Orthokeratology is a non-surgical and reversible procedure that eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. It consists of the fitting of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that you wear overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see clearly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake-up.
Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for two purposes:
Content below courtesy of The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control
Information below courtesy of The American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control
Orthokeratology can be effective on farsighted, nearsighted (myopic), and astigmatic patients. Ideally, your prescription should be in the range of +2.00 to -6.00 with no more than -1.75 diopters of surface astigmatism. In some cases your Orthokeratologist will attempt higher prescriptions.
If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you are also a great candidate because this lens is so easy to use and it’s worn while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while using conventional contact lenses.
You are also a great candidate if you need excellent vision without the use of contacts or glasses. Ortho-K benefits pilots, police officers, military personnel and those with safety concerns such as professional athletes, parents of small children, lifeguards and many others.
Finally, if you just don’t want to be bothered with wearing glasses or contact lenses during a variety of activities such as hiking, playing sports, swimming, skiing, camping, off-road driving, biking, snorkeling, scuba and more, Ortho-K is for you.
Studies from around the world have indicated that Ortho-K can keep your children’s nearsightedness from getting worse. Currently, an ongoing 5 year FDA study is seeking to confirm previous studies and prove anecdotal evidence to this fact. Increasing nearsightedness is also a risk factor for detached retina and glaucoma.
Your child is an especially good candidate if they have a tendency to lose or abuse their contact lenses/glasses, or if wearing them interferes with their active life.
No, unlike the age limits imposed on refractive surgery, your Orthokeratologist can fit young children.
And, there is no upper limit on age either.
Dry eyes are usually not a problem while you sleep as there is little tear evaporation in a closed eye, and Ortho-K lenses are only worn while you sleep. If your dry eyes are a problem while you sleep, dry eye treatment is a simple option. Orthokeratology can provide those unable to wear conventional contact lenses due to dry eyes with excellent vision with no compromise to their comfort.
If you have dry eye disease due to severe arthritis or a collagen-vascular disease, you may not be a candidate. However, a comprehensive exam will give us a better idea of your chances for success
Yes, your corneal reshaping lenses are worn at night while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while wearing contact lenses during the day.
This depends on your prescription, age, and treatment goals. In adults, the higher prescriptions can take two to four weeks to achieve good vision but children’s corneas are much more easily molded.
Some patients are seeing clearly in as little as one night of retainer lens wear.
Patients who wear their lenses as prescribed find that they have great vision well into the evening. Some patients are even able to wear their lenses every other night and still maintain their enhanced vision. However, if you stop wearing your lenses while sleeping, your vision will return to its original state.
Yes. This allows you to read in bed or watch TV before falling asleep.
During the first few days of the Ortho-K process, you may find that your vision is quite good for a few hours, and then begins to diminish. Your Orthokeratologist may fit you with a soft lens to wear that will improve your vision when it begins to fade. Often these are only worn as needed and are reduced in strength as your vision improves.
The rate of success is very high, but it depends on your original prescription and treatment goals. During your initial evaluation your Orthokeratologist will give you information about your potential outcome.
They are very safe. However, there is a small risk of infection or abnormal blood vessel growth involved when any contact lens is worn. This risk is minimized by adhering to scrupulous disinfection and care procedures, by wearing your retainers only as instructed and by coming in for regular progress checks.
Your retainers are actually easier to insert and remove than most oxygen permeable lenses and much easier than a soft lens.
Your Orthokeratologist may recommend replacing your retainer lenses every year depending on their condition. Molds that have become warped or have that have deposits and build up will not allow proper oxygen to the cornea, may even lead to infection, and will not produce a consistent treatment. At your yearly exam, you will be advised if they need to be replaced.
Orthokeratology is different than wearing regular contact lenses. If you discontinue wear for one night, your vision may be impaired the next day. Immediate replacement of a lost retainer is necessary.
Your Orthokeratologist may recommend always having a spare pair of retainer lenses as a back up… just in case.
Great results can be achieved in as little as four hours of sleep each night. Some people prefer to sleep for several short time periods of time rather than one consecutive period. This isn’t a problem, just insert your retainer lenses in when you sleep and remove them when you wake.