Ortho-K for Children: Is It Safe and Effective?

June 16, 2023
Ortho-K for Children: Is It Safe and Effective?

We only want what’s best for our children when it comes to their overall health and their vision health, too. But we can also be extra cautious when deciding which treatments may be most beneficial for them. Orthokeratology, commonly known as Ortho-K, has gained widespread attention as an innovative, non-surgical vision correction method for children. But the question that often arises is, "Is Ortho-K safe and effective for children?" Let’s talk about the safety and effectiveness of Ortho-K for treating myopia in children and some valuable insights for parents and caregivers who are considering this option for their kiddo.

Ortho-K For Kids

Ortho-K, a revolutionary technique in the field of optometry, has been increasingly recognized as a viable option for children requiring vision correction. The process involves wearing specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses overnight, which gently reshape the cornea and temporarily correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness). But what about its safety and effectiveness?

The Benefits Of Ortho-K For Kids
Ortho-K has been found to be highly effective in slowing down the progression of myopia in children. Research has shown that Ortho-K can reduce myopia progression by an average of 50-60%, compared to children wearing regular eyeglasses or contact lenses. This can have significant long-term benefits, as high myopia increases the risk of eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life. By using Ortho-K, parents can potentially help their children maintain better vision and reduce the likelihood of these complications.

Is Ortho-K Safe For Kids?
When it comes to safety, multiple studies have shown that Ortho-K is a well-tolerated and safe option for children. The corneal reshaping lenses used in Ortho-K are Health Canada and FDA-approved and have undergone rigorous testing to ensure their safety. These contact lenses are designed to allow sufficient oxygen flow to the cornea, reducing the risk of corneal complications. However, it is crucial for parents to ensure that their child follows proper hygiene practices and adheres to the recommended wearing schedule and care instructions to minimize the risk of eye infections.

Is Ortho-K The Right Choice For My Child?
While Ortho-K offers significant benefits, it may not be suitable for all children. Factors such as age, corneal shape, and the child's ability to comply with lens care and wearing schedules are considered during the evaluation process. Consulting with an experienced optometrist is essential to determine if Ortho-K is the right choice for your child. Here are some considerations.

Tips For Successful Ortho-K Treatment For Kids

To learn more about myopia diagnosis and treatment, read
True Or False? The Facts About Myopia.


Help Your Kid See Clearly With Ortho-K At My Optometrist Calgary

Ortho-K can be a safe and effective vision correction option for children. It has shown promising results in slowing down myopia progression, provides convenience for active children, and reduces the long-term risks associated with high myopia. However, it is vital to work closely with an optometrist to ensure proper fitting, monitoring, and compliance. By doing so, parents can make an informed decision and potentially improve their child's visual health with Ortho-K.

The key to great vision for a lifetime is early diagnosis and effective management of any impacts to your eye health and eyesight. The team at My Optometrist uses state-of-the-art equipment for assessments and treatment, and we prioritize patient education. To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How long does it take to see results with Ortho-K?
A: Ortho-K is a gradual process, and the timeline for noticeable results can vary. Some individuals may experience improved vision after the first night of wearing Ortho-K lenses, while others may take a few days or even weeks to achieve optimal vision correction. It's important to follow your optometrist’s guidance and attend regular follow-up visits to monitor your progress.

Q: Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with Ortho-K?
A: Like any vision correction method, Ortho-K does come with potential risks and side effects. These can include temporary discomfort, dryness, glare or halos around lights, and increased sensitivity to light. These effects are usually mild and tend to diminish as your eyes adjust to the lenses. However, it is crucial to consult with an optometrist to understand the specific risks and determine if you are a suitable candidate for Ortho-K.

Q: Can I wear Ortho-K lenses if I have astigmatism?
A: Yes, Ortho-K lenses can effectively correct astigmatism. The specialized design of these lenses allows for customized reshaping of the cornea, addressing both spherical refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) as well as astigmatism. During your consultation with an eye care professional, they will evaluate your astigmatism and determine the feasibility of Ortho-K for your specific needs.

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