According to the National Institute of Health, the prevalence of individuals with myopia, or near sightedness, has dramatically increased since the 1970s. Progressive and high myopia places an individual at risk for more serious conditions such as retinal detachment, chorodial neovascularization, cataract, glaucoma, or myopic maculopathy.
Corneal refractive therapy (CRT), sometimes referred to as orthokeratology, has hopes of slowing the progression of myopia. This therapy has been performed in Asia for many years where the prevalence of myopia in some Asian countries affects as much as 90% of adolescents. Some small clinical trials have shown promising results in slowing the progression of myopia.
CRT involves wearing a custom fitted contact lens overnight to flatten an area of the cornea, creating a defocus in the eye, which in turns slows myopia. During the day, no glasses or contact lenses are needed for clear vision.
This therapy targets kids aged 8-15. The goal is to slow the progression of myopia to prevent complications related to high myopia. The added benefit of being free from glasses or contact lenses during the day is attractive for active kids. Parents play a vital role in compliance by assisting the child with daily contact lens care, insertion, and removal. Initial monthly follow up care with the eye doctor is crucial for lens wear success.
Bifocal contact lenses have also grabbed some attention in the field of myopia control. Parents who are uncomfortable or unable to assist with overnight contact lens wear find this method of myopia control more maintainable.
Other forms of myopia control that have been studied but CRT and bifocal contact lenses appear to be the most viable options. Myopia control is a natural avenue that may improve the quality of life and reduces risks for sight-threatening conditions related to high myopia.
Myopia control: Bifocal Contact Lenses and Orthokeratology (ortho-k)