Myopia, aka nearsightedness, is the most common reason for someone to wear glasses or contact lenses. It is also a progressive condition. Unfortunately, this means that if it is left untreated, it almost certainly will get worse. The more compromised your vision is, the stronger the prescription lenses will be needed to correct them and in severe cases, patients can require extremely thick lenses. If this happens for you, it can make it impossible for you to use contact lenses and can limit your choice of which frames you can choose. However, these concerns are purely superficial. There is a much more serious reason why myopia control is so important.
Moderate to severe myopia has been found to increase your risk of developing serious eye conditions in the future – some of which can permanently affect your vision or even lead to total blindness. For example, patients with myopia are:
300% more likely to develop glaucoma
1000% more likely to experience retinal detachment
more likely to suffer from a retinal hole or tear
at greater risk of developing cataracts
at greater risk of developing macular degeneration
Unsurprisingly, these scary statistics mean that more patients than ever are now seeking myopia control treatment options.
It is not only adults that can be affected by myopia. In fact, an increasing number of children are now being diagnosed with the condition. Since as much as 80% of learning is visual, myopia can have a significant effect on their ability to engage with their education. Myopia control is now a very real priority for parents across the country, who want to help their children enjoy healthy eyes and great vision so that they can fully unlock their potential.
In the earliest stages of myopia, the condition can be somewhat controlled using multifocal glasses or contact lenses. These are solutions where there are different powers in different areas of the lenses. However, the success of these solutions is not indefinite, and experts are now recommending that patients with myopia consider an alternative treatment known as orthokeratology or ortho-k.
Ortho-k is an innovative new solution for myopia control that uses contact lenses that are specifically designed to reshape the cornea of the patient, thereby correcting the patient’s vision. They are a little different from regular contact lenses in that they are made from gas-permeable material that enables oxygen to reach the eyes and means that the contact lenses can be worn overnight. Whilst you sleep the ortho-k lenses gently reshape your cornea so that when you wake the next day, you can see clearly without prescription lenses. It can take multiple nights of continued overnight wear, but eventually, patients should be able to achieve up to 24 hours of clear daytime vision without prescription lenses.
Ortho-k has been identified as a successful solution for slowing the progression of childhood myopia. It is also completely temporary, meaning that as soon as you stop the treatment, patient vision will return to ‘normal’ and you can consider other options to help you to see clearly. Ortho-k bespoke corneal reshaping lenses can also be used by patients of most ages, including children.
For more information about treatment options for myopia control, please contact our knowledgeable team by calling StylEyes in West Des Moines, IA today by calling (515) 225-6447.