Ortho-K vs. Soft Contact Lenses
We can all agree that there are some indisputable benefits of orthokeratology—such as convenience and safety. Keep in mind that you should mention both the pros and cons of ortho-k with your patients..
First and foremost, we cannot understate the advantage of experiencing freedom from corrective lenses wear, especially for children. How many times have you had frustrated parents coming in for the fifth time in a month to get their child’s glasses fixed or adjusted? How often do children end up replacing glasses because they are broken or scratched to the point of uselessness? In general, children are harder on eyeglasses than adults—due to their active lifestyles and relative carelessness when it comes to their spectacles. Keep in mind that the long-term cost of orthokeratology vs. glasses is not significantly different when you consider that you are replacing glasses annually, if not more frequently.
Secondly, glasses are awkward to use when playing sports or other physical activities. This is one reason why many parents consider contact lenses in the first place. Orthokeratology is a perfect solution for both of these problems. For children active in athletics, there is no better means of correction at any age than orthokeratology.
Ortho-K vs. Soft Contact Lenses
It could be debated that soft contact lenses can be just as advantageous for active children as orthokeratology, but the arguments fall short. For example, while soft lenses should not be worn when swimming, this is not an issue with orthokeratology.
Because soft lenses are worn during the active times of day, any problem with lens drying or stability will affect vision and function during times of visual demand. This is not the case with orthokeratology. Soft lenses are applied at home, but the child then spends the majority of their day away from home and, most likely, away from their care system, case and back-up glasses. This means that any issues that arise while wearing their soft lenses may not be managed optimally. On the other hand, with orthokeratology, children manage their lens use at home never far from assistance and lens care products.
Comparing cumulative costs, there is little monetary difference when you compare orthokeratology vs. soft lens use. Although the initial cost of orthokeratology is higher, the annual cost of soft lenses will usually catch up in the long run.
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