Are you getting the most out of your contact lenses? Modern technology has given optometrists a toolkit of contacts that go far beyond simply correcting vision. Some contact lenses may even slow myopia and protect children’s vision as they grow and experience the world.
Orthokeratology, also known as ortho-k, uses specially designed lenses that temporarily reshape the front of the eye to improve vision and potentially slow myopia progression in children.
There are a few options for ortho-k lenses, and understanding their functions can help you determine the best solution for your child’s vision issues.
Myopia: A Growing Concern
Myopia affects nearly 30% of Americans, and some predictions say that by 2050, as much as 50% of the world will have some level of it!
Also known as nearsightedness, myopia typically occurs in 2 ways:
- The eye has grown too long from front to back
- The clear dome at the front of the eye, called the cornea, is too curved
This causes the light entering the eye to focus incorrectly, making distant objects appear blurry. Myopia can also get worse as your child’s eyes continue to grow. While it usually stabilizes when they become adults, this time is precious as the earlier myopia is diagnosed, the earlier treatments can slow their degrading vision.
It’s essential to slow myopia early since high amounts of myopia can increase your risk of severe conditions, such as:
- Macular degeneration
- Retinal detachment
Lenses for Myopia Management
Ortho-k lenses are custom-fitted for your child and worn while they sleep. The lenses apply gentle pressure to the cornea, reshaping it to allow light to focus on the retina, the layer of photoreactive cells at the back of your eye.
This reshaping is temporary, and the eye will return to its original shape in time. However, for children with myopia, ortho-k lenses may train their eyes not to grow as long. One clinical trial showed that children using ortho-k lenses could reduce myopia’s progression by up to 56% when compared to their peers who wore eyeglasses or traditional contact lenses.
Ortho-k is also sometimes referred to as corneal refractive therapy (CRT), though CRT typically refers to Paragon CRT lenses, the first FDA-approved overnight ortho-k lens design. Another ortho-k design is the Global OK-Vision (GOV) lenses.
GOV lenses are designed to treat high levels of myopia. Myopia severity is typically categorized using diopters (D):
- Low myopia: -0.50 D to -5.75 D
- High myopia: -6.00 D or greater
GOV lenses can treat prescriptions up to -10.00 D.
CRT/GOV lenses are fitted to your eyes using a topographer that utilizes refracted light to map the cornea. The lenses themselves are gas-permeable, allowing necessary oxygen to reach the eye and keep it hydrated and healthy.
The effectiveness of CRT/GOV lenses depends on the wearer. However, the FDA clinical studies for Paragon CRT lenses showed that 93–95% of wearers achieved at least 20/40 vision, while 67–73% achieved 20/20 vision.
This makes ortho-k a safe and effective way to correct myopia without wearing corrective lenses during the day.
Abiliti Overnight Lenses
ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight contact lenses are ortho-k lenses designed for children’s eyes.
Your optometrist begins with a comprehensive eye exam that measures your child’s prescription. This exam can also uncover other eye health issues affecting their vision or may affect their ability to wear contact lenses.
With proper care and wear, Abiliti Overnight lenses have been shown to reduce the elongation of a child’s eye by an average of 0.28mm over 2 years. They also won’t have to worry about wearing glasses or contacts during the day, freeing them up for athletics and play.
Since it can be enough of a struggle to get kids to wear their shoes sometimes, Abiliti Overnight lenses are specially designed to make it easier for children and parents to insert and remove.
MiSight Multifocal Contact Lenses
Overnight lenses aren’t the only options for myopia management, and some kids might prefer or need lenses to wear during the day. MiSight lenses use multiple vision correction zones to address myopia’s progression and are the first myopia management lenses approved by the FDA for children.
Multifocal lenses are designed to look like a bullseye, with different focusing zones for different distances. The center of the lens acts like a traditional contact lens, correcting myopia by changing how light focuses on the retina. The outer rings focus peripheral light and cue your child’s eyes to stop growing, slowing myopia by about 43%.
Keeping Myopia Under Control
Good vision begins when you’re young, and you have more power over what happens to your child’s eyesight than you may expect. Golden Vision offers a range of myopia solutions for each child’s unique needs.
A future of clear and comfortable vision is within grasp, so contact our myopia team and book a consultation for your family today!