What is Orthokeratology?

May 16, 2017

Most people with glasses or contacts dream of having a perfect sight without having to undergo any eye surgery. If you think this is just a dream, you are wrong. Many people today have managed to get perfect vision with one simple solution: Orthokeratology. If you want to know what ortho-k is, how it can help you correct your vision, and get rid of your glasses forever, here’s an ortho-k 101 guide for you.

How does it work?

When a person cannot see well, it’s probably a result of one of the three problems: Their eye is too short, too long or they have a misshapen eye surface, so the images don’t focus on the retina. In order to correct this, first you need to be fitted for a unique lens. Your doctor will map your eye and create a lens that perfectly fits your eye and your eye only. This map will show any hills, plains and valleys on your cornea, and its size. All that data is necessary for creating one lens that will perfectly reshape your eye. Every lens, though, has a set of specialized curves that will reshape your retina and give you clear and sharp vision in the morning and during the whole day after taking the ortho-k lenses out. You only need to wear those lenses at night while you sleep, and you will wake up with perfect vision. According to studies conducted by US Food and Drug Administration, with these lenses, about 70% of patients have achieved 20/20 vision and about 94% have corrected their vision to 20/32 or better.

How long does the ortho-k effect last?

Most of the people are able to see quite well with no glasses and contacts for about a day or two after sleeping with ortho-k lenses. In some people the effect lasts even longer. Experts advise wearing them every night to maintain good vision, although some patients only choose to wear them every second or fourth night. The reason behind this is different flexibility of the cornea.

Is it safe?

Ortho-k is quite safe and reversible procedure that was approved by the FDA in 2002. Unfortunately, like with any contacts, there’s a risk of some minor eye infection which, if it occurs, can easily be taken care of with some antibiotic drops. However, if you take good care of your lenses by cleaning and disinfecting them, you will greatly lower that risk. Visit your doctor regularly for checkups, and they will examine your corneal health, effectiveness of the lenses and possibly modify your lenses if necessary. Ortho-k lenses are made of highly breathable material that allows your eyes to breathe overnight and stay healthy. Naturally, choose to wear only the kind of lenses that have been FDA approved for orthokeratology. Because the effect of otrho-k lenses is temporary, there are few eye health risks and you can stop wearing them whenever you decide so.

Am I a candidate for orthokeratology?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Good candidates for ortho-k are usually people with myopia (mild or moderate) with or without astigmatism. Children and young people who don’t want to or cannot wear contacts or glasses, or those too young and not fit for a surgery can also give ortho-k a shot. It is also recommended for people who cannot wear glasses or contacts due to some professional requirements. Professional athletes, active people or people who work in dusty environments often cannot wear contacts or glasses. You can also try ortho-k if you are allergic to your contacts or if you have dry eye syndrome and thus are unable to wear contacts. If you’re not sure whether you are a good candidate, you can book an eye exam with a specialized optometrist in Sydney who will determine if you actually need or can be fitted for ortho-k lenses.

Can my child wear ortho-k lenses?

Today, there is an epidemic of progressive myopia amongst children. This is possibly due to kids spending more time studying, reading and using computers and mobile phones. Myopia not only causes poor vision, but can also lead to more serious sight conditions such as retinal detachment and even glaucoma. Ortho-k lenses are perfectly safe for children. Kids can take care of their lenses by themselves, since they are low maintenance. Your child might feel some discomfort when putting them on, but it all disappears when they close their eyes. According to some studies, ortho-k lenses stop the progression of myopia, so you will actually be protecting your kid’s sight.

If you have any questions concerning the procedure, seek the advice of professionals. They will answer all your questions, determine if you’re a good ortho-k candidate, evaluate the costs, and explain all the risks in much greater detail. So, if you’re ready to throw away your contacts and glasses, make an appointment and start your journey towards crystal clear vision.


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