A new study is touting the benefits of short-term orthokeratology (ortho-k) lens wear for adolescents with low-to-moderate myopia. According to the researchers, the lenses can improve vision, without correction and without causing significant damage to the patient’s central corneal thickness or corneal endothelial cells.

In a Chinese study, researchers assigned 100 adolescents with low-to-moderate myopia into two groups: an experimental group treated with overnight ortho-k and a control group treated with ordinary frame glasses. They checked in with patients after three, six and 12 months to measure their naked-eye vision as well as structural changes and complications. These measurements included visual acuity, corneal curvature, intraocular pressure, axial length, endothelial cell count and central corneal thicknesses.

They noted that the patients given ortho-k lenses had significantly better naked-eye vision than the control group at each visit. Additionally, the diopter of the ortho-k group was significantly lower than the control group’s at each visit. The corneal curvature of the ortho-k group was significantly decreased compared with the control group at the six and 12 month visits. The increase of their axial lengths was significantly less than the control group at the latter two visits as well.

Yuan S, Zhang S, Jiang Y, Li L. Effect of short-term orthokeratology lens or ordinary frame glasses wear on corneal thickness, corneal endothelial cells and vision correction in adolescents with low to moderate myopia. BMC Ophthalmol. November 28, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].