Orthokeratology (also known as Ortho-K) is a safe and effective method of correcting your vision while you sleep using contact lenses.
Orthokeratology works by gently reshaping the very top layer of the eye while you sleep. This, in turn, changes the curve of the eye to produce the correct power. Orthokeratology lenses are gas permeable, which allow adequate oxygen to reach the eye while you sleep. Orthokeratology is principally designed for short sighted people (people who need glasses or contact lenses for the distance). The process is very useful for patients who want to be free from glasses or contact lenses during the day, those who find traditional contact lenses uncomfortable to wear and those who want clear vision without the need for laser eye surgery.
At around 20% the cost of laser eye surgery, orthokeratology is an excellent and more cost effective alternative. The process is reversible, and each set of lenses will usually last a number of years.
The process is FDA approved (referred to as “corneal refractive therapy”) and is supported in scientific literature.
Generally, orthokeratology is most suited to patients who have prescriptions between -1.00 and -6.00 with astigmatism (cylinder) of up to -3.00. There are some occasions where orthokeratology will work for prescriptions outside of these ranges however the success of this will vary depending on the curvature of your corneas.
Yes, once the effect is complete you simply remove the lenses each morning and can see normally. Also – and this is really clever – you will be able to see clearly with the lenses in when you wake up in the morning (or in the middle of the night). It really is a clear future 24/7!
After the first night, most of the necessary correction has been achieved. Normally within a week, our sight during the day will be ‘treated’ and you will no longer be reliant on glasses or contact lenses.
Most patients sleep in the lenses every night to ensure full correction takes place, however, some patients are able to wear the lenses every 2nd night, or rarely even every 3rd night.
The power correction does wear off slightly as the day goes on (referred to as regression) however when we calculate the lens powers we apply a very slight over-correction so that the vision is still clear at the end of the day even after slight regression.
Orthokeratology does not stop your short-sightedness getting worse completely, but is recognised as one of the most effective ways of slowing down the progression of myopia (short-sightedness). It does this by altering the focus of the light rays which reach the peripheral retina. Orthokeratology is being used globally as a way of decreasing the rate of short-sightedness in both children and adults.
Yes. Research and experience show that the whole process is 100% reversible. So if you decide to stop wearing Ortho-K for whatever reason, the eye will return to its original shape and you will see clearly with your glasses again. Research also indicates that OrthoK holds less risk for eye infections than soft contact lenses or surgery. This makes Ortho-K an excellent alternative to laser eye surgery.
No. Orthokeratology should only be performed by an optometrist with specific training and a corneal topographer (scanner).