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PROCEDURE MAY ALLOW YOU TO SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR GLASSES By Jarett C. Bies, Avera Health

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f you’re sick of wearing glasses and tired of the “dry eye” feeling that comes from wearing soft contact lenses all day, a relatively unknown treatment option may help. It can also serve as a form of myopia control for you or your children, and help your kids to avoid inheriting “your eyesight.”

ALTERNATIVE TO LASER VISION CORRECTION Orthokeratology – “Ortho-K” for short – uses a specialty rigid-gas permeable contact lens to mold or reshape the cornea while a patient sleeps. When the patient removes the lenses in the morning, they have improved unaided vision. It’s as if they had corrective laser surgery overnight. “Individuals with myopia, which is the clinical term for nearsightedness, see things better that are nearby. They often require contacts or glasses to improve their distance vision,” said Avera Medical Group Eye Care Optometrist Paul J. Draayer. “However, as the amount of myopia increases, so does the chance of developing more serious eye problems like cataracts, glaucoma and retinal detachment. It is for this reason that nearsightedness is now thought of as more of a disease process, not just a vision condition.” Draayer said recent studies have tracked an alarming increase in nearsightedness, both in numbers and degree. “This increase is likely related to the increasing demands we place on our eyes with digital devices,” he said. “Refractive error, which would be farsighted, nearsighted and astigmatism, are developed when we’re young. Children’s eyes adapt to their stimuli, so when they spend a lot of time focusing at nearby items, their eyes grow longer to allow their natural vision to be more nearsighted. While this helps them see things nearby, but makes

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