What s Ortho-K?
Ortho-K (also known as OrthoK) is a treatment in which rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses gently reshape the cornea (by flattening the curvature) hence reducing myopia (short sightedness). These custom lenses are worn overnight and removed upon waking. The overnight treatment will eliminate the need to wear any form of visual correction during the day (as long as the lenses are worn overnight). This therapy is sometimes compared to the use of braces to straighten teeth by orthodontists. Recent studies have also indicated that OrthoK can help control myopia progression. This treatement is particularly attractive as an alternative to laser surgery as, unlike LASIK or PRK, it is reversible by discontinuing wear.
OK, What are the risks?
The risks of Ortho-K are no different to the risks involved in regular contact lens wear. Remember that if you decide to cease this treatment, your vision will return to your previous prescription.
How are Ortho-K lenses prescribed?
Each patient must be assessed to confirm they are a suitable candidate. If you fit our criteria then a overnight trial lens with be dispensed. The next morning you will have your first aftercare visit to check your progress (your initial lens may be altered at this stage). Once the correct lens parameters are established, your customize night lenses will be dispensed. You will then be monitored regular for lens effectiveness and eye health. (Aftercare’s are usually after the first overnight wear, then after 7 days, 30 days, 3 months and 6 months).
Why wasn’t I offered Ortho-K previously?
Ortho-k has been around for over 30 years, however not as successful as today due to a lack of contact lens materials and instrumentation. Improvements in contact lens materials (allowing safe overnight wear), accuracy of lens manufacture with specialised computer driven lathes and sophisticated corneal mapping instrumentation lend to Ortho-K being more predictable and acheiving better results.
Who is suitable for Orthokeratology?
A detailed assessment is neccessary, however the most suited candidates are :
- Fast progressing Myopia, especially children who have an increase of –1.00D / year.
- Mild to moderate myopia (–0.75 to –5.00D).
- Astigmatism, upto –3.50D.
- Active individuals or those with occupational demands not suited to standard RGP or disposable contact lenses.
- Lose their contacts easily, or suffer from allergies from some contact lenses.
- Have considered refractive surgery because of the freedom it provides, but are worried about the risks.
- Have difficulty with dry eyes from air conditioning, computer use or dusty environments.
- Find soft contact lenses do not fulfil the comfort demands their lifestyle places on their eyes.
Benefits of Ortho-K?
- Freedom from glasses and the hassle of wearing contact lenses during the day.
- Myopic Control, especialy in growing children.
- Great for certain occupations that don’t allow regular contact lenses to be effective. eg working in dusty environments or water based sports and active individuals.