The Nearsighted Epidemic
This is the start of my blog. Hopefully I will be able to open your eyes to a completely different way of correcting your vision. My goal is to educate as many people as I possibly can about the risks of nearsighted (Myopic) eyes and a ways to manage it. Many people only know about glasses, contact lenses or laser eye surgery (LASIK). There is, however another treatment; One that according to recent studies, may slowdown the progression of nearsighted eyes, while allowing you to be free of glasses and day time contacts. There is NO laser or surgery involved. Introducing, Advanced Orthokeratology (AOK). Other methods to manage the progression of nearsighted eyes include specialized myopia control contact lenses and medications such as Atropine.
One Question I hear is “Is it safe?”
Yes! Like with contact lenses, it's always important to keep AOK molds clean and to wash your hands. On June 13, 2002, the FDA approved the marketing of Paragon CRT lenses, one form of AOK for nearsighted kids. The FDA also approved for marketing these overnight retainers for any age. The safety is well proven, with over 40 years of corneal molding history combined with today's super high oxygen permeable materials. Another reason the safety is so high is that AOK is also reversible. Since it is non-invasive (not surgical) there is no permanent change to the cornea.
With LASIK or other laser eye surgeries if there happens to be a poor visual outcome, it usually requires more surgery and/or specialty contact lenses. Sometime even those solutions do not provide normal vision. Keep in mind this is rare but does happen with surgery. Unlike surgery, AOK is reversible and will allow a patient to return to an untreated condition over a one to two week period of discontinuing treatment. The risks of AOK are similar to contact lenses. Those who use tap water to take care of their lenses and do not disinfect them prior to insertion may develop eye infections. Some eye surgeons have used negative reports from other countries and used these uncontrolled reports in their studies. In the past, AOK patients in other countries were not necessarily examined by trained doctors certified in corneal molding. In addition, the few eye infections reported in foreign countries were a result of poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions not the molding procedure. AOK is a very gentle procedure that leaves your eyes feeling comfortable and clear.
This sounds perfect!
Nothing is perfect. AOK works well when fit properly by an experienced Optometrist. However there are times it just doesn't work well enough. The good news is, those times are very rare and the solution is simple, just stop using the retainers. AOK is amazing I must say. The happiest patients I have are the ones that have found this incredible way of seeing. Seeing the awe on their face when they read the eye chart for the first time with out glasses or contacts, is my favorite part.
LASIK for Kids?
Not exactly... Nearsighted children are not allowed to have refractive surgery. However, AOK is safe and effective for kids of all ages. The benefits of AOK are similar to LASIK, in that the patient is free of glasses and contact lenses. If you have been reading my blog this is not new information. You also now know that AOK helps slow the progression of nearsightedness. The question is, is there anything that can be done to prevent nearsightedness before it starts? We do know that Myopia has been increasing in the USA at an alarming rate. One hundred years ago 5% of us were nearsighted; today it’s over 30%. This is a progressive disease affecting 1.6 billion children and adults worldwide. We expect myopia will increase to 2.5 billion by 2020. Educating parents and children about vision is the first step to controlling this epidemic. I am willing to speak to groups of parents, teachers, children and businesses to bring awareness to this growing problem. If there are any schools, PTA’s or other organizations interested in scheduling a lecture please contact me.