Category Archives: contact lens

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children is Possible

preventing nearsightedness in children imageWe are in the midst of an explosion in the number of nearsighted (myopic) children. A 2002 study on the rate of nearsightedness in the United States showed a 41% increase in the number of nearsighted Americans compared to the original 1972 study. On average, a child in the U. S. will see an increase in myopia of .62 diopters per year. Fortunately, current research shows preventing nearsightedness in children is possible with great success.

A great deal of research is currently underway to determine what makes us more nearsighted and what might be the most effective method of  preventing nearsightedness in children. Much of the latest research in preventing nearsightedness in children is being done in China. Over 70% of Chinese children under 15 are now myopic. Needless to say, the Chinese government is putting a lot of resources behind the treatment and cause of the Myopic Epidemic.

What Makes Us Nearsighted?

Your genes do play a significant role in the type and degree of prescription you have. However, it’s not all genetic, environmental factors also appear to provide a strong influence in modifying your genetic propensity to progressive myopia. Even though our genetics may predispose us to being nearsighted there are things we can do to modify this trait. The majority of a person’s nearsighted prescription occurs during childhood. Therefore, finding ways of preventing nearsightedness in children is currently the most effective method of slowing the myopic epidemic.

Preventing Nearsightedness in Children is Possible With FDA Approved Lenses

We should only rely on methods based on sound scientific studies to guide us in finding and using effective treatments in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology involves the use of a contact lens that acts as a corneal mold (the cornea is the clear window covering the colored part of the eye) which changes the shape of the eye. The orthokeratology lens causes an optical effect known as peripheral defocus which reduces the stimulus to progressive nearsightedness. Orthokeratology has been FDA approved since 2002. Studies show orthokeratology reduces the rate of myopic progression up to 90%. This shape change has been clinically proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

An Ohio State University study showed that orthokeratology slowed the rate at which the eye grows longer. Keeping the eye from growing longer is a key factor in preventing the progression of nearsightedness. Other studies, conducted all over the world including the United States, China and Europe, have shown rates of reduction between 50% and 90%. Orthokeratology provides a clinically proven, effective means of preventing nearsightedness in children.

Pharmacology

Orthokeratology and atropine therapy show similar rates of myopia prevention. Atropine is a medication discovered in the 19th Century. It is still used today for both systemic and ocular conditions. In the eye it is used to dilate the pupil and to freeze the eye’s ability to focus. Atropine is a proven, time tested method of reducing the progression of nearsightedness in children.

For over 40 years atropine has been the mainstay of myopia prevention. Due significant side effects, such as light sensitivity and near vision blur, the treatment drop-out rate with Atropine is high. Studies show however, low dose Atropine is almost as effective as full strength Atropine. Low dose Atropine is easily tolerated by patients. At Total Eye Care we will often combine Atropine therapy with specially designed myopia control orthokeratology lenses. We believe this combination is currently the most effective method of preventing nearsightedness in children.

Behavior

Changing how we go about our daily activities can affect the progression of nearsightedness in children. Studies have shown children that spend more time outdoors are less nearsighted. Breaking up the day to day routine by spending time outdoors, away from near centric activities is helpful in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Busting Myopia Myths

Under-Correction

Not prescribing the full prescription or under-correcting nearsighted prescriptions is easily the most common myopia myth. A Chinese study prescribed glasses to approximately 300 school age children. Half of the children were given the full prescription and the other half were under-corrected. After only 18 months the study was terminated early because the under-corrected group’s myopia accelerated at a much faster rate than the fully corrected group. Under-correcting a nearsighted person’s prescription, not wearing prescribed glasses, and wearing an outdated prescription all lead to thicker, stronger prescription. Wearing current, accurate prescription glasses is the first step in preventing nearsightedness in children.

Does The Bates Method Work

Eye Doctor Answers preventing nearsightedness in children chapterThe short answer is a resounding no. The Bates Method is ineffective in preventing nearsightedness in children. The Bates Method has a lot of unfounded support in social media. Dr. Bates was an early 19th century ophthalmologist.

What is the Bates Method

Bates hypothesized that various techniques, such as resting the eyes and pressing your palms (palming) to your eyes would reverse myopia. The Bates Method has been tested extensively, using scientific methods, and has been shown to have no affect on the reduction or reversal of myopia in adults or children. More information on the Bates Method can be found in Dr. Driscoll’s Book “An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations To Hundreds Of The Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked” along with extensive information about effective, scientifically proven methods of preventing nearsightedness in children.

How Do I Learn More About Dr. Driscoll and the Myopia Prevention Program at Total Eye Care

By incorporating proven myopia reduction orthokeratology lens designs and atropine therapy we greatly reduce the rate of myopic progression in children. By reducing a child’s myopia, we also reduce their lifetime risk for numerous ocular conditions such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. Putting a once self-conscious, glasses wearing child, or teen, into contact lenses is a life changing event. Making the transition from glasses to orthokeratology or traditional contact lenses is one of those “moments” in a child’s life they will always remember and for which they will always be grateful. As parents we know the importance of instilling a sense of self worth and self esteem in our children. Transitioning a child from thick glasses to contact lenses helps to achieve just that.

To learn more about orthokeratology for adults and children and preventing nearsightedness in children schedule a free orthokeratology consult with Dr. Driscoll at the Total Eye Care Colleyville office or call 817.416.0333.

NIH Study Commissioned to Examine Prevention of Nearsightedness with Soft Bifocal Contact Lenses

Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study Begins

The National Institutes of Health awarded the University of Houston College of Optometry and the Ohio State University College of Optometry $7.5 million to study the use of soft bifocal contact lenses in the prevention of nearsightedness (myopia) in children. The Bifocal Lenses in Nearsighted Kids (BLINK) Study will follow 300 children, ages 7 to 11 years of age over a period of 3 years. The Ohio State University College of Optometry previously published the Corneal Reshaping and Myopia Study in a 2009 issue of the British Journal of Ophthalmology where it found that orthokeratology lenses were effective in preventing the lengthening of the eyeball in children which in turn slowed the progression of nearsightedness.

Myopia Regulation Treatment at Total Eye Care

Do you have a family history of nearsightedness? Are your kids nearsighted? Would you like to prevent the progression of myopia in your kids? Summer is a great time start Myopia Regulation Treatment. If you would like more details you can set up a free consult with Dr. Driscoll.

More information about orthokeratology can be found at the OrthoKDoctor.com website.

Florida State Heisman Candidate QB Jameis Winston Gets OrthoKeratology!

Jameis Winston Gets Orthokeratology Lenses

Jamies-Winston-OrthoKThe sports pages were all atwitter this weekend talking about how, the FSU quarterback, Jameis Winston doesn’t like to wear his contacts while playing football. He is afraid they will pop out. Problem solved, squinting Jameis Winston  decided to get  OrthoKeratology. The commentators of the FSU-Miami game even commented on how the Heisman candidate QB was squinting to see which play the coach was calling from the sideline. Yahoo News also shows him squinting to find a receiver downfield.

No matter how good you are you will play, and perform at a higher level with better vision. A fact not lost on Winston’s coach, Jimbo Fisher. At the post game press conference Fisher stated “imagine how good he would be if he could see.” I concur, now he will be able to see the eyes of the defender, and his receiver’s, a huge benefit for players at any level. Look out Wake Forest and Syracuse.

What is Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology allows nearsighted patients of all ages to achieve clear vision without glasses or contact lenses. OrthoKeratology has also been shown to be effective in slowing, and in some cases stopping the progression of nearsightedness in children. More information on Orthokeratology at Total Eye Care is also available on the OrthoKDoctor.com website.

New Technology Improves Contact Lens Comfort

  contact lens comfort We often hear from eyeglass wearers “oh, I tried to wear contacts but they irritated my eyes”. The most common reason patients discontinue contact lens wear is because of poor comfort. Significant advances in contact lens materials have improved contact lens related irritation for many patients. If you have not tried contact lenses in the past 18 months you may be missing out on the potential benefits experienced by successful contact lens wearers.

With better contact lens materials, better contact lens solutions, and better lens designs almost all patients can wear contact lenses. Not all contact lens comfort issues; however, can be fixed with a different contact lens. Often addressing an underlying systemic condition such as dry eye syndrome will improve contact lens wear comfort and extend wearing time.

Now is a great time to give contact lenses another chance. Most of the major contact lens companies are offering rebates, some up to $100. If you would like to see if new contact lens technology can help you please call our office or use our online scheduler.

We look forward to helping you join the ranks of other successful contact lens wearers

Summer – A Great Time for Orthokeratology

I was asked what is the 60 second brief on OrthoK so here are my high points along with a video. 

Orthokeratology – or·tho·kera·tol·o·gy – a treatment for improving vision by altering the shape of the cornea through the application of corneal molds that are worn while you sleep.

Adult patients, kids, and parents alike express amazement at how we can alter or mold the shape of the cornea with a contact lens, resulting in clear vision during the day without the need for glasses. It’s not magic, the science is very well established and FDA approved.  We remold the cornea like what is done in LASIK. The difference is that Ortho-K achieves this without the use of a laser, it is reversible, and it is easily modifiable.

Check out the video below and see what patients are saying about Orthokeratology. If you want to know more about Orthokeratology call our office for a free consultation 817.416.0333 or visit www.OrthoKDoctor.com

 

Study Shows Orthokeratology Effective in Reducing the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children

The study of myopia control (nearsightedness) is a hot field of study, particularly in China where the High Myopia – Partial Reduction Orthokeratology (HM-PRO) study was conducted. This study is the latest in an effort to find an effective means to slow or even stop the progression of nearsightedness in children. The HM-PRO study is unique in that it treated 18 highly myopic children (Rx over -5.75 D) between the ages of 8 and 11 with a combination of OrthoK lenses and glasses, and followed them for two years. The study participants were matched with a control group of 18 children, the same age and also with prescriptions over -5.75D.

In the HM-PRO study 18 participants and 18 control patients were followed for 2 years. 15 of the treatment patients and 13 control patients completed the study.  After two years the treated patient’s nearsightedness increased by – 0.13D and the untreated (control) patients increased their nearsightedness by -1.00D.

Myopic progression is also measured by how much the eye grows in length (called the axial length). In this case the treated patients showed a significant reduction in progression with their axial length increasing by 0.19 mm whereas the control group’s axial length increased by 0.51 mm.

The study authors concluded that orthokeratology lenses slowed axial length elongation by 63% and reduced the prescription change by 87%. It has yet to be shown that orthokeratology lenses stop the myopic progression clearly this study, like numerous other before it, show that orthokeratology is effective in markedly slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children. At Total Eye Care we have been using reverse curve orthokeratology lenses to control myopia since 1999 and have fit hundreds of kids and adults.

Scleral Lenses – An Old Dog With New Tricks

Eye with keratoconusScleral lenses have been around for over 100 years. Until the new gas permeable lens materials were developed patients could only wear scleral lenses for a few hours a day. With the highly oxygen permeable lens materials now in use, patients can comfortably wear these lenses all day. Scleral lenses are most commonly used to treat eyes with irregular corneas such as keratoconus and post surgical eyes (usually following corneal transplant surgery or related to complications from refractive surgery). Another common use for scleral lenses is in the special effects industry where they are used to protect the cornea and/or to give the eye an exotic appearance.

What Is A Scleral Lens?

Scleral lenses are large contact lenses that rest on the sclera (white part of the eye) with the remainder of the lens vaulting over the cornea. Tears are trapped between the lens and the cornea allowing sclerals to treat irregular corneas. The average soft contact lens has a diameter of about 14 mm whereas scleral lenses typically have a diameter exceeding 14.5 mm. 

How Are Scleral Lenses used?

At Total Eye Care Dr. Driscoll has  used scleral lenses to treat many conditions such as irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, high myopia, dry eye syndrome, and complications related to LASIK and PRK. Because of their size, sclerals are quite comfortable. Patients often report the comfort being similar to that of a soft contact lens. Most patients with irregular corneas will see better with a scleral lens than with glasses. 

Below is a good video that shows how scleral lenses are cared for and how to insert and remove them.

Leading Causes of Contact Lens Discomfort are . . .

I came across some good information from our friends at Bausch & Lomb on the common causes of contact lens discomfort (used with permission). Soft contact lenses are generally very comfortable. When contact lens discomfort occurs it can usually be easily remedied.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

inserting a soft contact lensContact lens discomfort can occur for a variety of reasons. In order for contact lenses to work the way they’re supposed to, it’s important to care for them properly, following the maintenance and replacement schedule. These guidelines help to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable in contact lenses. If they’re not followed, problems with vision, comfort and other safety issues can occur.

You should be aware that the following problems may occur:

  • Eyes stinging, burning, itching (irritation), or other eye pain
  • Comfort is less than when lens was first placed on eye
  • Abnormal feeling of something in the eye (foreign body, scratched area)
  • Excessive watering (tearing) of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision (poor visual acuity)
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dry eyes

If you notice any of the above symptoms:

Immediately remove your lenses.

If the discomfort or problem stops, then look closely at the lens. If the lens is damaged in any way, do not put the lens back on your eye. Place the lens in the storage case and contact your eye care professional. If the lens has dirt, an eyelash, or other foreign body on it, or the problem stops and the lens appears undamaged, you should thoroughly clean, rinse, and disinfect the lenses; then reinsert them. After reinsertion, if the problem continues, you should immediately remove the lenses and consult your eye care professional.

When any of the above problems occur, a serious condition such as infection, corneal ulcer, neovascularization, or iritis may be present. You should keep the lens off your eye and seek immediate professional identification of the problem and prompt treatment to avoid serious eye damage.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, cleaning your lenses with each use, and replacing them on the schedule your eye care professional recommended for you. This is the best way to ensure your lenses stay comfortable and your eyes stay healthy.

Poor Fit

Your eye’s size and shape are unique to you, and your contact lenses should be too. Your eye care professional performs a variety of measurements to make sure the fit of your contact lens is well-fitting, but sometimes, it may be a little off.

Symptoms: Feeling a foreign object in the eye, slight pain or irritation, redness, fluctuations in vision

Treatment: Tell your eye care professional – they will reexamine your eyes and lens selection to give you a better fit. This is important, as improperly fit lenses may cause surface abrasions to the cornea.

Contact Lens Associated Dry Eyes

People with dry eyes may not produce enough tears to keep eyes moist and lubricated. This creates discomfort when they wear contact lenses. Dry eyes may be inherent (associated with a number of medical conditions), or acquired (linked with risk factors such as smoking, computer use, caffeine, certain medications, and more).

Symptoms: Tired eyes, dry eyes, and discomfort

Treatments: Your eye care professional may recommend a lubricating/rewetting solution for your use. Moisturize your soft contact lenses to soothe your eyes and minimize lens dryness and discomfort while wearing them with a lubricating and rewetting drop. It’s important to find a drop that’s compatible with your contact lenses.

Environmental Allergens

Your eyes may become irritated when there are large amounts of environmental allergens such as dust or dander. These allergens can stick to the surface of lenses, causing irritation for the wearer.

Symptoms: Redness, irritation, dryness

Treatments: Frequent cleaning is crucial to remove any buildup that may occur on lenses. If problems persist, switching to a daily disposable modality can provide a fresh pair of lenses every day. If it’s seasonal allergies that are affecting your eyes, be sure to remove your contact lenses before using an eye drop that isn’t specifically intended for use with contact lenses and wait 15-20 minutes before inserting your lenses.

Underlying Conditions

Irritation in your eyes may not come from your contact lenses at all. If your eyes become red, swollen, or if you experience discharge, you should contact an eye care professional immediately. Your symptoms may be a result of infection, or underlying disease and should be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible. You should not wear contact lenses if you have an eye infection or while using certain topical eye medications.

The original article can be found here.

Contact Lens Travel Suggestions

With Summer upon us a common question in the office is “what is the best way to travel with contact lenses.”

Daily disposable contact lenses are easily the most convenient travel option. With daily disposables all you have to worry about are lenses, no extra contact lens solutions are needed. Now, there are many new, convenient options available for daily disposable contact lens wearers. Numerous contact lens companies now make daily disposable contacts in both toric, spherical and bifocal versions. With the expanded parameters now available, over 80% of contact lens wearers can now find a daily disposable contact lens that will fulfill their needs.

The biggest hassle for traveling contact lens wearers is how to transport the contact lens cleaners and solutions. After all, the TSA limits each bottle of liquid, aerosol, or gel to 3.4oz (100 ml) or less and all of the bottles in your carry-on luggage must fit into a clear, 1 qt. zip lock bag. There are exceptions; however, for prescription, OTC medications, and people with special needs. You are not limited in the amount or volume however if an item is over 3.4 oz or it is not in a 1 qt. zip lock bag then you must declare it.

Safe travels

Excellent OrthoKeratology Video

With the increased rate of myopia in the US population, orthokeratology is becoming an increasingly important treatment option for our patients.  Dr. Driscoll is a member of the Orthokeratology Academy of America that produced the excellent video shown below.  The video gives a comprehensive overview of orthokeratology, including its pros, cons, and how it works. We highly recommend that any patients considering refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, or orthokeratology view this video. By the way, comments are much appreciated so don’t be shy.