Ortho-K Therapy, also known as orthokeratology, is a vision treatment designed to reduce dependence on visual aids such as glasses and contact lenses. Most visual correction approaches are surgical, but Ortho-K Therapy allows individuals to comfortably correct their vision – while sleeping!
How Does Ortho-K Therapy Work?
Orthokeratology involves specially designed, gas permeable contact lenses, which are customized to fit each patient’s eyes and vision correction needs. These special lenses are to be worn while sleeping, and overtime work to gently reshape the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye. The next day when the contacts are removed, visual acuity should be enhanced. This therapy enables patients to see clearly without visual aids anywhere from two days to two weeks of overnight use.
When is Ortho-K Therapy Used?
Ortho-K is used most commonly on myopic (nearsighted) individuals. This therapy can also be used to correct astigmatism, hyperopia, and presbyopia. Good candidates for Ortho-K are those that experience mild to moderate levels of myopia, particularly those looking to become less dependent on reading glasses or contact lenses to navigate daily activities. Astigmatism does not affect candidacy for Ortho-K Therapy.
How is Ortho-K Done?
To begin the process of Ortho-K Therapy, a doctor will first use an instrument called a corneal topographer to measure eye curvatures; these measurements are used to determine what lens measurements are appropriate given each individual’s circumstances. The lens will be fitted, and the first night of use may cause minor discomfort due to the unfamiliar sensation. However, with time and as the eye adjusts, they typically become more comfortable with use.
Does Ortho-K Affect LASIK Candidacy?
It is still possible to undergo other vision correction procedures after Ortho-K, but it will be necessary to discontinue lens use prior to surgery based on your doctors’ recommendations.