Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K lenses, is a non-surgical, reversible procedure that uses custom-made contact lenses to gradually, gently reshape the front surface of your corneas to provide clearer vision.
Unlike traditional contact lenses, you can wear Ortho-K lenses overnight while you sleep, and remove them each morning. The benefit is your reshaped corneal surface should allow you see clearly for the rest of the day – without the need for prescription glasses or contact lenses!
With Ortho-K lenses, you’ll usually notice an improvement to your vision the very next day, with your eyes stabilising after about a week of treatment. Because Orthokeratology doesn’t permanently change the surface of your eyes, they will revert back to their former state in about one to four weeks if you stop wearing the lenses.
- Wear lenses for 7 hours instead of 18.
- Free of lenses during the day
- Play any sport, especially contact or water sports, or
- Work in dusty or dirty environments where glasses or contact lenses just won’t work.
- Slows progressive myopia in children and helps prevent increasing eye prescription over the years.
- They take time initially to be properly fitted.
- Younger patients are more likely to neglect proper cleaning of their lenses, something that can result in serious infection.
- Some people find Ortho-k lenses uncomfortable on the eyes during the adjustment period.
- Travelling can be more difficult due to the strict cleaning and maintenance required.
- They are a more costly option.
Although Ortho-K was originally designed as an alternative to spectacles and regular contact lens wear, an unforeseen advantage has been their ability to control the progression of myopia.
The risks for Ortho-K are the same as for any contact lens treatment, and range from allergies to bacterial infections caused by poor hygiene. The good news is that with proper care and maintenance of your Ortho-K lenses, and by sticking to the instructions given to you by your optometrist, you can keep these risks at the absolute lowest levels possible.
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