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Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

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Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

What is Ortho-K?

Sleeping without first removing one’s contact lenses is unhealthy. Doing so can cause infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers — even a loss of vision.

The contact lenses used in orthokeratology (ortho-k) therapy are the exception. In fact, they are supposed to be slept in. That’s the whole point.

To slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness), optometrists prescribe customized ortho-k lenses to children and teens. The lenses, which are inserted at night and removed in the morning, temporarily reshape the cornea. It’s the optical equivalent of the retainer or bite plate that your children might wear to bed at night to keep their teeth straight.

Our optometric team will prescribe ortho-k lenses to provide clear, unimpaired vision throughout the day. This enables your child to see clearly, swim and play sports each day without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

Why is Ortho-K an Important Solution to Myopia?

man wearing green printed crew neck shirt while sleepingOrtho-k is the go-to strategy for children and teens with myopia, first because their eyes have not fully developed, and second, because longer-term solutions like LASIK surgery aren’t an option at this age.

Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eyeball becomes elongated. The elongation causes light to land in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result is that while nearby objects remain clear, farther-away objects appear blurry.

Glasses and contact lenses allow you to see clearly, but after a few months, the myopia may worsen as the length of the eye continues to elongate. This requires a visit back to the optometrist for an updated prescription for stronger glasses.

Ortho-k lenses provide a solution to this cycle of worsening myopia by slowing down or even stopping this unnatural growth of the eye.

More is at stake than correcting vision: People with moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) have a significantly higher risk for vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

More than a quarter of the world’s population now has myopia, and half of all people are expected to have myopia by 2050. This is a vision epidemic that is worsening. Children whose parents have myopia, and those who spend most of the day indoors staring at smartphones, TVs, or tablets, are at higher risk.

When a Child with Ortho-K Sleeps Safely, Parents Sleep Soundly

Ortho-k utilizes rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to reach your child’s eyes so that the eyes remain healthy. Ortho-k lenses safely and effectively work while your child sleeps, temporarily providing clear vision during your child’s waking hours, and slowing the progression of myopia.

As long as your child handles the lenses according to the instructions of Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann and observes hygiene protocols when using them (washing hands first, using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses, etc.), ortho-k lenses can be safely used.

Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will answer any questions you have about ortho-k. If you decide to proceed, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will conduct a thorough eye examination, fit your child with customized lenses, and manage the entire process.

Our practice serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.

References:

Request a Myopia Management Appointment
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 540-953-2020
More About Myopia Treatments
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Soft Multifocal Contacts For Clear and Convenient Myopia Management

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Soft Multifocal Lenses For Myopia Management

Myopia is an eye condition that causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teen years. This elongation causes the light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retina itself, causing far-away objects to appear blurred. Regular glasses or contact lenses correct for poor visual acuity but do nothing to address the elongation of the eye itself.

What many parents don’t realize is that myopia can be dangerous. If your child’s myopia increases each year, the higher the chance that your child will develop sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma in the future. At Blacksburg Eye Associates, we use soft multifocal contact lenses as part of our myopia management program, which can slow or even stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

What Are Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Soft multifocal contact lenses feature three prescriptions in a single lens: one for near distance, one for intermediate distance and one for far distance. These lenses are made of breathable and flexible plastics that allow air to pass through the lens to the cornea for a healthy, comfortable fit, making them suitable for older children and teens. Soft multifocal contact lenses are FDA approved for children 8 years of age and above. Even children with various levels of astigmatism can achieve successful results in managing their myopia with soft multifocal contact lenses.

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How Do Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses Slow Myopia Progression?

These contact lenses are worn during the day so your child will see clearly all day without the hindrance of glasses. In addition to correcting distance vision, the design of these lenses has been precisely calculated to allow a child to achieve clear vision for all distances. They allow the light rays entering the eyes from the side of your vision to focus in front of the retina rather than directly onto it. This has been shown to provide subtle feedback to the brain to halt the elongation of the eye, This, in turn, slows or stops myopia from advancing. Children who wear soft multifocal contact lenses usually find that their prescription will no longer rapidly worsen.

We Offer Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses and Other Myopia Treatments

At your first consultation, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will assess the extent of your child’s myopia, including corneal shape and refractive error. After this assessment, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will recommend the best myopia management treatment options. During this process, patients and parents are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.

Should you choose to proceed with soft multifocal contact lenses, Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann will determine the exact prescription adjustments required and carefully fit the contact lenses to ensure that they sit correctly and comfortably on your child’s eyes. Your child will immediately be able to see clearly. Over time, your child’s myopia progression will slow or even cease, drastically mitigating the long-term risks to their vision.

If you have a child with myopia, or if it’s simply time for your child’s annual checkup, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Colleen Mitchell and Dr. Adrianna Hempelmann and learn more about our myopia management program.

Our practice serves patients from Blacksburg, Radford, Christiansburg, and New River Valley, Virginia and surrounding communities.
Request a Myopia Management Appointment
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 540-953-2020
More About Myopia Treatments
Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses Thumbnails.jpg

Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

Read Our Latest Posts
Research Suggests a Link Between Childhood Obesity and High Myopia 640×350 1.jpg

Research Suggests a Link Between Childhood Obesity and High Myopia

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Can Restricting Online Gaming Time Reduce Myopia Progression 640×350 1.jpg

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