Myopia is an increasing eye condition across the world and predicted to affect 50% of the population by 2050. If you are short-sighted, you do not see distant objects clearly, such as the blackboard or words on the television. You may also have trouble recognising people’s faces in the distance. Myopia usually begins in school-aged children and continue to progress until the eye stops growing. Teenagers and adults can also develop myopia.
Unfortunately, myopia cannot be ‘cured’ but there are treatment options available to help slow its progression. These strategies are especially important in the case of moderate or high myopia, which may result in sight-threatening eye problems such as an increased risk of cataracts, myopic retinopathy, glaucoma and retinal detachment.
Myopia progresses more rapidly between the ages of 6 and 13, but it can continue to progress into your 20s. If you are myopic or have a history of myopia in the family, we recommend scheduling regular eye examinations so that we can determine how much and how rapidly your eyes are changing. This enables us to recommend the best treatment option for your needs, which may include:
- myopia lenses, specifically designed to slow the rate of progression
- soft contact lenses
- therapeutic eye drops
- behavioural/lifestyle changes
- refractive surgery (once myopia has been stabilised)
Orthokeratology is the use of specially designed hard contact lenses that gently reshape the epithelium (anterior layer of the cornea). The lenses are only worn during sleep at night, leaving you with clear vision during the day, without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses during waking hours. Studies have shown that OrthoK can reduce the progression of myopia by up to 50% in children.
OrthoK contact lenses are also advocated if you want to be free of wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day, particularly for those playing sports or working in dusty environments.
If you decide to go ahead with OrthoK treatment, keep in mind that it is a long-term treatment and requires commitment from parents and/or patients, but we’ll be with you at every step along the journey:
- Your OrthoK lenses will be custom made just for you, based on the curvature of your eye and prescription.
- We will take the time to ensure you are proficient in inserting and removing your lenses before you leave the practice and know how to properly care for your lenses.
- There is usually a short adjustment period when you start wearing your OrthoK lenses.
- It is important to attend all scheduled appointments.
- New lenses will be needed as the shape of your eye changes.
To make an appointment or discuss any concerns regarding your eye health or vision,
call our friendly team on 9816 4100.