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Lasik Surgery Alternatives

Why You Should Consider Ortho-K for Your Nearsighted Child

Many parents want to know whether Ortho-K or orthokeratology treatment can be used safely to help their nearsighted children especially those with degenerative myopia. We would like parents to know that Ortho-K contact lenses have been found to be very effective in controlling the progression of nearsightedness ( otherwise known as myopia). At Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, we believe that Ortho-K corrective lenses are a great option for children since this treatment has many practical as well as medical benefits.

A Greater Sense of Freedom

boy playing baseball with ortho-k lenses for children from Eyes of New MexicoIn our previous article, we discussed how Ortho-K works and explained that it is not a permanent solution for myopia like laser eye surgery. However, it is a great alternative to wearing glasses or contact lenses throughout the day. Imagine how much more freedom your child will have when participating in sports or other activities without the restriction of daytime glasses or contact lenses!

Safe and Effective Treatment

Since your child will be wearing the Ortho-K corrective custom-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight to reshape the cornea, it allows you to monitor the wear and care of the lenses especially if your child is still too young to manage the care of his/her own contact lenses. What’s more, as the cornea is easily molded in children, treatment time tends to be shorter for them. While for adults it can take 2 to 4 weeks to see a significant improvement, for children it is almost immediate. It’s important to keep in mind that factors such as age, prescriptions, and an individual’s specific vision needs can affect the time needed to achieve fully-corrected daytime vision.

Protection Against Future Vision Issues

By wearing Ortho-K lenses, your child may be protected from the possibility of experiencing serious vision issues in later life such as retinal detachments, glaucoma, macular degeneration and early cataracts. Current evidence suggests that the prevalence of myopia is on the rise due to our modern lifestyle. Researchers believe that by 2050, almost five billion people worldwide will have myopia compared with two billion in 2010. From that five billion people, it is also estimated that one billion will experience significant ocular complications and vision loss due to high myopia.

Last Word

At Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, we encourage parents to seriously consider the option of Ortho-K treatment for their children’s myopia because it is an established non-surgical method of vision correction that has been safely used for over 20 years. Dr. Martinez and her staff will take careful measurements of your child’s eye and order custom-fitted and specially-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses that will help control your child’s myopia and give them the freedom that all children deserve.

If you would like more information about Ortho-K for your child contact us or schedule an appointment with Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses to learn how your child can benefit from this innovative treatment.

How Does Ortho-K Work?

How does Ortho-K work to correct nearsightedness? Learn all about this nonsurgical solution.

How does Ortho-K work for myopia patients? For decades, the only options to correct nearsightedness have been glasses, contacts, and laser eye surgery. However, a game-changing treatment is now available. It’s called orthokeratology (Ortho-K for short). If you’re tired of wearing corrective lenses but concerned about surgery, this may be the best option for you. Here’s how it works:

Understanding Nearsightedness

Those with nearsightedness, or myopia, struggle to see objects that are far away. Many children learn they need glasses when they can’t read the blackboard at school. Adults may require corrective lenses to drive a car. Optometrists often prescribe glasses or contacts to correct a patient’s vision. Others may turn to Lasik or another form of laser eye surgery to permanently alter the shape of the cornea.

What causes myopia? Nearsightedness occurs whenever the eyeball is too long. The shape of the eye directly relates to how the cornea processes and reflects light. In some instances, the patient may also have a misshaped cornea, known as astigmatism.

Nearsightedness is often genetic. If a parent wears glasses, there is a high probability that their child will also need corrective lenses. While the condition usually stabilizes as a person gets older, some patients will need a stronger prescription every year.

Reshape Your Cornea While You Sleep

Imagine being able to see clearly without wearing glasses or undergoing surgery. Ortho-K makes this a possibility. This groundbreaking treatment reshapes a patient’s cornea while they sleep. Yes, you read that correctly. You can improve your vision while getting your beauty rest every night!

An optometrist will prescribe you a special pair of gas permeable contact lenses. Since no two eyes are the same, your doctor will use a corneal topographer to map out the exact shape and size of your cornea. This step will ensure a comfortable fit.

When you go to bed, the Ortho-K lenses begin to work their magic. They slowly reshape your cornea to help your eyes focus light better. Did you know that your cornea is super flexible? While wearing these special lenses, your cornea will mold into the desired shape. When you wake up, you’ll be able to see far away without putting on your glasses. Imagine having 20/20 vision for the first time in your life!

How Does Ortho-K Work

Not a Permanent Solution

Like glasses and contacts, Ortho-K is not a permanent solution for myopia—only laser eye surgery provides lasting results. The results you achieve are reversible, and if you forget to wear your overnight lenses, your vision will return to baseline within a day or two. That’s why it’s so important to adhere to a strict schedule.

However, it only takes a few days to experience great results. Most patients stop wearing their regular glasses or contacts within the first week of treatment. And as long as you remember to put in your Ortho-K lenses every night, you may never need your glasses again.

Are You an Ideal Candidate?

It may surprise you learn that most nearsighted patients can benefit from Ortho-K lenses. After all, this low-risk, non-invasive treatment may seem too good to be true. You may want to ask your optometrist about Ortho-K if:

  • You’re older than 40 and also need to wear glasses for reading.
  • You lead an active life or play contact sports, and glasses or contacts get in the way.
  • You suffer from allergies that prohibit you from wearing traditional contacts.
  • You don’t want to wear glasses but are nervous about the risks of laser surgery.
  • You have a child who is at risk for degenerative myopia.
  • You’re tired of wearing thicker glasses every year.

Most candidates can wear their Ortho-K lenses without any problems. Eye infection is the most common side-effect, which mainly occurs in children. Properly washing your hands and storing your lenses reduces this risk.

Ask an Expert about Ortho-K

Only a licensed eye doctor can prescribe Ortho-K lenses. The team at Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses wants to make sure every member of your family can see clearly. Our clinic offers a full range of eye care services for people of all ages. In addition to glasses, contacts, and Lasik, we also prescribe Ortho-K to qualified patients. After a thorough examination, you’ll be ready to begin treatment right away.

If glasses or contacts control your life, we can offer a better solution. With our help, you’ll be able to read the eye chart better than ever. How does Ortho-K work for the average patient? Schedule an appointment with Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses to learn how you’ll benefit from this innovative treatment.

What Is the Difference Between Lasik and Laser Eye Surgery?

The information you should know about the difference between Lasik and laser eye surgery and another option worth considering.

Do you know what the difference is between Lasik and laser eye surgery? When it comes to eye procedures, it can be confusing. We’re going to break it down for you and also take a look at another option you might want to consider. Here’s what you need to know if you’re looking for safe vision correction methods.

Lasik or Laser? Types of LASIK Surgery

The most important thing to know about the difference between laser surgery and Lasik surgery is that there is no difference. Lasik surgery is a type of laser surgery. In fact, Lasik is an acronym for the procedure that is formally known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. While there are other types of laser eye surgeries besides Lasik, such as laser cataract surgery, Lasik is always performed with a laser.

How Does Lasik Surgery Work?

Lasik surgery works by reshaping the cornea. This allows light that enters the eye to focus more clearly onto the retina, improving sight. It can correct vision in people with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The process includes cutting a thin flap in your cornea using a tool called a microkeratome or a laser. The surgeon then folds back the flap so they can have access to the cornea. They use a laser to remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea. This helps reshape it so light to the retina can focus more accurately. If you’re nearsighted, the cornea needs flattening. If you’re farsighted, the cornea needs a steeper angle. Once the ablation is complete, the corneal flap is replaced so it can heal.

Difference Between Lasik and Laser Eye Surgery

What Are the Risks with Lasik Surgery?

Before you decide whether or not Lasik is for you, it’s important to consider the risks and possible side effects. Even though the procedure only takes about 15 minutes, it is still surgery, and there are risks involved with any surgical procedure. The unique risk potential with Lasik exists because it can affect not only your vision but also the health of your eyes.

Here are some of the risks and side effects associated with the Lasik procedure:

  • Dry eyes: This often only lasts for a few weeks or months, but it can last longer and, in some cases, can be a permanent affliction following Lasik. A study conducted by a laser surgery provider found that five years after the surgery, nearly half of the patients in the study suffered from dry eyes at least some of the time.
  • Light sensitivity: In the days following the procedure, it is normal to have some light sensitivity. In the same study mentioned above, nearly 40% of patients still had increased sensitivity to light after five years.
  • Visual disturbances: Common visual disturbances after surgery include increased glare, halos around objects, and difficulty driving at night.
  • Pain: Most doctors claim that Lasik is relatively pain-free, however; some patients can experience eye pain for months or even years after the surgery.
  • Diminished vision: Lasik might be successful for some people, but many patients experience deterioration in their vision even after Lasik.
  • Lack of adequate counseling: Many doctors fail to disclose potential complications adequately. That leaves patients with a lack of precise and comprehensive information regarding the potential risks and side effects.

Lasik Alternatives

If Lasik doesn’t sound like the right option for you, you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of glasses and daily contacts. You can still have clear vision without going under the laser. Ortho-K, or orthokeratology, is a safe, painless, non-surgical alternative to Lasik. It involves custom-made contact lenses that you only wear at night. The Ortho-K lenses gently mold your cornea as you sleep. This has a similar effect to Lasik as it changes the way light is refracted in your eye to create clearer vision. Not only is this type of vision correction comfortable and effective, but it’s also not permanent. If you stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses, your vision will return to normal in a few days. This is not the case with Lasik. If laser eye surgery goes wrong, there’s no turning back.

Everyone wants to see the world clearly. Some are willing to take great risks to do so without resorting to glasses or contacts that can impact their lifestyle and affect their ability to do the activities they love. Instead of taking the risks that Lasik involves or going through life with blurry vision, take a look at what Ortho-K can offer.

At Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses, we can provide the vision correction you’ve been waiting for, without the risk. If you’ve been wondering about the difference between Lasik and laser surgery, we can provide you with all of the information you need to make the right choice for you and your eyes. Contact us today for an appointment.