Young athletes need the best vision possible so they can excel in their chosen sport. Having poor vision due to refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness and/or astigmatism can affect their hand-eye coordination, reflexes and overall performance.
Using eyewear is an option, but it can get in the way at times. Eyeglasses can get foggy, obstruct side vision or even put them at risk for eye injuries. Regular contact lenses may cause dry eyes and fluctuating vision. LASIK is not advisable for athletes below 18 years old because their eye grade can still change.
There is a lesser-known but equally effective alternative— Ortho-K contact lenses. These are specially designed contact lenses that serve as “braces” for the eyes, reshaping the cornea and correcting vision temporarily.
Here are six reasons OrthoK is a great option, especially for young athletes:
1.Ortho-K is low effort, high reward. Wear these contact lenses for at least six hours during sleep and remove them upon waking up. You can have clear, sharp vision during the day without having to put on eyeglasses or contact lenses. The effect can last for 24 hours to 48 hours.
2.Ortho-K is so easy to use that even children can wear it. Ortho-K can be prescribed to children as young as seven years old. Parents just have to make sure that they guide their children in cleaning, wearing and removing the contact lenses.
3.Ortho-K = Savings and convenience. Parents do not have to worry about their child losing or breaking their eyeglasses or contact lenses. One pair of Ortho-K contact lenses can last up to two years to three years, depending on their condition.
4.Ortho-K is safe. Your eyes need oxygen to “breathe.” Ortho-K makes use of high gas permeable contact lenses that allow ample supply of oxygen to the eyes.
Since Ortho-K is worn during sleep and your child won’t have to wear contact lenses during the day, the oxygen supply for their eyes is not reduced, and they have lower risk for eye infections, allergies and dry eyes. These lenses are also FDA-approved.
5.Ortho-K has been seen to stop the progression of nearsightedness. High nearsightedness has been linked to conditions like glaucoma and retinal detachment. Studies show that Ortho-K can potentially slow down or reduce the progression of nearsightedness in children.
6.Ortho-K is nonsurgical. Your young athlete can stop wearing it anytime, switch back to eyeglasses or ordinary contact lenses, or get LASIK once they turn 18 years old. Not everyone is qualified for Ortho-K. Bring your child to a licensed optometrist who is trained in Ortho-K to ensure that their eyes will get evaluated well and they can get the contact lens design that fits their cornea. Well-fitted Ortho-K contact lenses lead to effective treatment, less discomfort and less risk for infections or vision loss.