Myopia, known commonly as nearsightedness, has no cure. Currently, there are various treatments that show promise for controlling the progression. To learn more about these methods of myopia control and to see if you or your child is a good candidate, schedule an appointment at our Milton eye care clinic. Our optometrists and staff are looking forward to helping you.
Myopia control does more than help you avoid purchasing new prescription lenses each year. It enables kids to stop wearing unattractive eyeglasses (often with thick, bulky lenses), which makes it easier to play sports and enhances self-esteem.
Orthokeratology and multifocal contact lenses are two relatively new, effective ways to control the continued progression of nearsightedness. While they achieve the same goal, these methods work differently. Our eye doctors will meet with you to discuss the ideal solution for you or your child.
Ortho-k, also termed Corneal Refractive Therapy, is a great option for anyone who wants sharp vision without wearing daytime contact lenses. With the aid of precise technology, we will map your cornea to provide you with customized contacts. Worn while sleeping, these contacts will reshape your cornea gently and correct any refractive error. During the day, you’ll see clearly without any glasses or contact lenses. You will start to see the full effects of Ortho-K after approximately 2 weeks.
Because it molds the cornea and suppresses eye growth, ortho-k has demonstrated great success with myopia control in kids. Candidates for ortho-k must be within the appropriate fitting parameters, which generally includes mild to moderate myopia.
Ortho-k for myopia control is ideal for many people, such as:
- People with an active lifestyle or sports players who love the convenience of sharp vision with no eyewear.
- Kids of all ages, especially those under age 18 – who do not qualify for refractive surgery
- People with allergies that make it difficult to wear lenses during the day
- Anyone with dry eyes, especially if you gaze at a computer for extended periods
- People who work in professions that require crisp vision without eyeglasses or contacts
Multifocal Contact Lenses
Bifocal and multifocal contacts have lens powers in different zones. Recent studies showed that when kids (between the ages of 8-12) wore these specialty lenses, it slowed their rate of myopia progression by approximately 30% per year!
Multifocal contacts are safe for kids to wear and appear to be just as effective at myopia control as ortho-k. In one study, the best results appeared when kids wore the lenses for at least five hours per day, but even greater improvement was evident when they wore them for seven hours a day or more. The earlier this treatment is started, the more effective it can be.
One disadvantage of using multifocal lenses for myopia control is that there may be a mild blurring of distance vision. Some children will complain that they can’t see clearly. Others will have no issues.
If you want to learn more about myopia control – and whether your child should try orthokeratology (CRT) or multifocal contact lenses – please schedule a consultation with our Milton, ON Optometrists