Kids today are becoming more near-sighted (myopic) than their parents at much younger ages. These kids are destined to be completely dependent on glasses and contacts without proper treatment. Effective and safe treatments do exist, but are, unfortunately, not widely known. One of the most effective and interesting treatments is orthokeratology. Orthokeratology involves using custom designed retainers that are made from gas permeable contact lens material. These retainers are worn on the eyes overnight and gently mold the front of the eye (cornea) so that no glasses or contact lenses are needed during the day! Children who use orthokeratology instead of glasses often get worse 80-90% more slowly than children who wear glasses. Many children completely stop getting worse once they start orthokeratology.
Many parents are concerned that a child will not have the dexterity or discipline to properly use retainers. In our experience these parents often underestimate how motivated a child can become when no longer needing to wear glasses is possible. Here is 6 year old Mikayla learning how to insert and remove her retainers for the first time.
After a few days to a couple weeks of using retainers, children no longer need glasses at all and often see better than they did with their glasses. The first two weeks are definitely a transition, but not needing glasses or contacts during the day reliably motivates even very young children. And, of course, the sooner a child’s vision stops getting worse the better for the child. Kids find the whole process worthwhile.
If you have a near-sighted child make an appointment to learn more about orthokeratology and other effective treatments to prevent myopic deterioration.