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myopia and orthok

Myopia Management in Tukwila

Does Your Child Wear Glasses?

Childhood myopia (nearsightedness) can cause sight-robbing eye diseases later in life. Offer your child a brighter future with myopia management.

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Why Does Myopia Need to Be Managed?

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Myopia (nearsightedness) is reaching epidemic proportions. By 2050, half of the world’s population is expected to have myopia. That’s worrying, as having myopia significantly raises the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration.

Myopia management, which entails the use of eye drops, specialized contact lenses or multifocal glasses, can help slow the often rapid visual deterioration caused by myopia in children and help prevent vision loss later in life.

If you’re concerned that your child’s vision is deteriorating, contact Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center today. We can help.

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Did You Know Myopia Is Caused By Abnormal Eye Growth?

Myopia is the most common refractive error among children and young adults. It occurs when the eye elongates, causing rays of light to focus in front of the light-sensitive retina rather than directly on it. This causes distant objects to appear blurred while nearby objects remain clear.

The degree of myopia can progress gradually or rapidly, especially from ages 8-18. This is not just a matter of inconvenience or needing stronger glasses; if the myopia continues to progress, the child is at a higher risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life that can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness.

Although eyeglasses and standard contact lenses can correct a person’s vision, they do not treat the underlying cause of myopia or slow its progression.

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There are three specialized treatment options to slow the progression of myopia.

  • Orthokeratology (Ortho-k)
  • Atropine eye drops
  • Multifocal contact lenses

Our doctors work closely with each family and customize treatment programs for every child based on their unique needs. Patients are thoroughly evaluated, carefully monitored, and reviewed frequently in order to monitor progress and modify the treatment to ensure best outcomes. Follow-up visits generally occur every 6-12 months to assess the treatment's efficacy.

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What Parents Are Saying About Myopia Management

Myopia increases the risk of serious, sight threatening complications.

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How Do I Know If My Child Needs Myopia Management?

If you are concerned about your child's myopia, call our office today. Our team of eye care professionals will help you understand more about your child's nearsightedness and will determine whether your child is a candidate for myopia management.

Take our myopia assessment online to find out whether your child could benefit from this life-changing treatment.

Myopia Management Offers a Brighter Future | FAQ

If you’ve been wearing glasses or contacts for many years without much concern, it may seem unnecessary to manage your child’s myopia. However, it’s a worthwhile and important investment, as rapidly progressing myopia may lead to more severe eye complications and sight-threatening conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment.

In fact, the longer the eyeball length, the greater the risk of ocular complications down the line.

Myopia management has been shown to effectively help reduce the rate of growth of the eyeball in children and teens by slowing its progression. Offer your child a brighter future with myopia management.

medical-plus medical-plus Can Myopia Lead to Blindness?

In extreme circumstances, myopia can lead to serious vision-threatening complications, including blindness. This occurs primarily in cases where high myopia has reached an advanced stage called degenerative myopia.

medical-plus medical-plus What is Progressive Myopia?

Progressive myopia is nearsightedness that continues to worsen year after year. This progression can result in severe myopia, also called high myopia, that may be associated with potentially serious side effects.

medical-plus medical-plus Can Myopia Be Cured?

Currently, there is no cure for myopia. But myopia management methods like Ortho-K, multifocal contact lenses and atropine eye drops can slow its progression.

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Orthokeratology (CRT & VST)

Orthokeratology, commonly called ortho-k, is a method used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism by wearing rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight so that no corrective lenses are needed during daytime hours.

Gas permeable (GP) lenses specialized for ortho-k are inserted at bedtime and worn as you sleep. Throughout the night, the lenses reshape your cornea gently so that your vision becomes clear on the following morning. The correction is temporary, and ideally, no eyeglasses or contact lenses will be needed on the next day or two. In order to maintain sharp visual acuity on a daily basis, you need to wear the ortho-k reshaping lenses every night.

At present, three brands of orthokeratology contact lenses are approved for use by the FDA. Euclid Emerald, usually prescribed for myopia control, Paragon Vision Sciences, who produces “Corneal Refractive Therapy” (CRT), and Bausch and Lomb, who manufactures “Vision Shaping Treatment” (VST).

Candidates for Ortho-K

Ortho-k is very suitable for nearsighted people who are not appropriate candidates for vision correction surgery, such as children. Individuals of all ages with healthy eyes can try ortho-k, namely because it can be discontinued at any point without permanent effects to the eyes.

People who require vision correction and engage regularly in sports or work in extremely dusty, dirty environments will also appreciate the convenience of ortho-k.

Vision Results from Ortho-k

Success rates for ortho-k are generally higher for more mild vision prescriptions. The ideal goal is to provide 20/20 vision without any need for eyeglasses or contacts during the day.

According to FDA trials conducted on both CRT and VST lenses, more than 65% of ortho-k patients achieved 20/20 visual acuity. A whopping number of more than 90% of ortho-k patients achieved 20/40 vision or better (this is the legal requirement for driving without vision correction in most states). Consult with your eye doctor to find out if your vision prescription is within range for successful ortho-k treatment.

Note that although improvement in vision is generally reported within a day or two of wearing ortho-k overnight, the full effects may not be experienced until the lenses are worn for a few weeks. During this transition period, your vision will probably not be as crisp as it was with regular contacts or eyeglasses, and glare or halos around lights may be visible. Until ortho-k works fully, a temporary pair of eyeglasses may be required for specific actions, such as driving at night.

How Does Ortho-k Feel?

Although some people have trouble wearing regular gas permeable contact lenses during the day, ortho-k GP lenses are worn while sleeping – so discomfort and awareness of the lenses in your eyes is generally not an issue.

Is Ortho-k expensive?

Professional fitting for ortho-k requires a series of visits to your eye doctor. A number of pairs of contact lenses are also generally needed. GP lenses that are special for ortho-k are more costly than standard contacts. In sum, the fees for ortho-k add up to a higher total than regular contact lenses.

LASIK after Ortho-k

Some consider Ortho-K to be a non-surgical alternative to LASIK. Nonetheless, refractive surgeries, such as LASIK, are possible after treatment with ortho-k lenses. Yet because ortho-k works to reshape your cornea, you are required to stop wearing the lenses for approximately several months before undergoing LASIK. This allows your eyes to return to their original shape.

It’s important to inform your LASIK surgeon if you’ve been wearing ortho-k lenses, and you will be advised as to how long of a wait is necessary before having the laser procedure.

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