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Progressive Degenerative Myopia: Portia and Klay’s Story of Hope, Challenge, and Triumph

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

Every parent's heart aches when their child faces challenges. The natural instinct is to shield them from pain and ensure their well-being. However, life often presents circumstances beyond our control, demanding resilience and adaptability.

This story, shared by Portia, Klay's mother, in a Facebook post on December 29, 2020, chronicles the journey of Klay, our young patient diagnosed with progressive degenerative myopia.

My 4-year-old son Klay has degenerative myopia. At first, we really had no idea. We just realized we needed his eyes checked by an eye specialist because at the age of 3, he can’t see from afar, can’t see what’s on the TV without being too close, can’t draw or write unless his face is an inch away from the paper. He had to always squint his eyes to see clearly.” - Portia


Understanding Degenerative Myopia Degenerative myopia, also known as high myopia, is a condition characterized by a rapid progression of nearsightedness. Children with degenerative myopia experience a rapid decline in their vision, often reaching high eye grades at an early age. This can lead to significant vision impairments if left untreated.


Klay's Journey with Degenerative Myopia

Klay started experiencing vision problems as early as two (2) years old but he was managed by a different doctor at that time. He had difficulty seeing objects from afar, squinted frequently, and struggled with drawing and writing. A comprehensive eye exam revealed a severe eye grade, prompting further investigation.

He was 3 years old when he underwent a comprehensive eye exam and some other tests. He had an eye grade of 825 on the right eye and 875 on the left (or vice versa, can’t really remember). This very high eye grade is rare at his age. He was given pediatric lens (cost 20k) to help him see clearly with high hopes that his eye grade won’t progress. After 6 months, his eye grade progressed. He had an eye grade of 900-1,000. Wearing his eyeglasses did not help at all at stopping the progression. The next step was supposed to have his eyeglasses changed to suit his new eye grade but imagine if his eye grade progresses each month? That would mean new eyeglasses and what’s worst is HE CAN GO BLIND.- Portia

Despite wearing pediatric glasses for 6 months, Klay's eye grade continued to progress rapidly. The thought of their son's vision deteriorating and potentially leading to blindness filled Klay's parents with worry.

After 6 months, Klay still had a very significant increase of 0.75 in his myopia in as short as 6 months only so I strongly recommended Orthokeratology. - Dr. Dawn

A Beacon of Hope: Orthokeratology

“Orthokeratology or Ortho-K came to the rescue. It is a specially fitted gas-permeable contact lens that is only worn overnight. It reshapes the cornea so that in the morning when you remove it, you will be able to see clearly most likely 20/20. That’s why they call it magic vision. Yes, it is expensive but ALL WORTH IT since it can slow down the progression of myopia, just like my son’s. My son’s eyes are still under treatment phase with his Ortho-K but we can see HUGE improvements with his eyesight already!” - Portia

In their search for effective treatment options, Klay's parents discovered orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K. This non-invasive treatment utilizes specially designed contact lenses worn overnight to reshape the cornea, temporarily correcting vision.

Ortho-K proved to be a game-changer for Klay. His vision improved significantly, and the progression of his myopia slowed down. This treatment offered a glimmer of hope and relief for Klay's parents.

"As soon as Klay started orthokeratology, his myopia was fully corrected. HE no longer needed to wear eyeglasses to see far away, and his grade no longer progressed even after 3 years." - Dr. Dawn

Gratitude and Appreciation

Portia expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Lareen Dawn Tan and the entire staff at Eyecare Center Abreeza for their dedication and expertise in caring for Klay's eyes. She also acknowledged the unwavering support of her family and friends throughout their journey.

“My family’s heartfelt gratitude to our professional and lovely optometrist Dr. Lareen Dawn Tan for taking great care of my son’s overall eye health. You made sure that we understand every detail of our son’s condition and your genuine care and help to give my son the best and most accurate option possible. The same goes to the resident doctor and the whole staff of Eyecare Center Abreeza - you all have been so genuine, accommodating, and very child-friendly, not to mention your newly renovated clinic that is oh so gorgeous! Above all else, thank you Lord for everything. You always find ways to provide us what we dearly need esp the finances despite the pandemic. All glory to You!” - Portia

A Journey of Resilience and Hope

Klay's story is a testament to the resilience and hope of parents navigating their child's vision challenges. It highlights the importance of early detection, timely interventions, and the unwavering support of healthcare professionals and loved ones.

Degenerative myopia may be a daunting diagnosis, but with the right treatment and support, children can continue to thrive and pursue their dreams without the limitations of vision impairment.

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