- Also see the Orthokeratology infographic
Want to find out about your child’s risk of myopia – that’s short-sigtedness, or needing glasses to see things far away! Check out this quick questionnaire and you’ll also find out what you can do to help your child: https://mykidsvision.org/
Great advice from the BCLA on how contact lenses can help your child: https://bcla.org.uk/Public/Consumer/Contact_lenses_and_myopia_control_in_children.aspx
Great advice from the BCLA on orthokeratology: wear contact lenses at night so your vision is great during the day: https://bcla.org.uk/Public/Consumer/What_is_orthokeratology_.aspx
Orthokeratology is a way to change the shape of the clear part of the front of the eye, by wearing contact lenses at night so you don’t need them during the day. If this is something your might like to try, talk to your contact lens optician.
Rigid gas permeable lenses, RGPs, are used to change the shape of the front of the eye overnight. These lenses can feel uncomfortable when you first try them but the feeling will lessen until you are unaware of the lenses in your eye. The lenses are made of a material that allows oxygen to reach the eye, ensuring your eye stays healthy. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more.
Lenses are initially work every night, but you may be able to cut down to wearing them alternate nights and still achieve great vision during the day. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more.
The effects of the lenses are temporary, so if you stop wearing them your eye will go back to its original shape, and you will need to wear your glasses again.
It is a great way to avoid wearing contact lenses during the day, ideal if you love water sports or contact sports. You also have the advantage of good vision all the time, both during the day without the lenses and at night with them in. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about ortho-k.
According to the European Academy of Orthokeratology, orthokeratology works best for people with up to about -6.00D of myopia and no more than -1.75D of astigmatism. People who are longsighted or have a higher degree of myopia can try ortho-k but results are less certain to be good. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about ortho-k.
Go to your optical practice and ask to speak to the contact lens optician about ortho-k. They can work out if you are suitable and arrange a trial, or refer you on to a practitioner who can help.
Not everyone gets perfect results from ortho-k. Some people are left with a degree of short-sightedness. If you need separate glasses for reading and distance ortho-k may not be the best option for you as while it can correct distance vision you will still need reading glasses. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about ortho-k.
Ortho-k can offer a temporary treatment for short-sightedness, but there is not yet enough research to show if it has a long-term effect. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about ortho-k.
Make sure that you clean and wear your lenses as you have been advised by your practitioner. You should have the lenses checked at least every six months. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about ortho-k.
More children are becoming short-sighted. The new science of myopia control is all about ways to prevent growing short-sightedness in children. New contact lenses are available which can reduce how short-sighted your child will become Talk to your contact lens optician about the best options for your child.
Children typically start becoming short-sighted between the ages of six and eight, although this can start earlier or later. Short-sightedness generally progresses faster if it starts at a younger age. Research is being carried out into how to stop or slow the progress of short-sightedness.
There are a number of treatments being researched which may slow the growth of short-sightedness in children. Currently a treatment using eyedrops has been shown to be effective, but this can blur the child’s close vision. The most success has been shown so far using specially designed contact lenses which slow the progression of short-sightedness in 59 per cent of children using them. There are things you can do to help your child too. Long hours of close work, reading or on screens influences the development of short-sightedness. Time outdoors is linked to less short-sightedness. If you are concerned about your child’s eyes, book a sight test.
Children can wear contact lenses from a young age. For younger children contact lens wear needs the parent, child and contact lens optician to work together. Contact lenses can be great for younger children with high prescriptions and those who find their specs get in a way of activities. A new type of contact lens has been shown to slow the development of short sightedness in children which is another advantage. Ask to speak to a contact lens optician about this if you want to find out more about contact lenses for your child.