratology, or more commonly known as “ortho-k”. Ortho-K involves temporarily reshaping the cornea through the use of specialized contact lenses. Although these lenses are not very common and most people still prefer laser surgery to orth-k, the reshaping method gained more attention and approval after the contact lenses were designed to be worn while sleeping. If you have more questions about orthokeratology or would like to see if it might be the right path for you, call to schedule an eye exam with us today.