Sunday, December 9, 2018

Our Ortho-K journey: prologue

As a family, we have been quite careful with Dumpling’s vision by reminding her to take vision breaks. Sadly though, she was diagnosed with myopia this year. I’ve heard friends sharing that once diagnosed, their “degree” goes up quite quickly and so, I’ve been really paranoid about her vision. I’ve heard of Ortho-K and have been reading up on this as a few of Dumpling’s friends are also on it.
Having gone through LASIK years ago, I’d say that’s one of the best decisions I made. With children however, they are of course too young for such an invasive method. Hence the next best possible option is to look at myopia control.
As I am writing this post, we are in the midst of waiting for Dumpling’s lenses collection after her initial eye examination. While waiting, I got Jason, Consulting Optometrist of The Eye Initiative to answer some questions and debunk some myths.

:: What exactly is Ortho-K? How does it work?
Jason: Ortho-K is a process where we prescribe kids with specially designed hard rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses that temporarily reshape the shape of the cornea to reduce myopia. This is a great technique to control myopia as it make use of the peripheral defocus (which is to bring the light rays in front of the retina) which is a proven method to ensure the increment of myopia stops/reduces. Apart from that, the advantage for Ortho-K is that it also allows the end-user the freedom of not using spectacles or contact lens in the day time.

:: Is Ortho-K safe, after all my child will be wearing it to sleep?

Jason: All contact lenses have a risk of infection, usually due to the negligence of hygiene. As long as the hygiene regimen of the individual is upheld there should not be any risk of infection. The use of Ortho-K to sleep is very safe, mainly because it is a hard lens so it:

- reduces the chances of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and
- the chances of infection as hard lenses are not hydrophilic ( water-loving) as compared to soft contact lenses. This means that there are lesser chances of microbes sticking on the lenses.

(Jason explaining to Dumpling how Ortho-K works and showing her how the lenses look like)

:: How often and long does my child need to wear it for?

Jason: For best results, we encourage the child to wear them every day as this will ensure that the effect of myopia control is optimal. We also recommend to wear it till 16 years old as it is the 'plastic period' of the kids eyes (the period where the prescription changes significantly.) 

:: Ok, I am keen but what is the “running cost” and how often do I need to replace the lenses?

Jason: The “running” cost would be saline solution which is quite minimal. Lenses wise, they should be replaced every 2-3 years because of wear and tear.

:: As this is a long-term partnership, what should I look for in an optometrist for my child?

Jason: The optometrist must be well versed in his contact lenses knowledge and more than that, should be practising ortho-k for at least a year. Additionally, the setting of the optical shop must have a few compulsory equipment: the topographer, slit lamp and auto-refractometer as these are essential equipment for us to design the lenses.

:: What should the Ortho-K package consist of?

Jason: The cost of ortho k for starts from $1,800 and it consists:
  • Eye examinations (prior and after wearing to track progress)
  • Unlimited consultations
  • A pair of standby glasses
  • One set of solution for the kids to start learning about the hygiene of Ortho-K and last but not least
  • The contact lenses

:: The decision

As with my usual parenting style, Dumpling and I would discuss all matters regarding her welfare and interests - from enrichment classes to holidays to camps, so Ortho-K was no different. My viewpoint is simple: the kid must want it and be responsible for it. After all, it is her life and she has to learn to be accountable for her decision.

Thankfully, this seems to be the same approach for because at the end of the explanation, Jason turned to Dumpling and asked her for her thoughts and if she would be able to be responsible to take care of the hygiene and be responsible for the cleansing of her lenses, etc.

Dumpling doing her eye examination

And I am really glad to share that in the end, Dumpling decided that she will proceed with the journey!

Update: we've collected our lenses 2 evenings back and Dumpling has just started her journey so next up, we will be sharing her experience + some tips I learn along the way. 


At, previously known as The Eye Care Initiative, we offer a comprehensive eye check as we believe that regular eye examination is the key to improving the quality of one’s life as it helps prevent damage to vision brought about by diabetes and other sight-threatening eye diseases.’s slogan is 'improving life with primary eye care' and we achieve this by having a more health-based approach in our eye examinations as we believe that we are here to add value to every customer by assisting them to know more and care more about their eye health.

Apart from that, we are a team of optometrist that is passionate in paediatric optometric practice and that is the reason why we strive and take pride in using Ortho-K to help every child in their journey of myopia control and enjoying a better quality of life.

Disclaimer: this is a series of collaboration as invited by so that Dumpling and I can share our reviews and experience on this new Ortho-K journey.

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