Thank you for taking the time to visit the website and learn more about orthokeratology and myopia control. My interest in this fascinating field developed as a result many years of concern for my young progressive myopic patients and their worried parents. I grew frustrated with the complete lack of viable options to help them. Parents who are highly myopic are acutely aware of what is usually in store for their children who develop myopia at an early age; years of regular increases in their prescriptions. In the past, the only option was to make their glasses or contact lenses stronger so they could see better and wait and hope that next year it won't get any worse. The progression inevitably will stop, but often not until the vision has degraded to the point where even the alarm clock is blurry when they awake in the morning. Imagine any other disease or condition that progressively degrades the function and health of that structure and nothing is done to stop it. This is how I feel about myopia. In many cases myopia is only a nuisance requiring visual correction with glasses or contact lenses. However, higher levels of myopia increase the risk of potentially visually devastating diseases later on in life such as glaucoma, early cataracts, retinal detachment, myopic macular degeneration and blindness. High levels of myopia may also limit whether laser vision correction such as LASIK can be performed later when the patient is old enough and changes in the prescription have stopped.
My long epiphany occurred approximately two years ago after reading an optometry journal regarding orthokeratology showing promise with decreasing the progression of myopia in children. Shortly thereafter, a young 8 year old myopic patient who I had seen for many years was in for her yearly appointment. After completing her examination, I had to tell her and her parents that her prescription had again increased, this time by over -1.25 diopters. This was over double what is normally expected in a year. Her current prescription was now -4.00 diopters which meant that she had extreme difficulty with any visual tasks farther than 25 cm without her glasses. Obviously concerned, I mentioned to her and her parents about orthokeratology and the studies that have shown a significant decrease in childhood myopia progression. I asked them if they might be interested in trying the procedure for free in return for helping me get some much needed experience. I gave them some materials to be better informed about the risks and benefits and they later agreed to an overnight trial. The first morning we removed the orthokeratology lens there was utmost disbelief in everyone in the room, including myself, as she read down to the 20/20 line. It was the most rewarding experience I've ever had as an optometrist. And now, almost two years later, not only does she have excellent vision during the day without contact lenses or glasses; her prescription has remained the same.
Since my first orthokeratology procedure two years ago, I have undergone extensive education, training and numerous successful orthokeratology procedures to provide my patients with the best possible care, latest options and information regarding myopia control. In addition to orthokeratology, I've added multifocal soft contact lenses and atropine eye drops which studies have shown a significant decrease in the progression of myopia in most children. Today I feel much better talking to patients and parents now that I can offer them options to not only correct their vision without the need for daytime glasses and contact lenses, but give hope to those with progressive myopia.