Bellamy Eye CareOrthokeratology (Ortho-k) and Myopia Control
Clear vision all day without glasses, contacts or surgery – too good to be true?
We’re really excited to be able to bring Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, Eyedream or Corneal Refractive Therapy, to Leicester and Irthlingborough. This treatment offers a large number of people the chance to have perfect vision all day without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. It is a safe alternative to laser refractive surgery.
The science of Orthokeratology involves wearing corrective retainer moulding lenses overnight. These lenses are comfortable to sleep in and made from a specially oxygen permeable material. They gently reshape the cornea at the front of your eye, eliminating your myopia (short-sightedness.) The effect is strong enough that the cornea holds this new shape for all of the next day. You will be able to see, read and drive without needing glasses or daytime contact lenses.
A significant problem for many soft lens wearers is discomfort from lenses drying out during the day. Orthokeratology solves this problem. It is comfortable, safe and completely reversible and the monthly costs are comparable with quality daily contact lenses.
This video will show you how it works.
Myopia Prevention and Control
Myopia (short sight) contributes to many eye conditions later in life such as glaucoma, cataract and retinal detachments. The higher the myopia, the greater the risk. Around one in three people in the UK are short sighted and this is increasing. Generally, children start to become myopic at around the ages of 11 to 13 when the eyeball grows a little bit longer than necessary. The first signs are usually difficulty seeing the board at school or sitting closer to the TV. The prescription gradually increases throughout the teens as the eyes continue to grow. It then tends to level off with only small changes in prescription thereafter.
The traditional approach has simply been to provide glasses, contact lenses or, more recently, one of the various forms of laser corrective surgery to restore clear vision. This does nothing to deal with the problem of the eye growing longer than it should do which leads to problems late in life.
There is now very good evidence that if younger children aged around 6 spend around 14 hours per week outdoors they will be significantly less likely to become myopic. This has other obvious benefits so is to be encouraged. Unfortunately, once myopia starts then outdoor time seems to be less helpful in slowing the progression.
Now, what if we could do something to stop this happening?
There have been many trials and experiments over the years to try to find a way of slowing myopic progression and the most reliable method found up until now is orthokeratology. It has been shown to reduce the increase in prescription by somewhere between 55% and 100%. To put that another way, the prescription is half as high as it would have been or, in some studies, the progression stopped completely.
We have been carrying out orthokeratology myopia control on youngsters for some time now and the results are encouraging. If you think this may help your child then we’d be pleased to discuss it with you. The following graph is taken from Wilcox and Bartels excellent paper Orthokeratology for Controlling Myopia: Clinical Experiences. There is a great deal of research in this area. Many excellent articles and papers can be found here.