Nearly 42% of people in the United States have trouble seeing things at a distance, a condition known as myopia, or nearsightedness. By the year 2050, researchers predict that about half of the world’s population will have myopia.
If you or a member of your family is part of this large group who need lenses to see distance more clearly, it may be worth exploring how ortho-K speciality contact lenses can help.
As our practice name, Vision and Ortho-K, suggests, Dr. Curtis Frank and our team have considerable experience with these lenses, which take a unique approach to correcting myopia.
Here’s a brief look at how ortho-K lenses can give you a daily reprieve from your nearsightedness and your eyeglasses.
Reshaping your eyes for better vision
Ortho-K is short for orthokeratology, which is a technique in which you wear special contact lenses at night, while you sleep. The lenses reshape your eyes overnight so you can see distances more clearly during the day.
When you have myopia, the problem typically stems from an abnormal shape in your cornea, which is the area where light first enters your eye. If your corneas are cone-shaped, which indicates a type of astigmatism, they don’t focus light directly onto your retina. Instead, the light falls in front of your retina, preventing you from seeing things in the distance clearly.
The ortho-K lenses are hard, gas permeable lenses you wear each night that gently reshape your corneas. When you wake in the morning, you remove the lenses and your eyes hold the shape for the rest of the day, allowing you to see clearly without needing glasses or contact lenses.
This approach to myopia not only eliminates your need for glasses, it allows you to avoid surgical correction.
Stopping myopia in children
Another use of ortho-K lenses is among children who have myopia. This vision issue usually shows up when children are young and continues to progress until the child reaches their early 20s, at which point their eyes stop changing.
With ortho-K lenses, we can not only slow the progression of myopia in your child, we may be able to guide eye development and halt the vision issue — preventing it from getting any worse.
A big advantage of correcting myopia early on is that kids can avoid the problems that are often associated with a lifetime of myopia, such as
- Early cataracts
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
It isn’t inevitable that people with myopia develop these eye diseases, but they’re more at risk. Through early intervention with ortho-K lenses, we can improve their vision while reducing your child’s risk for these eye issues later in life.
If you’d like to learn more about ortho-K lenses and whether they’re right for your goals, please schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.