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Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

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Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

What is Ortho-K?

Sleeping without first removing one’s contact lenses is unhealthy. Doing so can cause infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers — even a loss of vision.

The contact lenses used in orthokeratology (ortho-k) therapy are the exception. In fact, they are supposed to be slept in. That’s the whole point.

To slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness), optometrists prescribe customized ortho-k lenses to children and teens. The lenses, which are inserted at night and removed in the morning, temporarily reshape the cornea. It’s the optical equivalent of the retainer or bite plate that your children might wear to bed at night to keep their teeth straight.

Our optometric team will prescribe ortho-k lenses to provide clear, unimpaired vision throughout the day. This enables your child to see clearly, swim and play sports each day without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

Why is Ortho-K an Important Solution to Myopia?

man wearing green printed crew neck shirt while sleepingOrtho-k is the go-to strategy for children and teens with myopia, first because their eyes have not fully developed, and second, because longer-term solutions like LASIK surgery aren’t an option at this age.

Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eyeball becomes elongated. The elongation causes light to land in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result is that while nearby objects remain clear, farther-away objects appear blurry.

Glasses and contact lenses allow you to see clearly, but after a few months, the myopia may worsen as the length of the eye continues to elongate. This requires a visit back to the optometrist for an updated prescription for stronger glasses.

Ortho-k lenses provide a solution to this cycle of worsening myopia by slowing down or even stopping this unnatural growth of the eye.

More is at stake than correcting vision: People with moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) have a significantly higher risk for vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

More than a quarter of the world’s population now has myopia, and half of all people are expected to have myopia by 2050. This is a vision epidemic that is worsening. Children whose parents have myopia, and those who spend most of the day indoors staring at smartphones, TVs, or tablets, are at higher risk.

When a Child with Ortho-K Sleeps Safely, Parents Sleep Soundly

Ortho-k utilizes rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to reach your child’s eyes so that the eyes remain healthy. Ortho-k lenses safely and effectively work while your child sleeps, temporarily providing clear vision during your child’s waking hours, and slowing the progression of myopia.

As long as your child handles the lenses according to the instructions of Dr. George Fung and observes hygiene protocols when using them (washing hands first, using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses, etc.), ortho-k lenses can be safely used.

Dr. George Fung will answer any questions you have about ortho-k. If you decide to proceed, Dr. George Fung will conduct a thorough eye examination, fit your child with customized lenses, and manage the entire process.

Our practice serves patients from Bridgeland, Macleod Trail, Panorama Hills, and S. Trail Crossing, Alberta and surrounding communities.

References:

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Atropine Therapy For Myopia Management

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the most common eye conditions affecting millions of people around the world. Most patients with this condition wear eyeglasses or contacts to correct their vision, but there is a relatively new option known as atropine therapy that has been shown to help patients with myopia.

If you have myopia and are looking for a better way to manage it, contact Browz Eyeware for a consultation. Let us help you experience clearer, sharper vision and a better quality of life.

What Is Myopia?

teen girl smiling brunette contacts ortho k 640px

Myopia, the most common vision problem across the world, occurs when the eyeball grows long. When the distance between the lens and retina is too long, the images come into focus before reaching the retina. This results in blurred distance vision when looking at something at a distance, such as street signs, people walking down a street, or a TV or movie screen.

However, images that are closer to the person can be seen more clearly. People with myopia can experience eye strain, eye fatigue, or headaches. This is because of the natural inclination to squint or strain the eyes in an effort to see images in the distance clearly.

Nearly 1 in 10 children (9.2%) between the ages of 5 and 17 have myopia. This is especially challenging during the school-age years, since the ability to read, write, see the board, do homework and participate in extracurricular activities all become important parts of a child’s routine.

Common Treatments For Myopia

The typical methods for managing myopia are eyeglasses and contact lenses. Prescription glasses and contacts correct refractive errors by directing light to focus on the retina, mimicking the natural eye process. In certain cases, procedures such as LASIK or PRK may be performed to correct vision surgically.

In recent years, atropine therapy has been shown to significantly improve vision in myopia patients by slowing down its progression. Doctors like Dr. George Fung now offer atropine therapy as an option for those with nearsightedness, including children as young as age 5.

What Is Atropine Therapy?

Atropine drops are medicated prescription eye drops containing an antimuscarinic agent, which widens (dilates) the pupil, relaxing the eye muscles. In low doses, it has been shown to slow down the development of myopia.

How Does Atropine Therapy Work?

Atropine drops are administered in the eye in the conjunctival sac. This is the area behind the lower eyelid that allows for movement of the eyeball and eyelids. Atropine drops dilate the pupil, which temporarily stops the eye from focusing and allows this function to relax.

Typically, atropine drops involves just 1 drop in each eye, but exact instructions for your specific case will be given by Dr. George Fung and the helpful staff at Browz Eyeware.

Atropine therapy may be performed daily either by itself or together with Ortho-K or multifocal contact lenses. Contact lenses cannot be worn while the drops are applied. Doctors advise to wait at least 15 minutes before putting contacts back in the eyes.

Atropine Therapy For Children

Studies have shown that atropine therapy can significantly improve myopia progression in children. A 2006 study found that 400 children aged 6-12 who received atropine experienced significantly less myopia progression. A second study in 2012 with lower doses of atropine showed similar results. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 90% of children who have atropine therapy show signs of reduced myopia progression.

According to Dr. George Fung, young children should be administered atropine drops before going to sleep. This increases the likelihood of effective results as the child is more relaxed in sleep. Many parents find that an easy solution is to make it a part of their children’s nightly bedtime rituals.

Does Atropine Therapy Hurt?

Atropine therapy is a painless process, the drops might sting a little for a few minutes, as it simply involves administering medicated eye drops to the patient. As the drops are administered to the eyes, try to avoid excessive blinking so that they are absorbed properly for the most effective results.

How Quickly Will I Notice Results?

Atropine therapy can take up to 6 months to show a significant impact. Doctors usually recommend checkups twice a year to ensure that the patient is experiencing no adverse side effects and that atropine therapy is effectively slowing down myopia development.

Does Atropine Therapy Cure Myopia?

Atropine therapy is shown to slow down and control the progression of myopia, but it is not a cure, nor does it reverse the condition. The goal of atropine therapy is to stop the condition from getting worse and prevent it from causing other, more serious eye diseases.

It’s important to note that should you stop atropine therapy, your case of myopia may resume its progression as it did prior to treatment.

How You Can Help Achieve Successful Atropine Therapy Results

girl grinning glasses 640If you or a loved has myopia and receives atropine therapy, there are some things you can to help achieve the best results possible.

Keep wearing glasses or contacts

Patients usually need to keep wearing glasses even with a low dosage treatment of atropine drops. The level of their myopia typically does not progress further as much as it can without atropine therapy.

Spend more time outdoors

Research shows that a healthy amount of Vitamin D from natural sunlight has positive health benefits. It’s believed that UV rays, in limited amounts, may be able to alter the shape of the cornea.

Side Effects of Atropine Therapy

The majority of patients who receive atropine therapy experience little to no side effects. Some patients may feel a light stinging sensation, blurriness, or sensitivity to light, but these symptoms disappear quickly. Approximately 1% of patients have reported feeling itchy or experiencing some redness around the eye area.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. George Fung and to find out if atropine therapy is right for you, contact our practice today. Our experienced staff at Browz Eyeware will consider your total health needs, ensuring that you get the right treatment for effective management of your nearsightedness.

Our practice serves patients from Bridgeland, Macleod Trail, Panorama Hills, and S. Trail Crossing, Alberta and surrounding communities.
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Soft Multifocal Lenses For Myopia Management

Myopia is an eye condition that causes the eye to elongate from early childhood into the late teen years. This elongation causes the light to fall in front of the retina rather than on the retina itself, causing far-away objects to appear blurred. Regular glasses or contact lenses correct for poor visual acuity but do nothing to address the elongation of the eye itself.

What many parents don’t realize is that myopia can be dangerous. If your child’s myopia increases each year, the higher the chance that your child will develop sight-threatening conditions like macular degeneration, retinal detachment and glaucoma in the future. At Browz Eyeware, we use soft multifocal contact lenses as part of our myopia management program, which can slow or even stop the progression of your child’s myopia.

What Are Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses?

Soft multifocal contact lenses feature three prescriptions in a single lens: one for near distance, one for intermediate distance and one for far distance. These lenses are made of breathable and flexible plastics that allow air to pass through the lens to the cornea for a healthy, comfortable fit, making them suitable for older children and teens. Soft multifocal contact lenses are FDA approved for children 8 years of age and above. Even children with various levels of astigmatism can achieve successful results in managing their myopia with soft multifocal contact lenses.

AA girl smiling shirt dots 640

How Do Soft Multifocal Contact Lenses Slow Myopia Progression?

These contact lenses are worn during the day so your child will see clearly all day without the hindrance of glasses. In addition to correcting distance vision, the design of these lenses has been precisely calculated to allow a child to achieve clear vision for all distances. They allow the light rays entering the eyes from the side of your vision to focus in front of the retina rather than directly onto it. This has been shown to provide subtle feedback to the brain to halt the elongation of the eye, This, in turn, slows or stops myopia from advancing. Children who wear soft multifocal contact lenses usually find that their prescription will no longer rapidly worsen.

We Offer Multifocal Soft Contact Lenses and Other Myopia Treatments

At your first consultation, Dr. George Fung will assess the extent of your child’s myopia, including corneal shape and refractive error. After this assessment, Dr. George Fung will recommend the best myopia management treatment options. During this process, patients and parents are encouraged to ask any questions they may have.

Should you choose to proceed with soft multifocal contact lenses, Dr. George Fung will determine the exact prescription adjustments required and carefully fit the contact lenses to ensure that they sit correctly and comfortably on your child’s eyes. Your child will immediately be able to see clearly. Over time, your child’s myopia progression will slow or even cease, drastically mitigating the long-term risks to their vision.

If you have a child with myopia, or if it’s simply time for your child’s annual checkup, call us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. George Fung and learn more about our myopia management program.

Our practice serves patients from Bridgeland, Macleod Trail, Panorama Hills, and S. Trail Crossing, Alberta and surrounding communities.


Book An Appointment
Call Us 587-317-9897

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