Category Archives: orthokeratology

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.

How Can Modern Science Prevent the Progression of Nearsightedness in Children?

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.

Summer – A Great Time to Reap the Benefits of OrthoKeratology

What is OrthoKeratology

Summer Orthokeratology

OrthoKeratology is an FDA approved procedure that improves a person’s vision without surgery, glasses, or daily contact lenses. Many patients refer to it as “braces for your eyes”. Summer provides a great opportunity to start an orthokeratology program for your child. Imagine enjoying sports like swimming, gymnastics, and dance without the use of contact lenses or glasses. The nearsighted prevention benefits provide a tremendous added bonus to a summer orthokeratology program.

OrthoKeratology Prevents the Progression of Nearsightedness

It’s great being able to enjoy life and sports in general without contact lenses or glasses; however, a significant benefit of orthokeratology is that it has been clinically proven to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. Numerous studies have shown the rate of myopia reduction is between 50% to 90%. A landmark study on the rate of myopia in the US was completed in 1972. This study found that 25% of the US population was myopic (nearsighted). A follow up study completed 41 years later found the rate of myopia in the United States had increased to 41% of the population. Complete analysis of these two studies can be found here in this earlier TheEyeDocBlog.com entry. High myopia increases a person’s risk for many conditions such as glaucoma and retinal detachment. By decreasing a child’s amount of nearsightedness we are decreasing their risk for these, and many other, conditions.

FDA Approved Technology

Overnight orthokeratology was approved by the FDA in 2002. This was game changer for orthokeratologists. Prior to overnight orthokeratology’s FDA approval, patients would wear their retainers every other day, which was not ideal. Now patients wear their lenses at night, removing them upon waking and enjoy good vision all day, every day. We are often asked if the vision correction lasts more than one day and yes it does. If a patient forgets to wear their lenses one night their vision is still good the next day. Skipping a day of wearing your vision retainers may not result in a second day of 20/20 vision, more likely 20/25 or 20/30; however, very good, functional vision is still maintained. It takes days and most often weeks for the vision to return to the pre-treatment level.

What Do Patients Say?

The first thing we hear from patients after they have undergone OrthoK is that they can’t believe it works. “My daughter put her lenses in when she went to bed, she took them out when she woke up and says she can see fine” is a common theme. Another common topic is “why haven’t I heard about this before” and there are many reasons for this.

Why Haven’t You Heard About OrthoKeratology or Gentle Vision Shaping Before?

Quite simply, there are well under 1000 active orthokeratologists in the United States. With orthokeratology experience matters and there is a significant learning curve in becoming an orthokeratologist. New optometrists and ophthalmologists receive very limited orthokeratology training in school. Dr. Richard Driscoll has been an active orthokeratologist since 1999, helping countless patients achieve good vision without the use of daily contact lenses, surgery, or glasses.

How Does Orthokeratology Work?

Adult patients, kids, and parents alike express amazement at how we can alter or mold the shape of their corneas 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 into a shape similar to what is done with LASIK. The difference is that Ortho-K achieves this without the use of a laser and it does not remove any tissue; therefore, it is reversible, and easily modifiable.

Who is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?

Here is a quick list of those patients that benefit from orthokeratology. A more complete list of what makes a good orthokeratology candidate can be found on the OrthoKDoctor.com Website.

  • The moderately nearsighted
  • Children
  • Adults
  • Children that have experienced a sharp increase in nearsightedness
  • Patients afraid to have elective surgery on their eyes
  • Athletes
  • Patients denied refractive surgery due to occupation
  • People with a fear of surgery

What are the Benefits of OrthoKeratology?

  • Safely improves your vision, usually to 20/20
  • FDA approved for children and adults in 2002
  • Greatly slows the progression of nearsightedness in children (up to 90%)
  • Safer than refractive surgery
  • It’s reversible
  • Works while you sleep
  • Great solution for patients with dry eyes
  • Good for patients that can’t wear traditional daily contact lenses
  • Allows you to see clearly all day – some patients experience more than 1 day of clear vision after 1 night of wear
  • Proven technology

How do I Find More Information?

Check out the video below and see what patients are saying about Orthokeratology at Total Eye Care. If you want to know more about Orthokeratology and the Gentle Vision Shaping System at Total Eye Care call our Colleyville office for a free consultation 817.416.0333, Schedule a free OrthoK Consult online or visit www.OrthoKDoctor.com

 

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.

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.

OrthoKeratology in the News

Here is a mainstream media article in Gizmag talking about an upcoming meeting of the Optical Society where David Troilo, PhD, who is the Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs from SUNY College of Optometry, will give a lecture on Optical Approaches for Controlling Myopia Progression: Evidence from Experimental Models.

It is good to see this excellent and effective technology getting its due. Virtually every time we fit a child or adult with myopia regulating orthokeratology lenses the parents and the patient seem amazed and can’t believe that they can actually see well during the day without a contact lens by merely sleeping in these specially designed vision retainer. It’s not magic or snake oil, it really does work.

On The Eye Doc Blog we have written extensively about the benefits of orthokeratology in preventing the progression of nearsightedness in children. We should not overlook the benefits of orthoK in adults. I am glad to see some mainstream media coverage about orthokeratology.

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.

Dr. Driscoll Attends International Orthokeratology Academy Meeting

April 28-May 1, 2011: Orlando, FL —Richard A Driscoll, O.D. attended the Orthokeratology Academy of America Educational Conference. In keeping with Total Eye Care’s philosophy of providing a complete solution to their patients visual needs Dr. Driscoll has furthered his knowledge in the area of Orthokeratology a procedure where patients wear a vision retainer at night, remove the lens during the day and experience good vision all day long. Says Dr. Driscoll, “some patients simply are not surgical candidates for LASIK or PRK and want a safer alternative to refractive surgery, Orthokeratology provides that safe, effective surgical alternative.”

Current research also shows that the same vision retainers used in Ortho-K can slow myopic progression in children. Said Dr. Driscoll “parents often ask if there is anything they can do to prevent their child from becoming more nearsighted. We can now tell them that studies show Orthokeratology vision retainers significantly slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. New lens designs were also discussed at the meeting and we expect they will be shown to be even more effective. Early reports on these new lens designs will likely be presented next year.”

The keynote address, Myopia as a Public Health Concern, was given by Melbourne Hovell, Ph.D., M.P.H. The international faculty of presenters covered topics including myopia control (including soft lens technology), corneal reshaping research, safety of corneal reshaping, progressive/hyperopic Ortho-K lens designs, new corneal reshaping technologies, post LASIK lenses, Keratoconus / Ortho-K lenses, lens designs for corneal rehabilitation, corneal cross-linking and Ortho-K in China. “This is by far the most widely attended meeting on Orthokeratology and myopia control in the world. There were doctors in attendance from every continent except Antarctica” said Dr. Richard Driscoll, “controlling the progression of myopia was a central theme to the meeting.”

President Dr. Cary Herzberg had the pleasure of announcing the inception of the new International Academy of Orthokeratology(IAO). The IAO brings together Ortho-K organizations from the United States (OAA) as well as Europe and Asia. This international organization will support, promote and advance corneal reshaping worldwide through quality education and research presentations at meetings held around the world.

About Dr. Driscoll and Total Eye Care

Total Eye Care - Colleyvile Contact Info QR Code - SmallDr. Richard Driscoll is a Therapeutic Optometrist and Optometric Glaucoma Specialist. Dr. Driscoll has been taking care of patients in Colleyville and Keller, Texas since 1995. Dr. Driscoll sees a wide variety of patients however his clinical interests include myopia control / orthokeratology, connective tissue disease, keratoconus, post refractive surgery and anterior segment disease.

More information on Ortho-K and Total Eye Care is available at
www.OrthoKDoctor.com
www.TotalEyeCare.com
OrthoKeratology posts on The Eye Doc Blog

Announcing a New Website OrthoKDoctor.com

Total Eye Care unveiled OrthoKDoctor.com a new website designed to answer patient questions about Orthokeratology, a safe and effective alternative to refractive surgery

Orthokeratology is known by numerous terms, the most common of which are Gentle Vision Shaping System, OrthoK, Corneal Refractive Therapy and Overnight Vision Correction. Total Eye Care introduces the new website OrthoKDoctor.com to inform patients about this exciting technology.

“Orthokeratology is a safe and gentle method where contact lenses temporarily reshape the cornea while a patient sleeps. The beauty of OrthoK is that it is temporary.  As long as a patient wears a retainer lens the effect remains, much like wearing a retainer after orthodontic braces are removed” says Dr. Richard Driscoll, clinical director at Total Eye Care.