Orthokeratology helping children battle nearsightedness
For anyone wearing glasses, you know it can be a hassle at times.
But a relatively new option for children is being offered which could eliminate the need for glasses and help their vision at the same time.
Children are battling nearsightedness, or myopia, at a younger and younger age.
Doctors say contact lenses can offer several benefits over other forms of vision correction for kids.
Actually 4 million American children are wearing contacts lenses. Structurally, the eye is very robust so it can handle wearing contact lenses from a very early age. In fact some infants are fit into contact lenses due to diseases and conditions they are born with.
While myopia is permanent, many children as young as 6 years old are wearing gas permeable lenses called orthokeratology, or “ortho-k,” which can help with myopia.
With orthokeratology you use a special lens that is designed to sleep in. As you sleep, the lens acts like a retainer and molds your eye temporarily so that when you wake up you can take it off and see without any glasses or contacts that are needed. And with this, they have added benefits especially in children of decreasing progression of their prescription from getting higher.
With nearsightedness on the rise from the use of smart phones, tablets and computers, wearing these special soft contacts while you sleep can make a big difference for a child when he or she gets older.
Orthokeratology is mainly used to slow down myopia which is basically when a child cannot see far away, and the parent may notice some squinting, moving closer to the tv or board, moving a book closer to them to be able to see. Also, if the child just recently had a prescription change and a few months later you are starting to notice these symptoms, this may be a sign the progression is happening quickly.
The patients must wear the lenses for at least six hours every night in order to help preserve their vision from getting worse as they grow older.
It’s important for parents to ask themselves whether their child is mature enough to insert, remove and take care of their contact lenses.
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