It’s good to see another study indicating that Orthokeratology Contact Lenses prevent the progression of nearsightedness (myopia). The Controlling Astigmatism & Nearsightedness in Developing Youth Study (CANDY) was based on a relatively small population (28 patients) and it would have been good to see the rate of myopic progression after removing the contact lenses over a greater period of time, however the data was compelling and warrants further study.
As eye doctors we are often asked if we can prevent the progression of nearsightedness in children. Clinically, we feel that the answer is probably yes, however there are relatively few studies that have investigated this common question. The CANDY Study backs up what we feel our clinical experience has taught us. The progression of nearsightedness in CANDY study patients was 0.37D prior to wearing overnight Ortho-K contact lenses. When the patients discontinued wearing their lenses they found that the patient’s refractive error, on average, had increased by only 0.03D.
An FDA sponsored study of 300 children started in 2007 and is expected to continue for 5 years. Hopefully, the FDA study will answer more of our questions. Additional findings from the CANDY Study found that the younger the child the more beneficial was the effect on controlling myopia and the technique was more convenient. A more comprehensive look at Orthokeratology including a link to the CANDY Study is available on the Total Eye Care website.