Health

‘Braces for the eyes’

‘Braces for the eyes’
Ortho-k lens user Goh Jia Ling (right) having her cornea checked by orthokeratologist Titus Wu during a review session. Photo: Koh Mui Fong
Cornea-shaping lenses worn overnight help to correct vision — but they come with caveats
Published: 4:17 AM, June 17, 2015
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SINGAPORE — At the age of 14, Ms Goh Jia Ling was already wearing spectacles with a prescription of around 800 degrees. The Raffles Institute student’s heavy glasses got in the way of badminton training. Soft contact lenses were equally uncomfortable, as they made her eyes dry.

Two years ago, Ms Goh switched to orthokeratology, otherwise known as ortho-k. She now wears specially designed cornea moulds, which look like hard lenses, to sleep every night.

The lenses reshape her corneas and by the time she removes them in the morning, she can see clearly without her glasses.

FOR HIGHER DEGREES NOW

Myopia, or short-sightendness, occurs when the eyeball is too long, causing light to fall in front of the retina rather than on it. This causes distant objects to appear blurred.

Singapore has the highest myopia rate in the world. About 80 per cent of 18-year-olds grapple with the condition, says the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC).

Optometrist and orthokeratologist Titus Wu, of Titus Eye Care, described the ortho-k treatment as “braces for the eyes”.

Dr Stan Isaacs, president of the Singapore Contact Lens Society and the Society of Orthokeratology, Singapore, said the method can also be used to correct long-sightedness and astigmatism.

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