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Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

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.

However, 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), eye doctors 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 eyeball continues to elongate. This requires a visit back to the eye doctor 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 the eyeball’s growth.  

More is at stake than correcting vision: People with moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) are prone to such 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. Todd Cohan & Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone 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. Todd Cohan & Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone will answer any questions you have about ortho-k. If you decide to proceed, Dr. Todd Cohan & Dr. Jacqueline Cozzone will conduct a thorough eye examination, fit your child with customized lenses, and oversee care. Forsight Vision serves ortho-k patients in Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and throughout Illinois

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At Forsight Vision and Midwest Dry Eye Center, it is our highest priority to provide the best quality eye care and to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and our entire community. We are happy to announce that we will be reopening the office for routine eyecare starting Saturday, May 2, 2020.

We are making great efforts to keep you and your family safe and have made the following changes to address the challenges regarding COVID-19 following the CDC and AOA (American Optometric Association) guidelines.

In order to prevent any further spread of the COVID-19 (Corona Virus) we ask that you please reschedule your appointment if any of the following applies to you:

Seek medical advice if you develop symptoms, or have been in contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently been in an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19.

As a local, family-owned business, we SINCERELY appreciate each and every one of you for trusting us with your eye care. Please keep yourself and your loved ones safe during these difficult times.

We look forward to welcoming you back for your next visit.

Thank you!

Dr. Cohan, Dr. Cozzone, and the entire staff at Forsight Vision and Midwest Dry Eye Center.