Greenville doctor uses soft lenses to fix nearsightedness overni - | WBTV Charlotte

Greenville doctor uses soft lenses to fix nearsightedness overnight

Dr. David Nigh measuring a patient's eye for orthokeratology (FOX Carolina) Dr. David Nigh measuring a patient's eye for orthokeratology (FOX Carolina)

At just 11-years-old Sohini Kulkarni said orthokeratology lenses changed the way she sees. Three years ago, she was avoiding her glasses, she'd rather squint than wear them.

"Having the glasses on was weird for me and it felt really awkward," Kulkarni said.

Then she heard one of her friends was using ortho-k lenses, so she had her eyes measured.

"Just focus on that green dot for me," said her eye doctor.

She then decided to give it a try.

"It's really nice, it makes sure that you can do other things with lenses or glasses you can't do like swimming or playing on the monkey bars and hanging upside down,” said Kulkarni.

Now more and more kids are making the switch. Dr. David Nigh said he's fit dozens of patients for ortho-k lenses, four just this week.

"Think of it as braces for the eyes," Nigh said.

He's done it himself for more than 10 years and said it's hassle free. Instead of wearing contacts during the day, he sleeps in FDA approved custom lenses.

"In the morning you wake up and take the lens off and the cornea maintains a natural proper shape and your vision's great all day long," Nigh said.

He said it's been popular in Europe for years and it's gaining traction here in the United States. While still a rare method in the Upstate, he's been hearing more of a buzz as parents notice the effects of screen time.

"We are seeing an increase in the rate of myopic or nearsightedness in kids for sure as each years goes on," Nigh said.

With nearsightedness on the rise from all of the smart phones, tablets and computers, Night does have some tips on how to slow it down.

"Taking proper breaks, using proper lighting techniques and holding things away,” Nigh said.

If that's not enough, he's always got his topography machine.

"It's an outside of the box way of thinking but it's a really neat technology that can change lives for sure," Nigh said.

Sohini said she's proof ortho-k really can change lives.

"You don't have to worry about feeling uncomfortable during the day time," she said.

The therapy is simple, it’s like wearing contacts just at night. They're soft lenses that reshape the surface of the eye, the cornea. When patients wake up, they take them out and are good to go. Doctors said patients don’t have to do it every night, just a few times a week will lead to results.

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