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What is Myopia?
Myopia, commonly known as nearsightedness, is a condition in which one sees blurry at a distance and clearer up close. This is due to an image focusing in front of the retina instead of right on the retina. Therefore, a myopic patient sees a blurred distant object.
What Causes Myopia?
The increase in myopia is partly due to the increase "near point" tasks, such as the use of computer, extensive reading, playing video games and other activities up close. Some clinical evidence indicates that the constant eye stress from near work causes the ciliary muscle of the eye to pull too strong on the retina and causes the slow elongation of the eyeball. The other factors are genetic predispositions that pass on from generation to generation.
What Age Group is Most Prone to Increase of Myopia?
The average population, globally, has a myopia count of 35-40%, whereas 60% of college graduates in the U.S. are myopic. The prevalence of myopia is even greater among Asian population. Myopia usually starts in childhood and gets progressively worse through adolescence. It normally stops increasing by late teens, but it can sometimes continue to get worse into mid-twenties.
It is important to understand that once myopia has increased to a higher degree, there is no permanent way to reverse it other than by surgical procedures. Therefore, it is important for us to consider ways to control or slow down the progression of myopia before the degree of myopia becomes very high.
Why is it important to prevent increase of Myopia?
As the degree of myopia increases, the globe of the eye also elongates and stretches the structure of the retina. Weakened retinal structure increases the risk of retinal detachment, the most prevalent blinding disease among high myopes. Other eye diseases that are common among high myopes are Retinal Degeneration and Glaucoma.
How do we control the progression of Myopia?
Generally, wearing glasses and soft contact lenses have no effect on the progression of myopia. On the other hand rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens (commonly called semi-soft or hard contacts) has long been known to slow down the myopia progression.
In 2005 the landmark study, Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children (LORIC), conducted in Hong Kong conclusively showed nightwear Ortho-K lenses slowed down prescription increases in a large test group of children over a 2 year period.
Most recently, the Corneal Reshaping and Yearly Observation of Nearsightedness done in the Ohio State University further confirmed ortho-k's benefit of slowing down myopia. Preliminary results of this study showed an astounding 60% reduction of axial length growth among children who underwent ortho-k myopia control program.
It is generally believed that it is important to start the myopia control program with ortho-k treatment as early as possible in children to ensure the lowest prescription throughout their lives.
What are the Gold Series Myopia Control Lenses?
The Gold Series Myopia Control Lenses were developed by two doctors from the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. Dr. Jiyen Shin, O.D., F.O.A.A. and Dr. Dennis Leung, O.D., F.O.A.A. created the lenses for the purpose of controlling the progression of myopia. The Gold Series Myopia Control Lens is a 5-zone, reverse geometry lens designed to nearly match the shape of the patient's cornea based on computerized topography data of the eye. These special lenses "brace" the peripheral cornea from strain associated with muscle accommodation needed for near vision and therefore, are believed to slow down progression or the elongation of the eye ball. Due to the unique 5-zone of reverse curve design of the lenses, these lenses are extremely stable and more comfortable than regular gas permeable contact lenses. The better centration and wider covering of the peripheral cornea by Gold Series lenses are believed to be the reason for its superior myopia controlling effect.
There are three types of Gold Series Lenses
(1) Gold Daywear Myopia Control Lenses
These are designed for all day wear. To maximize myopia prevention, we advise our patients to wear the lenses maximum length of time. The patient puts on the lenses upon wakening and removes them before going to sleep. Due to the close conformation of these lenses to the natural shape of the cornea and the specially designed gentle pressure to the central cornea, these lenses provide optimal myopia prevention. The good stability and comfort of these lenses allow one to comfortably wear them up to 16 to 18 hours per day. Children as young as 7 years old can adapt to these lenses very quickly.
(2) Gold Nightwear Myopia Control Lenses
These are designed for night use only. They give the patients the convenience of just wearing the contact lenses during sleep. Due to the design of these lenses which apply even more pressure to the center of the cornea, compared to the daywear myopia control lenses, they temporarily reduce the prescription allowing one to see clearly during the day without corrections*. However, if one fails to wear these lenses for few days, the prescription will regress.
Like the daywear myopia control program, nightwear myopia control has demonstrated to impede or slow down the progression of myopia.
As a part of Gold Daywear or Nightwear Myopia Program, we have incorporated visual hygiene education and eye exercises to better preserve your valuable eyesight and to further enhance the myopia controlling effect.
(3) Gold Nightwear Next Generation Lenses
Myopia as high as 10 diopters can be corrected but it is most effective for myopia under 6 diopters.
What is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)?
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) is a non-surgical process that uses therapeutic lens to reshape your cornea while you sleep. The result from wearing these lenses helps to temporarily correct the nearsightedness of your vision (CRT lenses are placed on while you sleep and to be removed upon wakening).