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Pediatric Ortho-K

Stop the progression of your child’s nearsightedness with pediatric Ortho-K.

Pediatric Ortho-K is orthokeratology for children, a non-invasive way to correct myopia or nearsightedness in children. It involves wearing contact lenses that have been made-to-measure to a child’s eyes and degree of myopia. Custom fitting begins with corneal surface mapping and measuring, and once the custom-fitted lens or lenses are ready, the child wears them overnight.

During this time, the Ortho-K lenses temporarily flatten the cornea, inducing it into a shape that approximates one without refractive issues. With pediatric Ortho-K, your child can enjoy normal vision even without wearing vision-correcting eyeglasses or contact lenses.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Pediatric Ortho-K

Is myopia a common condition among children?

Yes. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common eye condition that usually begins in children who are between 6 and 14 years old. Some healthcare institutions in the UAE have observed a surge in pediatric cases both during and after the pandemic, a period marked by a significant rise in children’s screen time.

While there is no proven direct link as of the moment, eye experts believe that myopia could be related to the amount of time children spend on close-up tasks done indoors, such as playing video games and spending time on computers. Overall, myopia is said to be on the rise, especially among children. In addition, children are more likely to develop myopia if their parents are nearsighted.

Why is pediatric Ortho-K recommended for children with myopia?

Orthokeratology or Ortho-K has been shown to be a safe and convenient way to correct vision in children since it simply involves wearing a type of rigid contact lens overnight while sleeping. There is no need to wear glasses or contact lenses during daytime. Ortho-K also has a low risk for problems.

Ortho-K therapeutic lenses are made with U.S. FDA-approved materials by reputable manufacturers. They are safe for use for both adults and children as long as proper wear and care systems are followed. Ortho-K also comes with the largest amount of research supporting its ability to slow down the progression of myopia.

Who is the ideal candidate for pediatric Ortho-K?

Children who begin wearing pediatric Ortho-K lenses ideally between the ages of 6 and 8 receive the greatest benefits from the treatment to control myopia progression. Myopia progresses faster in younger eyes, so the sooner treatment commences, the better.

For children who experience reduced myopia progression using Ortho-K, a great benefit is that they gain a lowered risk of developing other eye conditions related to myopia such as glaucoma, retinal detachment, and even myopic macular degeneration over the long term.

How long do you have to wear Ortho-K lenses?

It is recommended for children with myopia to wear pediatric Ortho-K lenses for at least 6 hours (and optimally, 8 hours) each night to achieve the best results for maximum vision correction.

Generally, children using Ortho-K wear the lenses into their late teens or early adulthood, until the myopia has stabilized. Keep in mind that Ortho-K is not a permanent vision treatment. If a child or adult stops wearing Ortho-K lenses, the original state of their vision can be restored in as fast as 72 hours.

Can any eye doctor perform Orthokeratology?

No. Doctors who perform Orthokeratology must be specially trained and certified to do so. 

For families with children suffering from myopia in the UAE, it is crucial to visit only a trusted eye clinic in Dubai with ophthalmologists who have undergone extensive education, training and certification to administer this myopia control treatment.

Are there important rules for wearing pediatric Ortho-K lenses?

Some rules for wearing Ortho-K lenses include: 

  • Do not rinse them with tap or bottled water.
  • Never use alcohol or hairspray around the lenses.
  • Do not wear the lenses for a prolonged period of time with the eyes open.
  • Avoid contact between the lenses and any non-sterile surface.

It is essential to let the eye specialist know if there is any pain or light sensitivity accompanying a child’s use of the Ortho-K lenses. Also, any use of additional solutions or eye drops should be discussed with the eye doctor first, and make sure to stay up to date with annual examinations and Ortho-K lenses check-ups.