Parents invest a lot in their children: from their emotions and energy to time and money. Parents give up a lot to ensure their children have the best lives they possibly can. When it comes to children’s health, parents will spare no expense, doing whatever possible to ensure their child is healthy and comfortable. Parents do all that they can to provide a good quality of life for their kids, and this includes eye health.
Healthy vision is extremely important; the eyes are a big part of how children learn and develop. If children have blurry vision or other difficulties seeing, it can affect the way they perform in school, go about daily activities, and play and interact with their peers. One cause of blurry vision that affects children is nearsightedness. It is a condition that commonly begins during childhood and can start developing in children as young as six years old. A child could struggle with learning and development from the age when they first start attending school.1
If your child has been diagnosed with nearsightedness and you are looking for treatment options, orthokeratology is one treatment option that you’ll want to learn about.
What is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a treatment option for nearsightedness which employs special orthokeratology contact lenses prescribed by a certified eye doctor. Ortho-K lenses, such as Paragon CRT®, are worn at night while your child sleeps. Throughout the night, the lenses gently reshape the surface of the cornea. When your child wakes, they remove their lenses and enjoy clear vision without the need for glasses or daytime contacts.
The Pros and Cons
There are numerous benefits that orthokeratology can offer children who have been diagnosed with nearsightedness. Because Ortho-K lenses are worn at night, children do not have to worry about breaking or losing the lenses as they go through their daily routines and as they play. Children can enjoy clearer vision throughout the day without the aid of glasses or daytime contacts. Another great benefit is that it is safe for children, including younger children, making it a viable option for various ages. What’s more, Ortho-K can enhance a child’s quality of life2 and positively affect a child’s self-esteem.3
While orthokeratology is an innovative treatment option for nearsightedness, some children need practice applying and removing Ortho-K contact lenses. This will be taught at the doctor’s office and may require additional visits. It should also be noted that Ortho-K is not a permanent treatment. If lens wear is discontinued, eyes will return to their original shape.
Ortho-K for Your Child
If you are ready to have your child evaluated for orthokeratology, the best place to start is by finding a certified eye doctor near you. The doctor will recommend a treatment plan that will best fit your child’s needs to provide optimal results. Ortho-K can offer enhanced self-esteem and overall a better quality of life for your child inside and outside the classroom.
 Holden, B. A., Fricke T. R., Wilson D. A., Jong M., Naidoo K. S., Sankaridurg P., Wong T. Y., Naduvilath T. J. and Resnikoff S. Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050. Ophthalmology 2016; 123: 1036-1042.
 McAlinden, Colm, and Lipson, Michael. Orthokeratology and Contact Lens Quality of Life Questionnaire (OCL-QoL). Eye & Contact Lens. 2017; 0: 1-7.
 Dias, L., Manny,R.E., Hyman, L., &Fern, K. (2002). The Relationship between Self-Esteem of Myopic Children and Ocular and Demographic Characteristics. Optometry and Vision Science, 79(11)