Many experts today believe that myopia should be considered an epidemic due to the high numbers. Their fear is justifiable because surveys say the numbers will reach half the world population by 2050.
While myopia can be corrected when it develops, it can lead to more severe eye conditions if not addressed early. Of the different methods of controlling its development, ortho-k has more peer-reviewed and published papers than any other strategy.
Myopia is a condition that affects your ability to see distant objects clearly and often develops in childhood. It often develops when the structure of the eyeball begins to change and negatively impacts the ability of the eye to refract light.
The structural changes include the elongation of the eyeball and corneal bulging. Once the eyeball begins to experience these changes, it continues into late teens or early adulthood. It can worsen every few months, which means that your child will frequently need a new prescription. Without intervention, the condition can lead to more severe eye issues like high myopia, retinal detachment, or glaucoma.
Myopia control is what eye doctors use to describe all strategies that attempt to manage or slow myopia progression. Eye doctors try to achieve this by dealing with the changes in the structure of the eyeball.
Some popular options are:
Atropine eye drops
Ortho-k is short for orthokeratology, a unique pair of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses you wear while sleeping. As you sleep, the lenses gently change the shape of your cornea to correct the refractive errors accumulated during myopia progression. The lenses help patients achieve clear daytime vision free of corrective eyewear and slowed progression.
The exact mechanism of how the lenses work has yet to be fully understood, but the prevailing view is that it alters the eye's focusing ability. The corneal reshaping process involves flattening the cornea in controlled amounts. The cornea works like a lens, and flattening it refocuses light onto the retina, correcting vision.
Additionally, ortho-k alters the way specific light rays bend into the eye through its unique shape. It impacts the light rays that enter close to the center and at the edges—the central and peripheral light rays, respectively. The central rays are focused at the retina's center, and the peripheral rays are in front of the retina.
Slowing myopia growth happens when the peripheral light rays change their focus position. Bringing these light rays into focus at the front of the retina acts as a stop signal for the structural changes of the eye.
The research on ortho-k is clear that it does control myopia much more effectively than other options. Both children and adults are candidates for these lenses. Talk with your eye doctor at Blink Eye Care and Eye Wear to see if you or your child qualify.
For more on how ortho-k can slow myopia progression, contact Blink Eye Care and Eye Wear at our office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Call (704) 817-3800 to book an appointment today.