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Dry Eye Center

Keratoconus & Specialty Contacts
Low Vision Care

We’ve moved to a new location12911 120th Ave NE G105, Kirkland, WA 98034. We are conveniently located across the street from the Evergreen Health Center ER and north of the new Village at Totem Lake, Totem Lake Boulevard. Look for the blue Pro Ortho sign, building G.

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Dry Eye Center Keratoconus & Specialty Contacts Low Vision Care

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Orthokeratology

Myopia Control & Ortho K Lenses in Kirkland, WA

Myopia, or nearsightedness, leaves the person able to see nearby objects clearly but unable to see distant objects clearly. Myopia usually develops in childhood, between 6 to 8 years of age and is a progressive condition.

The Danger Of Myopia
Myopia Is More Than An Inconvenience, It's A Serious Health Concern

Your child’s prescription seems to get worse all the time. 

If your child’s prescription for nearsightedness is getting worse all the time, it’s more than an inconvenience. Myopia can be aggressive. As incidence rates of myopia drastically rise, it’s also the case that aggressive or progressive myopia is rapidly increasing too. This situation is much worse than needing stronger and stronger corrective lenses, glasses or contacts. Myopia puts your child at risk for a wide range of serious and potentially devastating eye conditions later in life. These risks include:

      • Cataracts
      • Macular Degeneration
      • Retinal detachment
      • Glaucoma

The more advanced the progression, the greater the risks associated with the Myopia. However, the research is now showing that any amount of myopia is dangerous.

At Myopia Control Center At Optical Images, we specialize in providing the greater Seattle area with effective, specialized treatment to control the progression of myopia. By stopping or even halting the progression of myopia, we reduce these long-term risks to best ensure that your child enjoys seeing the world with healthy eyes throughout his or her life.

Understanding Myopia

What Is Progressive Myopia?

Myopia, also referred to as being “nearsighted” is a condition where light from objects in the distance focus in the front of the eye, instead of where it’s supposed to focus on―the retina. This causes distance vision to distort and become blurry. Myopia starts in childhood and progressively deteriorates into young adulthood.

Myopia is very often progressive. This means that the distance vision gets worse and worse, meaning your child constantly needs an updated stronger prescription and new glasses or contacts. Since learning is by and large visual, the progression of myopia often outpaces your child’s eye exams. Myopia, therefore, negatively affects your child’s school performance. What’s more, the rate of progression of myopia directly correlates with the risk levels of developing vision-threatening eye diseases. Typically, myopia is broken down into these categories:

  • High Myopia
  • Moderate Myopia
  • Low Myopia

Low, High, and Medium correspond to how far along the myopia has progressed, in other words, how strong a prescription is needed. The higher the myopia and the higher the rate of progression, the higher the risks to your child’s vision.

What Is Myopia Control

In recent years, a number of advanced methods have been developed to control myopia. Unlike glasses or regular contact lenses, the goal of myopia control is to slow or even halt the progression of myopia entirely. At the, Myopia Control Center At Optical Images, Dr. Ross Cusic will begin with a full assessment of your child’s myopia. We will then recommend a personalized treatment plan to slow or even stop your child’s myopia from getting worse. This is what will minimize the risks to your child’s long-term vision.

At what age should my child begin myopia control?

The more advanced the myopia is, the greater the risks. Therefore, our Seattle Myopia Control Experts recommend starting Myopia Control as soon as myopia is detected. It’s important to halt the myopia before your child’s vision deteriorates any further. This is the only way to minimize the risks. It also has the significant benefit of keeping your child from needing stronger and stronger lenses over time.

What Causes Myopia?

Myopic vision is caused when the eye becomes elongated and and overly-curved in the front. This causes the objects we see to become blurry at a distance. In short, the signals to our eyes get distorted.

The exact cause of myopia is not entirely clear, although it seems to be a combination of genetics and environment. More and more, the evidence is pointing to two factors which seem to greatly affect the incidence rates around the world: greatly reduced time outdoors and rapidly increasing time spent in front of digital devices such as computers, smartphones, and tablets.

Is Myopia An Epidemic?

Why Are Rates of Myopia Increasing? 

While the exact causes of Myopia are not entirely certain, what is certain is that rates of myopia are drastically on the rise throughout the world. In fact, over 10 million American children have myopia, nearly double the incidence rate of myopia as compared to only a 2 decades ago. Incidence of myopia in children is enough for it to be considered an epidemic, with the number expected to jump 40% worldwide by 2050. Myopia is currently the 6th leading cause of blindness worldwide, with that figure expected to rise.

Are Glasses Enough?

You Treat Nearsightedness With Glasses Or Contact Lenses, Isn’t That Enough?

Corrective lenses such as regular glasses or contact lenses refocus the light to compensate for the myopia. This is what allows someone with myopia to see more clearly. However, Lenses DO NOT address the myopia itself: the elongated eyeball or overly curved front of the eye and the risks associated with it.

What Are The Dangers Of Myopia?

How Is Myopia Dangerous? Isn’t Myopia Just Inconvenient?

What many people don’t know is that myopia is dangerous. Over recent years, the research has conclusively shown that myopia significantly increases the likelihood of a number of serious conditions which can rob your child of sight as he or she ages. This includes: Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachment.

  • Cataracts and MyopiaA child with medium to high myopia is 5 times more likely to develop cataracts in his or her lifetime.Cataracts is condition where the lens of the eye clouds over and makes vision difficult or even impossible.
  • Glaucoma and MyopiaRates of glaucoma increase dramatically in children with myopia. A child with myopia is medium-high 3 times more likely to develop this serious condition, which occurs when fluid build up puts pressure on the eye causing irreversible damage to the optic nerve. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness.
  • Retinal Detachment: Even Mild Myopia is DangerousNew research is showing that medium and high myopia significantly increases the risk of retinal detachment. A child with mild myopia, -4 to -7, is 21 times more likely to develop retinal detachment, while children with high myopia, worse than -7, are 44 times more likely to develop this serious vision condition.Retinal Detachment is a condition where the retina literally detaches from the layers beneath it. This causes lost fields of visions, flashes of light, floaters, and even total loss of your child’s eyesight.
  • Myopic Macular DegenerationMyopia occurs because the eyeball becomes increasingly elongated. When the progression of myopia is extremely high, or, malignant, it can cause the retina to be stretched, causing tears to form in the macula and bleeding in the areas beneath the retina. This can cause irreversible vision loss and blindness. Children with -5 to -7 have a 44 time greater increased risk, and 126 time greater for children with high myopia.

Ortho K Night Time Contact Lenses

What Is OrthoK

Ortho-K, or, orthokeratology goes by many names.

  • Gentle Shaping Vision System (GVSS)
  • Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT)
  • Vision Shaping Therapy (VST)
  • Corneal Molding (CM)

All of these treatment names are more or less the same thing. A rigid contact lens is custom-made for your child’s eyes by our Seattle Myopia Control experts. These special lenses are worn at night by your child. As your child sleeps, the lenses gently reshape the cornea of the eyes. This reshaping corrects the elongation of the eye which causes the myopia. What this means is that the wearer won’t need glasses or contact lenses during the day at all — an especially appealing option for kids who don’t want to wear glasses or young athletes. What’s more, ortho-k has been proven to be highly effective at slowing and halting the progression of myopia, so it also is protecting your child’s adult vision while freeing them from glasses in the here and now.

Ortho-k allows adults and children alike to wake up with their vision adjusted, without the need to wear glasses or contacts during the day. For children, Ortho-k has been proven effective at slowing and even halting the progression of Myopia.

Ortho-k for Adults: A Safe Vision Correction Alternative to LASIK SurgeryBecause corneal reshaping allows the wearer to see without glasses or contacts during the day, more and more adults are also being fitted for ortho-k. This could be for social or lifestyle reasons. Ortho-k is also appealing to certain professions such as:

  • Construction workers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Athletes
  • Pilots
  • Long-distance drivers

Ortho-k is an effective and non-surgical alternative to LASIK, and will often work for people who, for whatever reason, don’t want or don’t qualify for LASIK surgery.

Are Ortho K Lenses Suitable For Everyone?

Ortho K lenses are one of the safest measures to control myopia progression rate. They can be safely used by children and the elderly from 7 years old to 70 years old.

Good candidates are those who are myopic but don’t have other eye complications. When you visit your Kirkland optometrist at Optical Images, we will perform all the necessary tests to check if you or your child are suitable for Orthok. The European Academy of Orthokeratology says that it is most effective for people with up to -6.00D myopia with astigmatism not exceeding -1.75D.

Sportsmen and people who are into water sports may find these beneficial as it would keep them lens-free in the daytime. Also, it is beneficial for kids who aim to slow or stop the progression of myopia.

If you like to know more about ortho k lenses, contact our optometrists in Seattle WA at Optical Images.

Advantages of Using Ortho K Lenses
  • Corrective glasses or lenses not required during the day making them suitable for kids and sportsmen.
  • No discomfort due to use of lenses during the day.
  • Not painful
  • Safe when the fit is good
  • Effective - can reduce myopia progression by 55 to 100 percent
  • Can be used by kids and elderly
  • Can slow or stop myopia progression in kids.
  • Can be used for people with eye diseases
Any Side Effects?

Side effects are similar to those with other contact lenses and refractive treatments. Some of them are:

  • Corneal edema
  • Staining
  • Visual distortions and aberrations
  • Temporary discomfort, pain, irritation, redness, tearing

When a correct fit is achieved and the user is monitored, they should be quite safe. Report any problems or changes in your vision as soon as you notice them, they can be reversed within 3 days.

How Do Ortho K Lenses Work?

Ortho K (orthokeratology) is also known as corneal reshaping. It involves the use of ortho k lenses, which are rigid special customized gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses.  These lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea (the transparent part of the front of the eye). This molding of the corneal curvature helps to adjust the refractive power of the eyes.

These lenses are used overnight every night or every other night depending on the prescription. The user can be lens-free and spectacle-free during the daytime. Although this is not a permanent solution, it can keep the user’s daytime vision clear. When they are taken off in the morning, the eye begins to gradually go back to its previous state. If unworn, the eye returns to its natural state in a few days.

Control The Progression Of Your Child’s Myopia.

Book A Myopia Control Appointment

Meet Our Myopia Control Optometrist

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Ross A. Cusic, O.D.

Dr. Cusic earned his B.S. degree in behavioral neuroscience and psychology in 1992 from Indiana University. He received his O.D. degree in 1996 from Indiana University School of Optometry--a school ranked consistently among the top three optometry schools in the country. Before moving to Washington State, he practiced in rural...

Serving Patients From:

Serving Patients From:

Dr. Ross Cusic is dedicated to protecting the long term vision health of children. Because of the overwhelming evidence now available proving the dangers of myopia, Dr. Ross Cusic founded the Myopia Control Center At Optical Images in order to provide the most advanced and effective myopia control throughout Washington.

The Myopia Control Center At Optical Images proudly provides advanced pediatric eyecare for patients from Seattle as well as:

Bellingham |Olympia|Vancouver