Myopia causes structural changes in the eye that can lead to permanent vision loss. That’s why treatments to stop or slow myopia are so important. Orthokeratology, which we offer at Perspective Optometry, is one treatment that has been shown to be effective in slowing or stopping myopia.
Myopia, also called nearsightedess, is increasing in the population at an alarming rate. And for those affected with myopia, it gets worse over time. Myopia not only causes blurry vision (which can be fixed with corrective lenses), it changes the structure of the eye, which can lead to serious diseases that can cause permanent vision loss.
Myopia causes abnormal stretching or elongation of the eye which can cause thinning and weakening of the retina (the thin membrane at the back of the eye that contains the cells that send visual information to the brain). This elongation may pull on the vitreous (the gel substance that fills the eye) which in turn pulls on the retina. This process can cause a retinal detachment – a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery. A detached retina can lead to blindness.
Moderate to highly myopic people are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. (Mitchell 2000). Therefore, it is important for myopic individuals to see their optometrist regularly to ensure that glaucoma is not developing.
Orthokeratology is one solution that has been shown to be effective in a number of studies from around the world. Of all the myopia control treatments, orthokeratology has been around the longest, is the most studied and there are long term studies demonstrating that it is safe.
Orthokeratology is a treatment where the patient wears a night-time retainer lens while sleeping. The retainer changes the shape of the cornea of the eye so that the patient experiences clear vision during the day, without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. In addition to being an alternative to glasses, contacts and laser surgery, orthokeratology can slow or stop the progression of myopia. Orthokeratology is also sometimes called “corneal reshaping”, “corneal molding”, “overnight vision correction” or “ortho-K”.