Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is a non-invasive method of correcting vision with specialized contact lenses. If you have myopia (nearsightedness), this revolutionary treatment can give you crisp vision without wearing any eyeglasses, daytime contact lenses or having surgery. Many people who are tired of putting on glasses or dealing with conventional contacts are excited to hear about this revolutionary option! In addition, if you don’t qualify for LASIK or you’re not interested in surgery, Ortho-k may be your ideal solution.
Our Sugar Land eye doctors are knowledgeable and experienced with ortho-k. Read on for more info about this type of vision correction.
What is Ortho-k?
First of all, Ortho-k has many names. It may also be called Vision Shaping Treatment, Corneal Molding, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) or Gentle Molding. All of these terms refer to the same basic process.
You insert customized hard, gas permeable contact lenses before bedtime. As you doze through the night, these lenses will gently mold and flatten your cornea. The goal of reshaping your cornea is to correct refractive error, thereby correcting your myopia. In the morning, you’ll be able to remove the lenses and see clearly without any additional eyewear.
Ortho-k causes temporary effects, which will wear off within a few days. That’s why the specialized contact lenses must be inserted nightly. Many of our Sugar Land ortho-k patients report that their vision is improved within one night, however, the complete impact of orthokeratology can take up to four weeks to notice. Regarding side effects, you may see halos and starbursts around lights at the beginning, yet this will go away quickly.
Who is a Candidate for Ortho-k?
In general, if you have healthy eyes and mild to moderate myopia, Ortho-k can work for you! The best results are usually seen with people who have a lens power less than -6.00 diopters and astigmatism less than -1.75 diopters.
Age doesn’t matter, and ortho-k is regarded safe for children above age 5. A number of studies have demonstrated how ortho-k lenses can suppress growth in the eye, which can slow or stop the progression of myopia in kids. If your kid wears eyeglasses or contact lenses and constantly needs a new vision prescription after every annual eye exam, Ortho-k may be a great idea. For myopia control and vision correction in Sugar Land, TX, ask our eye doctors about Ortho-k.
What are the Advantages of Ortho-k?
- Crisp eyesight without eyeglasses or daytime contact lenses
- Sports players can have sharper vision without bothersome eyewear
- Comfortable for people who spend time in dry, dusty environments
- Myopia control for kids – reduces the need for new prescription lenses each year
- Most people are good candidates for Ortho-k, even when LASIK isn’t an option
- Safe and reversible
Ortho-k and Myopia Control/Nearsightedness
Every parent dreads the day that they find our their kid needs glasses due to myopia (nearsightedness). But is there a cure or something that can be done to slow progression down? Not having your child’s prescription go up every year would be every parents’ dream. Recent studies have shown that Ortho-K is effective in controlling nearsightedness. The gas permeable lenses shape the cornea at night and thus the central vision is properly corrected while the peripheral vision is undercorrected. This results in the rate of progression of nearsightedness to actually slow down.
Another benefit of Ortho-k for children is that they are constantly losing or breaking their glasses. They are often engaged in sports or other activities and the nuisance of wearing glasses get in the way. There is also concern that kids will get hit in the face and their broken glasses will injure them. Wearing Ortho-k lenses allows them to go glasses-free throughout the day!
Can Orthokeratology be instead of Lasik?
Although Ortho-K and Lasik are seemingly two different things completely, we often see patients debating between the two. Both are a way to not have to wear contact lenses or glasses anymore. While Lasik can be a quicker solution, many are looking to avoid it. That is because Lasik is a surgery and people are often scared to go under the knife. In addition, Lasik can be very cost prohibitive, often not covered by insurance. We have heard a lot of these issues when speaking to patients across San Diego who are looking to avoid wearing glasses or contacts. Contacts can become a pain to put in every day and often leave the patient with dryness or irritation as the day goes on.
Ortho-K is often half the cost of Lasik. Many times, patients who have had Lasik complain of blurry vision, dry eyes, and will even need to wear bifocals later in life. This is why we consider Ortho-K a great alternative to Lasik.