By Jane Pender
Ortho-k lenses provide an excellent new corrective treatment for short-sighted children which ensure they can participate fully in classroom, sport and playground activities. These special small contact lenses are worn only at night whilst sleeping then removed the following morning to provide clear natural vision all day long. The lenses work by gently reshaping the surface of the eye during sleep to correct the child's short-sight and this temporary effect lasts for typically around 36 hours so the child has full 20/20 vision until bedtime at which point the lenses are worn again. By being lens-free all day, the child can undertake any classroom, sport or play activity with confidence at a critically important development stage in their life.
The science behind ortho-k lenses dates back to the 1960's but only in recent years has the technology for both ortho-k lens materials and how such lenses are manufactured to precise accurate dimensions reached a stage where they can provide an effective means of correcting short-sight. For children, too often glasses are prescribed as the corrective option to enable them to deal with classroom requirements but this can be a significant restriction once they are outside in the playground, on the sports field or in the swimming pool. Children who wear glasses can also be victims of bullying. However, ortho-k lenses offer children a way of overcoming their short-sight which enables them to perform to the best of their abilities both within and outside the classroom.
More recently, a number of clinical studies have identified that children who wear ortho-k lenses do not suffer any further significant deterioration in their short-sight compared with other children who wear glasses or conventional daytime contact lenses. Normally, once a child develops short-sightedness, the condition will continue to deteriorate at a rate of around 0.5 diopters per year so that their ability to see distant objects will be greatly compromised by the time they reach adulthood. Unless they then opt for laser surgery, they will require relatively strong prescription eyewear for the rest of their lives. By contrast, children who wear ortho-k lenses appear unlikely to suffer any further significant deterioration in their short-sight and will enter adulthood with a relatively mild prescription.
Check if your child is suitable for orth-k lenses .