Using orthokeratology (OK) as a means of slowing myopia progression is growing in popularity, but less than half of clinicians surveyed report actively fitting OK lenses in their practice, according to research published in Optometry and Vision Science.
Researchers administered the Fitting of Orthokeratology in the United States (FOKUS) survey to 545 eye care practitioners. A total of 283 clinicians reported actively fitting OK lenses. Among those surveyed, 68% reported using OK as a means of myopia management, 19% used it as an alternative to glasses and contact lenses, 8% presented OK as a surgical alternative, and 5% reported it as an option for patients experiencing contact lens discomfort. A total of 53% reported monitoring axial length, and 61% confirmed using OK on patients younger than 13 years. Mean OK wear duration was 7.8 years.
Clinicians who did not fit OK lenses reported high patient costs (33%), a lack of patient interest (31%), and too much chair time (29%) as factors influencing their decision not to offer OK treatment. Less common responses included a belief that OK has not been proven effective (6%) and discomfort with discussing the treatment (7%). A total of 32% of clinicians estimated that myopia management involved between 5% and 15% of their practice, and 20% responded that myopia management was involved in 16% to 40% of their patients. A total of 46% of those not fitting OK lenses stated they planned to begin fitting OK lenses within the next 2 years.
“Overall, orthokeratology is a small but growing segment of the overall contact lens market,” according to the researchers. “Its significant role as a means of slowing axial elongation and myopia progression for children continues to fuel growth. Growth opportunities for orthokeratology are evident by interest in initiating the process by those not currently fitting and intention to increase fitting by those who are currently fitting.”
Study limitations include the lengthiness of the FOKUS survey and the potential for recall and responder bias.
Lipson MJ, Curcio LR. Fitting of orthokeratology in the United States: a survey of the current state of orthokeratology. Optom Vis Sci. 2022;99(7):568-579. doi:10.1097/OPX.0000000000001911