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myopia and orthok

Myopia Management

Myopia, also called nearsightedness or shortsightedness, is the inability to see things clearly unless they’re situated close to your eyes. It is the most common refractive error among children and young adults. Most patients with this condition wear eyeglasses or contacts to correct their vision.

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However, myopia is more than an inconvenience; it can pose a serious risk to your child’s long-term vision. As a child develops and the myopia rapidly progresses, the child is at a higher risk of developing dangerous eye diseases later in life. Namely, retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts. Thankfully, Myopia Management can help.

Myopia Management solutions include eye drops, specific contact lenses, and glasses, which can help slow down the rapid visual deterioration that occurs with myopia. Contact Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center At Innovative Eyecare and see how Myopia Management can help your child experience clearer, sharper vision and a higher quality of life.

What is Myopia?


Myopia develops when the eye grows too long from front to back, which causes light to focus in front of the retina rather than directly on it. For those with nearsightedness, distant objects appear blurred while nearby objects remain clear.

This condition develops during childhood, when the eyeballs are experiencing rapid growth, and tends to progress gradually or rapidly into the late teen years. Myopia can be easily corrected using corrective glasses or contact lenses.

Childhood myopia is typically diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 7 and worsens during the eye’s rapid growth years. The prescription tends to plateau at around age 12.

The Growing Prevalence of Myopia


Myopia is becoming increasingly prevalent around the world, with a recent study showing that close to 30% of the world’s population is currently myopic. Alarmingly, by 2050, close to 50% of the global population will be myopic. That’s a staggering 5 billion people!

Myopia rates have shot up in the last 20 years. In China, between 10-20 % of primary school children are myopic. This number increases to 50% for high school students, and by the time they reach university, 90% of the student body is nearsighted.

The good news is that thanks to Myopia Management, you can protect your children from landing on the wrong side of this statistic.

Growing Prevalence of Myopia

What is Myopia Management?


“Myopia management” is a series of treatments that eye doctors use to slow the progression of myopia in children. Our myopia management treatments can induce changes in the structure of the eye by diminishing the stress and fatigue linked to the development and progression of myopia. Several studies have indicated that these treatments successfully slow down the progression of nearsightedness in children and teens.

The Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center currently offers several different customized treatment options to slow the progression of myopia. Our doctors work closely with each family and customize treatment programs for every child based on their unique needs.

The treatments offered include:

  • Atropine eye drops
  • Multifocal contact lenses
  • Orthokeratology (“ortho-k”)

Patients are carefully monitored by Myopia Management Expert, Patricia Jitodai, OD and reviewed every 6-12 months to assess the efficacy of the chosen treatment modality.

Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center is a Myopia Management practice that offers evidence-based treatment to prevent the onset or reduce the progression of myopia in pediatric patients.

Because we stay on the forefront of the latest research, you can be sure that Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center is maximizing the chances of your child’s success.

Patients We Typically Work With

  • Patients with progressive myopia (-0.25DS or more in the last 2 years)
  • Patients with refractive error: MSE (sph + 0.5*cyl): +0.50 DS to -6.00 DS, no limit on DC
  • Patients at risk of becoming myopic due to a family history of myopia (one or two myopic parents)
  • Patients who spend over 3 hours a day doing near work (reading, studying, writing)
  • Patients who spend less than 6 hours a week outdoors
  • Patients under the age of 16

What Should the Patient Expect?


To monitor and assess the efficacy of the treatment, all our young patients undergo an extensive vision evaluation, provided by Myopia Management Expert, Patricia Jitodai, OD. This includes:

  • Axial length and retinal shape measurements
  • Cycloplegic axial and peripheral autorefraction
  • Corneal topography and choroidal thickness measurements
  • Lifestyle questionnaire (including how much near work and outdoor activity they engage in per day/week)
  • Discussion of the results
  • Development of a personalized treatment plan

At Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center, we provide our patients with effective, customized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By stopping or slowing down the progression of myopia, we reduce long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.

Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center serves patients in Tukwila, Renton, Burien, Seattle, and throughout Washington .

Serving Myopia Management Patients From:

Tukwila | Renton | Burien | Seattle | and throughout Washington

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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