Benefits of Using Ortho K Lenses for Kids

The full form of Ortho K is Orthokeratology, which refers to a particular type of contact lenses. These are used to correct problems such as myopia as well as hyperopia and astigmatism. The contact lenses are gas permeable and can reshape the cornea on a temporary-basis to correct refractive errors. This is a non-surgical method, requiring children to use them during the night when they are asleep. It effectively flattens the cornea gradually correcting the existent refractive error. Ortho K for kids is usually used to correct myopia or nearsightedness or shortsightedness.
Ortho K for Kids
Ortho K for Kids

The Benefits of Ortho K for Kids Are Many and Some of Them Are Described as Follows: -

1. It is Effective in Correcting Myopia

Studies have shown that Ortho K for kids is widely known to correct myopia effectively. The basic method is that the child has to wear them at night while they are sleeping. This gives the Ortho K lenses the opportunity to re-shape the eye so that children can see clearly. In the morning, the child can take them out and enjoy clear vision during the day without the lenses. The number of times the lenses are required to be worn varies for each child according to their specific problem. It is especially recommended for children whose myopia is steadily worsening.

2. It does not Require Surgery

This is another advantage of Ortho K for kids that it doesn’t require any surgery. It also avoids many of the risks associated with surgical procedures. Surgical procedures include different types of refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK/laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses, Conductive Keratoplasty/CK, Phakic Intraocular Lenses/IOLs. In general, refractive surgery is not recommended as ideal for children but for person 18-years or above. In particular, the LASIK procedure is not recommended as it has several risks including the following: -
  • Possibility of infection
  • Over-correction or under-correction leading to residual refractive error
  • The possibility of epithelial ingrowth
  • Dryness of eyes
  • Chances of regression and what are called ‘flap complications’
  • Problems created by glares and halos
  • The possibility of keratectomies and vision-related complications
For all these reasons, Ortho K is seen as a good alternative for children with refractive errors.

3. Ortho K for Kids is Convenient

This is especially true for those who need to wear glasses to correct their refractive error but dislike wearing them. Instead, they can wear Ortho K lenses the required number of nights (nighttime only) to enjoy clear vision during the daytime. Children do not have to face the problems related to losing or breaking their spectacles either. It is good for children who suffer from allergies or dry eyes or just find contact lenses as uncomfortable options. It very importantly gives children with myopia opportunities to participate in sports or swimming, increasing their confidence as a result. This makes them feel more positively about themselves and their abilities. It provides them with the freedom to lead a more ‘normal’ life and realize that they can accomplish anything.
Ortho K for Kids
Ortho K for Kids
But as with all other methods, there are certain risks involved with Ortho K for kids too. These include—
  • The problem of double vision
  • Difficulties caused by what is called ‘ghosting’
  • The problem of starbursting, which may appear at night in particular
  • Difficulties caused by contrast-related problems
  • Problems related to hygiene that arise due to improper cleaning of lenses, and which can occur for any type of contact lenses
However, most of these risks (the first four) usually occur only during the first month. In case they persist beyond that, it is possible to correct them. The last risk related to hygiene can be simply solved by strictly following the lens cleaning procedures prescribed. Various studies have further shown that risks related to the Ortho K method are comparatively minimal. Therefore, it is all of these advantages that make Ortho K lenses highly beneficial for kids. 
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