Have you heard of orthokeratology aka VIT?
Vision Improvement Therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive and reversible myopia treatment solution which involves the wearing of overnight, tailor-fit, gas permeable lenses. It is relatively pain-free compared to laser surgery, and it is a fast-growing preferred treatment among parents of myopic children.
Also called cornea reshaping or overnight vision correction, this technology works by changing how light is focused on the retina so when the wearer wakes up, the difference is immediately experienced—clearer and sharper distance vision, no glasses or regular corrective lenses needed for the day.
What are parents and experts saying about this myopia treatment solution? Is it safe for your children? Should you give it a go? Here’s a quick rundown.
In his article for Review of Optometry, Dr. Daniels cited results from two clinical trials—SMART (Stabilizing Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique) and CRAYON (Corneal Reshaping and Yearly Observation of Myopia). These studies have yielded information attesting to the “safety and efficacy of VIT for myopia control.
SMART, a five-year study which began in 2009, found that at one-year follow-up, subjects wearing VIT lenses “exhibited a mean progression of 0.00D compared to an average of 0.50D in the control group.” Meanwhile, CRAYON, a two-year study, found that patients who used VIT lenses “experienced significantly less annual change in axial length and vitreous chamber depth” compared to those who wore soft contact lenses. Simply put, the early results of these studies corroborated data that VIT lenses, when used properly, can “slow down the progression of corneal changes in myopic patients.”
Jason G. Jedlicka, OD, FAAO
Founder of the Cornea and Contact Lens Institute of Minnesota,
Founding Board Member of the Scleral Lens Educational Society
Writing for Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, Dr. Jedlicka notes that VIT has significant potential for vision correction especially among young patients. The express advantage of convenience and safety are priceless, particularly for kids who have to wear prescription glasses which can be a major hassle for pursuing sports or physical activities.
More importantly, he noted the crucial role of VIT in long-term myopia control. He cited a study published in 2005 which the researchers found that those who used VIT lenses had 46 percent less axial elongation. Similar results were reported in 2009 after a study analyzing a different patient population.
One parent shared his/her VIT experience on KiasuParent.com, a social platform focused on parenting and child rearing topics.
In the post, the parent wrote about VIT as the “last solution” for his/her daughter’s progressing myopia. Their initial concern was that their daughter had low pain tolerance so they started with a trial period. The concerned parent was pleasantly surprised that their daughter “can put on and take off the lenses by herself after the 1st day of training.” She added that, “within a week, her eyesight have (sic) bounced back to perfect eye sight.” The daughter no longer needs to wear glasses and no longer squints, as detailed by the obviously delighted parent. As of posting, it has been two months since they started their VIT journey and so far, the daughter is enjoying her daily sports, study activities and the “freedom of life.”
Titus Wu, FIAO
Optometrist, Associate Lecturer, Ngee Ann Polytechnic
In his piece for Kids World, Dr. Wu reiterates that glasses “only correct the symptoms of vision impairment.” For long-term control of myopia progression among children, he recommends VIT as “one of the most effective ways to reduce myopia progression.”
Dr. Wu refers to studies which show that VIT can “reduce progression of myopia by 50 to 100 per cent” which is crucial since myopia progresses most during a child’s school age years. He also addressed the common and normal concern about possible infection. As other professional eye care specialists have pointed out, this risk can be greatly lessened by going to a doctor who really specializes in VIT lenses.
Myopia is a silent epidemic that can drastically affect the bright future of your children. Learn more about VIT and be empowered in the global fight against myopia. Check out Invisalens.com for more details.