Orthokeratology for Myopia Control in Children

Children can be treated with Orthokeratology (also referred to as Ortho-K) because the principle of flattening the cornea is effective for both. In fact Ortho-K can benefit children greatly. Myopia control is used to slow or stop the increase in axial length of the eye that occurs in growing children who are becoming more nearsighted each year. This may result in a lower prescription, so the child won’t have to wear the thick lenses he might otherwise require by the time he/she is a teenager.

Advantages of Ortho-K for Children
  • Ortho-K may stop or slow the progression of Myopia (nearsightedness).1
  • No more worries about their child’s vision in the classroom, particularly if they don’t wear their glasses or are worried about losing a contact lens.
  • No more worries about the loss of their child’s glasses or contacts during sports.
  • Fewer worries means a more positive attitude and self-image for their child.
Is Ortho-K like braces for the eyes?

Ortho-K is sometimes referred to as braces for the eyes. This is partially correct as the lenses do change the surface shape of the front of the eye. However, the change with orthodontic braces for teeth is permanent, whereas it is reversible with Ortho-K. Also, braces are painfull whereas Ortho-K is not.

  1. Walline JJ, Rah MJ, Jones LA. The Children’s Overnight Orthokeratology Investigation (COOKI) pilot study. Optom Vis Sci. 2004 Jun;81(6):407-13.
  2. Cho P, Cheung SW, Edwards M. The longitudinal orthokeratology research in children (LORIC) in Hong Kong: a pilot study on refractive changes and myopic control. Curr Eye Res. 2005 Jan;30(1):71-80.
  3. Global OK-Vision. Orthokeratology Procedure. Available at: www.govlenses.com/orthokeratology/procedure.html (accessed June 26, 2012).
  4. Walline JJ, Jones LA, Sinnott LT. Corneal reshaping and myopia progression. Br J Ophthalmol. 2009 Sep;93(9):1181-5.