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Ortho-K? Never heard of it

Mums have a very important job to do, fundamentally looking after the health and wellbeing of their child.

This brings me on to my roles in life.  I’m a mother of two vibrant boys and I’m a Dispensing Optician.

Having worn spectacles from the age of seven it was no surprise to me that, prior to starting school, my son was prescribed his first optical correction at the age of four confirming he too was short-sighted.  Following in me and my husband’s footsteps - the poor boy didn’t stand a chance.

He progressed through primary school, at first only wearing his specs during lessons and going without them at all other times.  However, as time progressed and his routine eye checks clocked on by, so did his myopia (short-sightedness).

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By the age of eight he was wearing his spectacles full time and by eleven completely reliant on his prescription eyewear.

This sparked the question about myopia control in children.  Would it be possible to freeze time so to speak and give my son the opportunity to stop the decline of his eyesight and avoid needing stronger prescriptions as he grows bigger?

My understanding of progressive myopia in children is that the eye grows in response to visual stimulation.  It was explained to me that even though you are wearing your corrective spectacles or contact lenses peripheral stimulation still encourages the eye to grow where it is not in focus.

Ortho Keratology (OrthoK) contact lenses can reduce that stimulation by changing the shape of your cornea (the front of the eye).

They are worn overnight and while you sleep they temporarily reduce the focusing power of the front surface of the eye so that the light focuses directly on the retina giving you perfect sight in the morning without the need to wear any prescription eyewear or daytime contact lenses.

This sounded like a great solution!!!!

 

After chatting through the options with our son he decided to embark on OrthoK contact lenses.

He has been wearing them for ten months now and enjoys the perfect vision that they have given him.  Playing football gives him the freedom of perfect sight without glasses (or contact lenses) getting in his way.  He’s also enjoyed his transition into secondary school without specs too, giving him confidence in a bigger schooling environment and all the life changes that can bring.

For anybody reading this who thinks OrthoK lenses might be for you, it involves wearing a rigid contact lens every night.  For myopia control in children this will be until they stop growing at around 18 years old and their prescription would have stabilised.  My son has experienced a small degree of challenges transitioning into his lenses when things needed reassessing as can happen in some cases, but overall there has never been a point where this hasn’t been resolved and spectacles are a distant memory.

Claire Feeley

 

For more details visit http://www.orthoklenses.com/

Written on 20th July 2018

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