A recent study found that a technique that uses custom-made contact lenses to shape the growing eye, or orthokeratology, has a significant effect in slowing the progression of myopia in children.
Ortho-K is a fairly new kind of treatment. Children wear customized contact lenses throughout the night. The idea is that over time, the lenses will train the eye in how to grow. The contact works in a similar way a retainer would work for teeth.
The research was reviewed in the March issue of Optometry and Vision Science, the official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The Affiliated Eye Hospital of Shangdong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Jinan, China analyzed different pools of data from previous Ortho-K studies. The team, Led by Xing-Rong Wang, MD, was able to conclude with great confidence that the technique does slow myopia progression and retard the axial length of the eye in children.
Seven studies were reviewed in total by the team. Myopia is one of the most common eye disorders in the world. Out of the seven studies, five were performed in Asia. The data looked at 435 children, from six to 16 with mild to moderate myopia.
Vision experts have been working for years on ways to slow the effects of myopia, Ortho-K seems like an extremely promising option.