By Martin Burns
Although millions of people around the world suffer from defective vision, for many there is no way to cure their condition without surgery - something that is a particular problem for those who are too young to undergo the procedure.
However, help is at hand for young people with irregular corneas, in the shape of a type of overnight corrective contact lens that has been helping many youngsters to see clearly without the need for glasses.
Known as Ortho-K, the contacts have actually been in use for a few decades but have only fairly recently been approved and distributed on a mass market scale, and the effects have been amazing, noted Dr David Roth, who specialises in Orthokeratology where the term Ortho-K comes from.
He told NBC Miami that the process works by the patient inserting Ortho-K contacts before bed and then taking them out in the morning.
Dr Roth explained: "The central part of the lens reshapes the cornea just like surgery does. So if you"re flattening the central part of the cornea you see better."
He noted that they are a particularly welcome and effective alternative to those who do not qualify for laser eye surgery, which generally means children.
They were approved by the US Food and Dug Administration ten years ago and awareness has been slowly increasing since then, as children as young as six wear the lenses overnight and quickly see tangible results.
"It also stops the eyes from getting worse. There"s proof with children. With kids" vision, if they start out at a low prescription it could triple by the time they"re 18. The sad thing is it could"ve been halted," Dr Roth told the news provider.
Although the majority of patients do not believe it until they actually do it, the results are almost "magical", and can help to restore quality of life as well as sight, the expert concluded.
by Alexa Kaczka