Ortho-K and nearsightedness: “The most exciting part about orthokeratology” is that it can slow the progression for most kids, Dr. Brad LaVallie, an eye specialist with BayCare Clinic, tells NBC 26’s “Wisconsin Tonight.”
What is Ortho-K?
Ortho-K, otherwise known as orthokeratology, uses specially designed, FDA-approved contact lenses for temporarily correcting myopia, more commonly known as nearsightedness. The lenses temporarily change the curvature of the cornea, improving the eye’s ability to focus. People of all ages, including children, can get Ortho-K.
How do I know if it’s a good option for my child?
If your child wants to go without glasses or contact lens, but they are too young for LASIK, Ortho-K could be the next best option. Ortho-K is especially beneficial if your child participates in contact sports or any other activities that could damage glasses.
When do you wear the lenses?
They are typically worn at night while the child sleeps. In the morning, they are removed and are not worn for the rest of the day. Ortho-K lenses must be worn every night, or as prescribed, for the vision correction to continue.
What kind of results can my child expect?
Ortho-K has been shown to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. These lenses hold the eye in the correct shape. Most people see clearly without glasses or contact lens after the overnight treatment.
How long do the effects usually last?
Patients should be able to see well without glasses or contact lenses for a day or two, sometimes longer, after wearing the lenses for a night. For best results, your child should wear the Ortho-K lenses every night. If Ortho-K treatment is stopped, the cornea will return to its original curvature and the patient will have the same level of nearsightedness as before the treatment.
Are there side effects?
Potential side effects are similar to those of wearing normal contact lenses. These can include pain, redness and irritation. They’re usually temporary conditions. To prevent side effects, parents are encouraged to ensure their children are properly caring for the lenses and are following treatment plans.