Are Ortho-K Lenses Better Than Glasses for Your Child?

ortho-k lenses child kids

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common type of refractive error where close objects appear clear but distant objects appear out of focus or blurry. Myopia affects children and adults, and it occurs when the eye focuses images in front of the retina instead of directly on it, resulting in blurred vision.

Myopia can develop when the eyeball grows too long and prevents light entering the eye from focusing directly on the retina. Myopia may also occur if the cornea is too curved. This condition may develop due to several circumstances:

  • Some people may inherit the condition or the predisposition to develop it.
  • How an individual uses their eyes – children who spend little time outside are more at risk of developing the condition. Spending time outdoors encourages the eyes to focus on distant objects and is an excellent preventative against myopia development.
  • When children spend most of their time focusing on objects up close, whether reading a book, using a computer, playing video games, looking at a smartphone or performing other close visual work are 30% more susceptible to developing myopia.



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A post shared by Dr. Elise Kramer, OD (@drelisekramer)

Choosing the Best Myopia Treatment Option for Your Child

 Children diagnosed with myopia have the best chance of managing the condition, as the earlier it is detected, the more intervention is likely to slow the progression of myopia.

The first choice in vision correction for myopia in children is eyeglasses. Eyeglasses can provide adequate vision correction, but they cannot slow the progression of myopia, which typically worsens over time. If your child is mildly myopic, they may only need to wear eyeglasses for specific activities that require clear-distance vision, such as riding a bike or watching a movie. They may have to wear eyeglasses during all waking hours if they have more moderate myopia.

Eyeglasses can be cumbersome for very active children who participate in sports and will not provide the peripheral vision correction to support intense activity levels. =

Eyeglasses provide central vision correction, but the peripheral vision remains out of focus. This is referred to as peripheral hyperopic defocus. This causes the eyeball to continue growing abnormally as it constantly tries to focus on a blurred peripheral image. When children are diagnosed with myopia, there are decades ahead of them that unfortunately provide an opportunity for myopia to become more severe. If the condition isn’t managed correctly when detected at an early age, it can lead to other visual complications or conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, or a detached retina. Rarely, myopia could lead to blindness.

Ortho-K lenses also referred to as orthokeratology or corneal refractive therapy (CRT), is a non-surgical procedure in which your child will wear a series of custom-designed, rigid contact lenses that will gradually reshape the curvature of the cornea or the front outer surface of the eye. As pressure increases on the cornea, the Ortho-K lens flattens it and changes how light entering the eye is focused. Children are required to wear the lenses for limited periods, generally at night. Ortho-K lenses are an exceptional choice to provide clear vision – including peripheral correction. Ortho-K lenses also support an active lifestyle and are very effective in slowing myopia progression.



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Give Your Child the Gift of Clear Vision for a Lifetime

Ortho-K lenses are the right choice to slow myopia progression in newly-diagnosed children. This therapy provides clear vision and peripheral freedom, and acuity. Ortho-K lenses accommodate active children who participate in sports as well. Most importantly, Ortho-K lenses slow myopia’s progression, protecting your child’s vision for the many years ahead of them.

Schedule your child’s eye exam at Weston Contact Lens Institute today and learn more about Ortho-K lenses, including if your child is a candidate for this advanced therapeutic option in the treatment of myopia. WCLI your trusted partner in ensuring a lifetime of visual health.


Testimonial from Linda, Satisfied Ortho-K Patient
Dr. Kramer and her staff were very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. The whole experience from beginning to end was a great one.

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