Myopia or shortsightedness is a refractive error. It causes objects at a distance to appear blurry and out of focus. This happens when the shape of the eye becomes elongated, causing its surface to curve.
Orthokeratology or ortho-k is a non-surgical process. It uses special contact lenses to temporarily reverse and reduce refractive error. It is mainly used to treat low to moderate myopia. Patients find it to be a good alternative to getting refractive surgery. Also, results of this corneal refractive therapy are fast and seen within days.
The root of this therapy is in the design of the lenses used. Ortho-k lenses are specially made for corneal reshaping. They are FDA-approved and allow the circulation of oxygen in your eyes as you sleep.
Using a corneal topographer, your doctor will measure the curvature of your cornea. The ortho-k lenses are then custom fit to cater to the needs of your eye. As you use the lenses, they change and reshape the front surface of your eye. This helps improve your vision, allowing for objects to focus on the retina.
As your vision improves, your doctor will replace your lenses to fit your prescription. This will continue until you reach the desired prescription. At the end of the orthokeratology therapy, you will be using retainer lenses. These will help maintain the desired and improved vision you have now attained. Ensure that you keep to the routine prescribed by the doctor. This is because ortho-k is reversible.
Ortho-k is highly effective in dealing with conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is also ideal for:
Patients who are too young for LASIK® surgery.
An alternative to LASIK as it is non-invasive and less expensive.
Children who are beginning to show nearsightedness.
Those who do not want to wear spectacles or contact lenses during the day.
Patients who cannot wear spectacles or contact lenses because of their activity. Like those active in water activities and sports.
Those over 40 years and have started having problems with their eyesight.
Since the goal of ortho-k therapy is to improve and correct your vision, expect your vision to get better. In FDA trials, 90 percent of patients had an improved 20/40 vision. 65 percent of patients achieved 20/20 corrected vision. Other benefits include:
It is reversible, so it can be easily discontinued without permanent changes to the eye.
While dry eye is a common complaint after LASIK surgery, ortho-k lenses are a remedy for dry eye as they are gas permeable.
Dramatic improvement of vision.
It is less expensive than LASIK.
On your journey to improved vision, you may experience blurred halos or glares around light. These go away with time. You will also be very aware of the lenses as you sleep. This is common as the cornea is getting used to reshaping by the lenses. Lastly, ensure you take care and keep the minimal clinical hygiene standards to avoid corneal infections.
Yes, it is. Unlike the alternative of surgery, ortho-k is non-invasive. Hence, it does not have the risks associated with surgery. It is reversible, unlike surgery where altering the cornea is permanent. LASIK also can cause halos and permanent vision loss. Ortho-k therapy may cause some halos around light. This disappears as the cornea takes shape and vision improves.
For more on how orthokeratology treats myopia progression, visit Eye Luv Lucy Optometry in San Jose, California. You may call (408) 294-9900 to schedule an appointment today.