Orthokeratology, or Ortho-k offers a convenient, effective way to correct nearsightedness, or myopia. It can reduce your need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, and slow the progression of myopia in kids. To find out if you or your child is a good candidate for ortho-k vision shaping, contact our eye doctors in Round Rock, TX. We are qualified and experienced with this method of vision correction and look forward to sharing the benefits with you!
What is Ortho-K?
Orthokeratology refers to the fitting of specialized rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn overnight. As you sleep these contacts gently and gradually mold the front of the eye, the cornea – thereby correcting myopia or astigmatism. This allows you to see clearly when you remove the lenses the next day, without wearing any glasses or contact lenses during the day.
Does Ortho-K work for everyone?
They are most effective with patients who have mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness), as well as, mild degrees of astigmatism.
What are the typical results of Ortho-K?
In some FDA clinical studies, many patients benefitted from 20/20 vision (or better) after nine months of wearing ortho-k. This process takes on average 2-4 weeks, although it may take longer. This improvement is temporary and reversible, which is why you’ll need to wear the lenses nightly.
How can kids benefit from Ortho-K?
In addition to the convenience – no more eyeglasses amd contact lenses during the day – ortho-k can also be used to reduce the progression of myopia in children, which has lasting effects and long-term health benefits.
Children with nearsightedness often find that their vision deteriorates regularly and rapidly, with a new prescription needed at every annual eye exam. The average rate of decline is .5 diopters per year, which means that a child who has -3.00 at eight years old could reach a -8.00 by 18 years of age. Not only does this prescription necessitate bulky and expensive eyewear, but it is also associated with increased eye health risks, such as glaucoma and cataracts. Ortho-k is an effective method for myopia control, which reduces the risk of developing eye diseases.
With myopia, the eyeball is elongated; as the eyeball elongates further, nearsightedness gets worse. Ortho-k lenses act as a brace that maintains the flat corneal shape, thereby preventing the eye from elongating further. Not only will these kids enjoy clear vision during the day, but when ortho-k is worn for years - the effects of myopia control are lasting, even after the lenses are no longer worn.
What happens when I stop wearing Ortho-K lenses?
You can stop wearing ortho-k lenses at any time – just be aware that because the effects are temporary, your vision will return shortly. The eyes will return to their original shape when ortho-k was started.
What if I stop wearing Ortho-K and want LASIK instead?
Orthokeratology is reversible. That means you can stop anytime and decide to have laser surgery instead. Yet you will need to stop wearing ortho-k lenses and wait a period of time, possibly a few months, until you can undergo LASIK. This gives your corneas enough time to revert to their original, pre-ortho-k shape.