What You Can Expect After You Start Wearing Ortho-K Lenses
If you’re tired of the daily grind of wearing glasses or contacts or want a more convenient and effective way to correct your vision, ortho-k lenses may be the solution.
Ortho-k lenses are specialized gas-permeable contact lenses that help you achieve clear vision without glasses or daily contact lens wear. In this blog, we explore what ortho-k lenses are, how they work, where you can get them, and what to expect after you start wearing them.
What are Ortho-k Lenses, and What Do They Do?
Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, is a non-surgical process that uses specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses to reshape the cornea temporarily, the clear front surface of the eye.
This cornea reshaping corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism without surgery or glasses. The lenses are worn while you sleep and gently flatten the cornea.
When you wake up, you can remove the lenses and enjoy clear vision all day. Ortho-k lenses can also be worn during the day, but because they reshape the cornea, they will not be as comfortable as when sleeping.
Ortho-k lenses are ideal for individuals who have difficulty wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day because of active lifestyles, occupations or because they don’t want the hassle of taking care of their eyewear while moving about their daily life.
They are also excellent for individuals who participate in sports, as the lenses do not interfere with the wearer’s ability to move around or perform activities.
When will ortho-k lenses start to work?
When you start wearing ortho-k lenses, you’ll notice small changes in your vision gradually.
The timeline of these changes will vary based on your unique vision problems and how much correction you need. Based on your prescription, you may see corrections in your vision as follows:
- Low-level myopia (less than -2.00D) in 3-4 days.
- Medium level myopia (-2.00 to -4.00D) in 1 week.
- Moderate level myopia (-4.00 to -6.00D) in 1-2 weeks.
- High-level myopia (over 6.00D) in 2-3 weeks.
In general, here’s what you can expect:
- First day: After your first night of wearing ortho-k lenses, you’ll likely notice an improvement in your vision. The correction is temporary, so wear the lenses every night to maintain clear vision. You will also see your eye doctor after the first night of wear to ensure the lenses fit correctly and perform as desired.
- First week: As you continue wearing the lenses, you may notice your vision improve even more. However, it’s common to experience some blurriness or halos around lights, especially in low-light conditions. These side effects usually resolve on their own within a few days to a week. Depending on your prescription, you will likely visit your eye doctor after the first week of wear to ensure the lenses continue performing as desired.
- First month: By the end of the first month, you should have achieved your full correction with ortho-k lenses depending on your initial prescription. Your vision should be clear and stable, but you may still experience minor side effects like halos or glare around lights, so you will visit your doctor again after the first month of wear.
- Three months: At the three-month mark, you may need to return to your eye doctor for a follow-up appointment to ensure your vision is stable and the lenses fit properly. You may also need to adjust your prescription based on your vision needs.
- Six months and beyond: With regular use, ortho-k lenses can provide long-term vision correction. You will need to continue wearing the lenses every night to maintain clear vision and should plan on a visit with your eye doctor every 3-6 months. Over time, you may notice changes in your prescription and need to have the lenses adjusted accordingly.
How Long Should You Wear Ortho-k Lenses?
The period you’ll need to wear ortho-k lenses will depend on your diagnosis from your eye care provider and the severity of your vision problems.
It’s important to note that while ortho-k lenses can provide long-term vision correction, they are not a permanent solution. If you stop wearing the lenses, your vision will return to its previous state. Generally, the lenses must be worn for at least 6-8 hours per night, with the ideal wear time at 8 hours to achieve the best results.
The lifespan of ortho-k lenses can vary based on the individual wearer’s care and use.
Proper cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure that the lenses last as long as possible. Follow your eye doctor’s instructions and schedule regular appointments to keep your eyes healthy.
Ortho-k lenses should be cleaned with a specific cleaning solution and stored in a specialized lens case when not in use.
Alternatives to Ortho-k Lenses
Your eye doctor can help you determine the best option based on your unique needs and vision problems.
Whether you hope to correct your vision with ortho-k or improve your quality of life by gifting yourself with a clear vision, schedule an eye exam at Miami Contact Lens Institute and learn about the advanced options available for managing your vision and protecting your eye health.