By Michael Hutton
Overnight Vision Correction - usually referred to as OVC or ortho-k - is a new treatment for short-sightedness which involves wearing small custom-designed contact lenses only while sleeping. The treatment is becoming increasing popular since it offers all the benefits of laser surgery but without the surgery. OVC patients enjoy perfect natural vision after they remove the lenses each morning and this lasts all day long until the lenses are reinserted at night. However, even more impressive is the fact that research has shown that OVC stops short-sightedness worsening in children who might otherwise experience a continuing worsening of their prescription by around 0.5 diopters each year throughout their childhood. And it is finding out about this important benefit which has made Peter Craddock angry.
Peter's daughter Erin is 8 years old and had been wearing glasses for six years. As he points out, she had been attending for eye checks every six months from an early age yet at almost every visit the optician advised that her eyesight had worsened and that stronger prescription glasses would be required. And this is why Peter is so angry: "As a parent I found this quite upsetting and what I find hard to accept is that the optician never mentioned that we may be interested in OVC lenses. They never mentioned them as an alternative to wearing glasses all the time." Peter then became aware of Overnight Vision Correction through reading an article in a national newspaper and discovered that The Contact Lens Practice in Birmingham were specialists in providing this important new treatment.
"My daughter has been wearing OVC lenses for around 6 months now. She is really pleased with them and it has transformed her lifestyle. But when you look at the trials that all point to OVC slowing down the progress of myopia in children or indeed halting it altogether then I am a little angry. I feel I have been let down by the medical care provided in this country." As Geoff Wilson from The Contact Lens practice explains, few opticians have taken the trouble to learn how these special contact lenses are fitted and how the subsequent treatment progress is then monitored. Also, few opticians have invested in the specialised computer imaging equipment which enables precise maps of each eye to be produced. But as Peter Craddock says: "I understand that not all opticians are trained to fit OVC lenses, but surely they should state that this option is available. Overnight Vision Correction could well be the answer, especially in the case of children."
Check if your child is suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses .