Risk of eye treatment exaggerated
We are very disappointed with the recent reporting of the press conference conducted by Chinese University's department of ophthalmology and visual sciences on May 13, which implies orthokeratology [or ortho-k] carries a high risk of infection.
This treatment has been prescribed by eye-care practitioners in optometry and ophthalmology clinics for many years in Hong Kong.
To suggest that orthokeratology carries a high and thereby unacceptable risk of serious infection without supporting data is not
only misleading but irresponsible, as many children in Hong Kong are undergoing this treatment for slowing the progression of myopia.
There is a high prevalence of myopia in our children and unchecked progression can lead to high myopia and its associated risks of retinal detachment, macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataract.
Orthokeratology has been shown to be successful in slowing myopia progression (for example, papers published in the journal, Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science). Suggesting this treatment is a highly risky procedure is misleading and creates undue anxiety and fear among children and parents.
All medical intervention carries a certain degree of risk but most of the adverse events associated with orthokeratology are avoidable by good compliance.
Pauline Cho, for four optometric associations and the school of optometry, Polytechnic University