Why Ortho-K Lenses Are the Perfect Treatment to Correct Myopia
If you have been diagnosed with myopia, then you know that the condition means that you’re nearsighted–objects at a distance are blurry or difficult to bring into focus. You rely on your vision for almost everything that you do from the moment you wake up until the time you go to sleep. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to correct your eyesight and depend less on your eyeglasses or contact lenses–without the need for surgery?
Orthokeratology lenses can make this wish come true.
What Is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology, or ortho-K, is a method of myopia correction involving the use of specially fitted gas permeable contact lenses that a patient wears overnight. As the patient sleeps, the lenses gently and temporarily reshape the surface of the eye. In the morning, the patient removes the lenses and can see clearly for the rest of the day without wearing any contact lenses or glasses.
The two primary reasons for prescribing ortho-k lenses are to correct refractive errors (such as myopia or astigmatism) and to slow the progression of myopia in children.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ortho-K?
Most people who have mild to moderate myopia are good candidates for ortho-K therapy, whether they have astigmatism or not. However, this treatment can be especially helpful for people who work in dusty environments or participate in contact sports, conditions which make contact lens use problematic.
Ortho-K is also a leading option for children and young adults who don’t want to wear glasses and are not good candidates for LASIK because they are too young, have dry eyes, or experience another kind of barrier.
What to Expect
When you begin ortho-K, your local eye doctor will painlessly measure the curvature of your corneas to produce a topographical map of the surface of your eye. He or she may use an existing inventory of lenses for fitting your eyes or empirically order custom lenses to fit later.
In most cases, you will need to use a series of temporary lenses to achieve clear vision until you reach a particular prescription (20/20 is the goal). Most patients use up to three pairs of lenses to achieve maximum vision correction.
When you first start wearing your ortho-K lenses at night, you will probably have a sense of awareness of the lenses on your eyes as you fall asleep. However, over time, most patients become accustomed to their lenses and find that they barely notice them at all after insertion.
Related post: How to Improve Your Eyesight While You Sleep?
What Are the Benefits of Ortho-K?
Some of the factors that make ortho-K such an excellent treatment for myopia are:
- Effective control. Ortho-K is a highly effective myopia treatment for children, preventing myopia from worsening as they grow.
- Treatment of other conditions. Myopia isn’t the only condition that ortho-K can address; it may also help with hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), and astigmatism.
- Advanced design. Modern technology can create ortho-K lenses that fit virtually perfectly. New design software and lathing techniques allow for a precise fit and optimal outcome.
- Enhanced eye health and safety. The higher accuracy of fitting and new lens materials have made ortho-K safer and healthier for the eyes than ever before.
- Reduced risk of future problems. This type of myopia management for kids can help to keep their eyes healthy and eliminate the need to buy new eyeglasses every year.
If you or your child is nearsighted and would like to explore treatments outside of wearing glasses or contact lenses all day, then ask us about ortho-K and the other treatment options that we offer in our Myopia Management Clinic.