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Slowing Down Myopia With Contact Lenses – A report on current myopia progression control developments with contact lenses.

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Two leading researchers who are also practitioners in the field of controlling short-sightedness review the evidence available from various clinical studies which have assessed how effective Overnight Vision Correction (OVC) is in slowing down or halting the progression short-sightedness in children. They highlight the positive conclusions reached by the studies and provide their views on the clinical reasons why overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses have appeared to prove effective in controlling the further development of short-sight. The latter is attributed to the fact that OVC lenses appear to slow or halt the rate at which the eye elongates during adolescence thus keeping the focusing distance relatively constant and keeping the level of short-sight at the same or nearly the same prescription level as pre-OVC treatment.

EXTRACT: Together, two major developments in the field of eye care may substantially change our profession. The drastic increase in the prevalence of myopia and the knowledge that the peripheral retina plays a dominant role in the development of myopia progression may dramatically change the scope of how we practice. Contact lens myopia control has gained traction and new evidence suggests it has great potential, although many questions remain unanswered for the moment.

Myopia and Orthokeratology

Myopia is becoming increasingly prevalent in the United States and throughout the world. Last year researchers reported that the prevalence of myopia in the United States increased from 25 percent in 1971 to 1972 to 41.6 percent in 1999 to 2004. The survey, using similar protocols in each time period, was based on data from 4,436 Americans in 1971 to 1972 and from 8,339 Americans in 1999 to 2004 (Vitale et al, 2009). In Asia the number of myopic children is even more dramatic, exceeding 80 percent in Taiwan (Lin et al, 1999).

The second major myopia development comes from the field of contact lenses, more precisely from corneal reshaping with orthokeratology lenses (Figure 1). For decades, practitioners actively fitting this modality reported anecdotal evidence that myopia appears to develop at a much slower rate in children wearing an overnight orthokeratology modality than in children wearing soft lenses or glasses. For years this clinical belief was disregarded because it was thought to be due to corneal change rather than to slowing of axial elongation. Corneal flattening alone would not yield a potentially permanent slowing of myopia progression, but recent work has proven that there is indeed a significant slowing of axial elongation in kids wearing overnight orthokeratology versus other correction methods.

Contact Lens Spectrum. December 2010 Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, FAAO, & Eef van der Worp, BOptom, PhD, FIACLE, FAAO, FBCLA Contact Lens Spectrum (December 2010) 

Read full article at: Contact Lens Spectrum
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