What’s New with Ortho-k?
Ortho-k is a revolutionary way to have crisp vision without wearing eyeglasses or daytime contact lenses. After sleeping with these vision shaping lenses overnight, you can remove them in the morning and walk away seeing clearly. Even people who have worn glasses or lenses for years can benefit from ortho-k contact lenses.
Basics of Ortho-k
Ortho-k lenses are specialized, rigid gas permeable contacts that you insert normally into your eyes. As you sleep, they will flatten your cornea gently to correct refractive error. By the time you wake up, your myopia (nearsightedness) will be temporarily fixed. In general, the effects last only a few days, which is why you’ll need to insert the ortho-k lenses every night.
We treat many patients in Concord, ON, with orthokeratology and most people notice significant vision improvement within a day or two. However, the complete effects of this non-surgical vision correction usually take about a few weeks to experience. Side effects are typically minimal (such as seeing glare or starbursts around lights) and wear off quickly.
Effective Myopia Control
Recent studies demonstrate that orthokeratology is highly effective for myopia control in kids. As the lenses mold the cornea, they suppress eye growth. This prevents children’s eyes from continuing to grow and elongate, thereby preventing their nearsightedness from worsening. Children under age 18 are not candidates for LASIK refractive surgery, and ortho-k offers a great alternative for correcting myopia.
If your child needs vision correction and needs a new, more powerful prescription after every eye exam, ask our Concord, ON, eye doctors about ortho-k for myopia control management.
Treatment of Hyperopia and Presbyopia
Myopia is not the only vision condition that can be treated with orthokeratology. Advances in ortho-k technology have led to the design of contact lenses designed to treat farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism too. Corneal topography is essential for mapping the cornea to create customized ortho-k lenses for these purposes.
Advanced Ortho-k Lens Design
At present, we’ve come a long way with crafting ortho-k lenses that fit almost perfectly. High-tech mapping equipment, such as corneal topography, is the basis for manufacturing these specialized lenses, and the results are very reliable.
Along with improvements in measuring the cornea, computer-driven lathing techniques have also progressed. The design software is much more user-friendly and the algorithms for analyzing corneal shape are more developed. As a result, ortho-k lenses are currently very precise, which enables increased control of myopia. Although some troubleshooting is often still necessary when fitting orthokeratology, the amount of trial and error has been greatly reduced! Eventually, ortho-k lenses may become the primary treatment for all young patients with myopia.
Improved Eye Health Safety
In the past, opinion was very negative about ortho-k because of the increased rate of eye infections. However, those problems have largely been resolved. First of all, many of the infections were caused by patient noncompliance, such as not washing hands properly before inserting the lenses and not disinfecting them properly. In addition, new materials and higher accuracy with fitting ortho-k lenses has led to superior eye health.
Benefits of Ortho-k
If you or your child are nearsighted, there is a lot to be gained from orthokeratology.
- Most people are good candidates
- No more daily eyewear = convenient and comfortable eyesight
- Vision is often better than with eyeglasses
- Myopia control for kids reduces future eye health risks and eliminates the need to buy new glasses yearly
- Sports players achieve crisp vision without bulky eyewear or bothersome contact lenses
- Ideal for dry and/or dusty environments, where contact lenses become uncomfortable
New types of ortho-k lenses and a greater understanding of how to fit them precisely to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism, are constantly being developed. For more info about how you can benefit from orthokeratology, please consult with our eye doctors in Concord, ON.