Fitting children with hard contact lenses which they will wear while sleeping at night may seem like a big undertaking, but the outcomes
continue to impress us. From the first morning these children see massive improvements in their vision - one of the most rewarding
aspects to this work.
When we met Jack* he was 6 years old, an outdoors boy who loved to read, struggling to see the whiteboard at school. Jack’s Mum is
highly short-sighted (-9.00D myopic), and his dad is moderately short-sighted (-2.50D myopic). Jack’s first prescription in December
2015 was -1.00D.
Jack also had poor visual efficiency, a risk factor for becoming more myopic. The first step was a behavioural optometry assessment
and vision therapy to improve his binocular vision. This was successful, but his distance vision remained blurred.
At the end of 2016 Jack got his first pair of glasses. To start he only wore his glasses a couple of times a week at school. Over a 6
month period, Jack’s vision got worse, by -0.50D. If he continued at this rate, by 18 years old his prescription could track towards -
11.00D increasing the risk of serious future eye problems (retinal detachment, glaucoma and maculopathy).
This year we have fitted Jack with custom made Ortho K contact lenses to wear while sleeping. This gives him clear vision the next day
once he takes out his contacts. Importantly, wearing these contact lenses can significantly slow down his myopia progression.
When we checked Jack after his first night wearing his contacts, he commented “I can see great” and his vision was 6/6 (equivalent to
20/20). He managed to take out his lenses solo on the second morning. There are more firsts; he was able to see his parents in the
back row of assembly when he won an award at school. His family report “we are so impressed with these lenses, Jack is really excited
to be able to see clearly and positive about the process.”
Jack will have follow-up checks every 6 months to monitor his vision. So far, after 2 months of treatment his vision has not changed at
*name changed for privacy