Utilizing orthokeratology contact lenses for myopia control has become increasingly more common.
However getting patients to try specialty contact lenses isn't easy, nor is it easy for optometrists to master fitting and getting comfortable with these lenses. Prescribing orthokeratology lenses for patients whether it is for the purpose of myopia control or correcting their refractive error requires additional training, practice, and time, just like any other skill.
When it comes to explaining orthokeratology contact lenses for myopia control to patients, Dr. Lazar shares some tips.
Education is the key to success. Regardless of whether or not a patient ultimately decides to use ortho-k lenses, it is still important for doctors to educate their patients on eye care advancements especially when it comes to utilizing something like orthokeratology contact lenses for myopia control and other options for stopping the progression of myopia.
Being able to direct patients to resources to learn more about orthokeratology lenses and how they function, along with myopia progression and why combatting this disease is so important is also critical.
When it comes to educating patients on how these lenses work, Dr. Lazar starts by describing how orthokeratology lenses function to reshape not the entire eyeball, but the corneal epithelium which is what provides the correction when it comes to refractive error. She then discusses how these lenses have also been shown to slow the progression of myopia based on research and studies, and educates patients on how the lenses achieve that.
Once patients understand how these lenses work and why she is prescribing them, she'll then explain to patients what to expect when it comes to the fitting process and manage their visual expectations. Sometimes costs can be a factor, but there are many options available to patients and practices can arrange various payment structures to navigate this challenge.
As myopia becomes increasingly more prevalent, and the risks and dangers of this disease become more prominent, it is up to optometrists to step up to the challenge and begin using specialty contact lenses for myopia control, or other methods of treatment they are comfortable with.