Nearsightedness or myopia is fairly common among children and adolescents. Fortunately, early treatment can slow down its progression. One such treatment is orthokeratology (ortho-k for short) in which your child wears gas-permeable contact lenses while sleeping to slowly reshape the contour of their cornea.
What should you expect if your kid is undergoing orthokeratology? Advanced Eyecare Consultants, your local optometrist, gives a quick overview below.
Eye Exams and Getting Fitted for New Lenses
An optometrist will first conduct an eye exam to see if ortho-k treatment is suitable for your child. Children and adolescents with a low level of or no astigmatism would normally be good candidates for ortho-k treatment. If your kid’s a good candidate, the optometrist will then map their cornea using a computer-imaging tool.
Trying the Lenses On
Since the cornea doesn’t have any blood vessels, it gets its oxygen from the air. This is the same reason why normal contact lenses can’t be worn overnight—they prevent the cornea from getting enough oxygen. Since ortho-k lenses are gas-permeable, they allow your cornea to, in a sense, breathe and therefore can be worn while sleeping.
However, before your kid puts their ortho-k lenses on, they’ll need to use lubricating eye drops. It’ll take a while before they get used to wearing ortho-k lenses, but it should only take a few days.
Removing the Lenses
Your kid should wait 10 minutes before removing the lenses. After waiting 10 minutes and applying eye drops, they can remove the lenses using a special tool. Your kid will also need to go see your eye doctor again after putting on ortho-k lenses for the first time. The optometrist can also help your kid if they’re having a hard time removing the lenses.
The prescription for your kid’s ortho-k lenses may change as the lenses reshape the cornea and slowly improve your kid’s eyesight. As such, you’ll need to schedule follow-up doctor’s appointments in the coming weeks.
Looking for an eye doctor near your area?
Advanced Eyecare Consultants offer a wide range of professional eye care services. To schedule an appointment, call us at (847) 438-7700 or (847) 680-8484 or contact us here. We serve homeowners in Gurnee and Vernon Hills, IL, as well as the surrounding communities.