The Benefits of Orthokeratology
Would you like to see clearly without wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses but don't want to have refractive eye surgery? Orthokeratology, commonly called ortho-k, may offer the perfect option for you.
What Is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology involves wearing special contact lenses at night that flatten your dome-shaped cornea. In addition to protecting your inner eye from debris, your cornea focuses light onto your retina. As light enters the eye, the cornea bends it to ensure that it's focused directly on the retina.
Ortho-k is most often used to treat myopia (nearsightedness). If you're nearsighted, light doesn't quite reach the retina inside your eyes, which makes everything you see in the distance look blurry. Flattening the cornea with orthokeratology corrects this issue. In some cases, Orthokeratology can also be used to treat astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness).
When you take out your gas-permeable lenses in the morning, your cornea will retain the shape of the lens, allowing you to see well without glasses or contact lenses. Initially, you'll wear a series of temporary contact lenses that will gradually flatten your corneas over several weeks. Once your optometrist is satisfied with your progress, you'll wear the same pair of contact lenses every night. You'll need to wear the contact lenses every night to maintain your results.
Ortho-k offers several benefits, including:
- Excellent Vision. Ortho-k offers clear, crisp vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology notes that it may take two weeks or longer to achieve sharp vision when you first start wearing the lenses at night.
- A More Practical Solution. Forget about constantly cleaning your glasses or using rewetting drops to keep your contact lenses comfortable. When you opt for ortho-k, you won't have to keep an eyeglass case or contact lens supplies with you during the day.
- More Comfortable Eyes. Do you constantly remove your contact lenses because a speck of dirt or dust has found its way under your contact lens? When you only wear lenses at night, you won't have to worry about contact lens discomfort in dusty or windy conditions.
- Better Sports Experience. Imagine playing sports without worrying about damage to your glasses or the discomfort of a piece of debris under your contact lenses. Sports goggles and safety glasses also fit better when you don't have to wear them over a pair of eyeglasses.
- Slower Progression of Myopia in Children and Teens. Myopia tends to get worse as your child gets older. If nearsightedness becomes severe, your child may be more likely to develop other eye problems, like cataracts, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. Orthokeratology could prevent myopia from progressing too quickly, according to several research studies. A literature review published in Ophthalmology noted that orthokeratology may help slow nearsightedness and is most effective if it's begun when children are 6 to 8 years old.
- No More Worries About Your Glasses. You'll no longer need to worry about misplacing your eyeglasses, losing them, or forgetting them when you travel if you correct your vision with ortho-k. There's also no need for frequent eyeglass adjustments. Broken glasses are a definite possibility when you have active children. With orthokeratology, your kids can play without worrying that a stray ball or fall in the playground will damage their glasses.
- Reversible Results. If you ever decide that you don't want to continue with orthokeratology, you'll simply stop wearing the lenses. Orthokeratology won't permanently change your eyes or cause scars or damage.
Would you like to find out if orthokeratology is the ideal solution for your vision issues? Contact our office to schedule an appointment.
American Academy of Ophthalmology: What Is Orthokeratology, 4/23/2023
Ophthalmology: Use of Orthokeratology for the Prevention of Myopic Progression in Children, 11/23/2018
All About Vision: Ortho-K and Corneal Refractive Therapy: Overnight Contacts to Correct Myopia, 2/27/2019
Review of Myopia Management: Overnight Orthokeratology for Myopia: What Does the Evidence Say?, 6/3/2019