Friends share vision to see more

August 31 2018

GOOD pals Lucy and Eleanor have abandoned their glasses but are now both seeing better than ever.

The 10-year-olds girls, from Downend and Mangotsfield, have taken up a little-known form of vision correction which allows them to sleep off their myopia and be free of glasses and contact lenses every day. 

Lucy didn’t like wearing glasses but without them could not see the interactive white board, her friends in the playground, and sometimes even the teacher. Taking them off for PE also created problems.

She was really impressed when Eleanor came to school one day without her glasses and wanted to find out more.

Under the guidance of Fishponds optometrist Peter Turner, like Eleanor, she decided to try EyeDream Ortho-k - overnight, bespoke lenses, which create a moulding force with tears which ensures good vision for the day ahead.

"I started Ortho-k two months ago and I can see everything. Seeing well has given me more confidence at Badtri, the Bristol and District Triathlon Club. Before Ortho-k I couldn’t fit my glasses under my cycling helmet and swimming was a problem."

Lucy's mum, Kate Budd, said:  "I like the fact that it is under my control for hygiene and ensuring the lenses are not lost. It can also limit short-sightedness and I am hoping that Lucy’s eyesight does not deteriorate at the same rate as mine."

Eleanor's mum, Ruth Altwasser, said: "Eleanor has been using Ortho-k for seven months and it is going really well. She has taken responsibility for cleaning the lenses and putting them in."

A form of Ortho-K was first used by the ancient Mandarin Chinese. They knew that sleeping with tiny bags of sand on their closed eyelids resulted in better vision the next day, having created temporary change to the cornea.

Refined to an almost perfect science, Ortho-k is now prescribed by opticians after taking detailed topographical maps of the cornea. Bespoke lenses are produced for each eye and gently flatten the cornea by less than a hair’s width.

Peter Turner, of Turners Opticians, said: "We know that myopia in UK children has doubled in the past 50 years and the likelihood of developing more serious eye conditions in later life is significantly higher with even low levels of myopia. If we can arrest the progression of vision loss in young people it has to be good. The other benefit is that this leaves them free of glasses and contact lenses all day."