By Malcolm Hughes

Orthok contact lenses for children  worn only while sleeping could be the principle means of combatting the worsening trend of short-sightedness in children as highlighted by yet another major study. According to a study of 9,000 Los Angeles-area children by the University of Southern California (USC) Eye Institute, the incidence of childhood myopia - the technical term for short-sightedness - has more than doubled over the last 50 years. The USC study described a ‘troubling trend among adults and children in Asia, where 90 percent or more of the population have been diagnosed with myopia, up from 10 to 20 percent 60 years ago'.

USC provided free eye exams at USC Eye Institute clinics to more than 9,000 Los Angeles-area children aged between 6 months and 6 years over a period of 8 years under the Multi-Ethnic Paediatric Eye Disease Study (MEPEDS). ‘In addition to being the largest paediatric eye study ever undertaken, it is the first of its kind to examine children as young as 6 months old,' said Rohit Varma, MD, MPH and director of the USC Eye Institute. Given the serious eye health issues associated with myopia in later life, the evidence of such growth in the incidence of childhood myopia demands an effective treatment response. This is where orthok contact lenses for children  can play a critically important role.

Orthok is a long-established optical science which has now become a commercially available treatment to halt the progression of myopia and is especially effective for children. It involves wearing custom-designed lenses at night which are designed to gently flatten the surface of the eyes under the mild pressure of closed eyelids. This corrects myopia by ensuring that, after the lenses are removed each morning, light entering the eyes focuses directly on the retina rather than in front of it. The effect lasts for over 24 hours right up until the lenses are reinserted at night. As demonstrated in various research  studies, orthok contact lenses for children  can halt myopia progression.

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