Myopia (near-sightedness) control with orthokeratology (Ortho-K) for vision correction at any age.
How great would it be if you could correct your vision and reduce your need for glasses or contacts, but with corneal molding instead of surgery? The time has come for orthokeratology, Ortho-k or corneal molding.
What’s the Difference Between Myopia Control and Ortho-K?
Myopia control is done using specific treatments that work to slow down the progression of nearsightedness. For myopia control, we use several different methods including atropine eyedrops, multifocal glasses or contact lenses, and ortho-k. When we talk about myopia control, we’re talking about general treatment for nearsightedness. Ortho-k is just one possible way to correct it and to slow its progression.
What is Ortho-K?
Ortho-K is the art of corneal reshaping. Sometimes referred to as a retainer for your eyes. Also known as corneal molding, overnight vision correction, and corneal refractive therapy (CRT), it’s a cutting-edge way to reshape the surface of your eye for improved vision. And the best part is it can eliminate your need for glasses or contacts.
How Does Ortho-K Work?
Ortho-K uses gas permeable contact lenses custom designed for you to wear overnight. As you sleep, the lenses gently reshape your cornea or the surface of your eye. Your cornea is very flexible, and its job is to focus light into your retina which allows you to see. The reshaping has the same effect as wearing corrective lenses. It changes the shape in the center or your cornea which changes the way light bends as it enters your eye, helping improve your vision so you can see more clearly without glasses or daytime contact lenses.
Is Ortho-K Permanent?
Unlike surgery, Ortho-K results are completely reversible. This allows us to discontinue use should it be necessary, and the eyes will go back to their normal shape in a day or two. Ortho-K is an ongoing vision treatment and for best results, you should wear the lenses every night.
What Vision Problems Can the Lenses Correct?
Myopia, or nearsightedness, is one of the vision issues commonly corrected using Ortho-K. It’s the easiest vision issue to correct with simple corneal manipulation. Ortho-K can also treat astigmatism, hyperopia, (farsightedness), and presbyopia, that are common as people age and their corneas lose elasticity.
How Do I Get Fitted for Ortho-K Lenses?
Your doctor will use an ophthalmological instrument called a corneal topographer to measure and map the surface of your eye and your cornea. Without actually touching your eye, the instrument will reflect light off of the surface. This will create a topographical corneal map that shows the shape and curves of your cornea that your doctor will use to create custom lenses for your corrective needs.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Using Ortho-K?
Ortho-k is a great alternative to Lasik. It’s low-risk, non-invasive, and there’s no recovery time. People with any vision correction prescription are potential candidates for Ortho-K, including:
- People who are very active and who find glasses and contacts interfere with their lifestyle
- Adults who are age 40+ who need distance and reading correction but would rather not rely on glasses or day time contacts
- Individuals who want the freedom from glasses and contacts but who would rather avoid surgery and prefer non-surgical adjustments the Ortho-K lenses provide
- Children whose prescription is worsening over time can use Ortho-K as myopia (near-sightedness) control
Is Ortho-K Safe?
There is little risk involved in using Ortho-K lenses because the reshaping is temporary and it’s non-invasive, unlike surgery. There is an increased risk of infection, especially for children and teens who use these lenses, primarily because they don’t always keep their hands as clean as they should. Attention to proper cleaning, storage, insertion, and removal should reduce the chance of infection significantly.
What Sets Us Apart?
You can go to any number of eye doctors for Ortho-K treatment, but our process at Eyes of NM Family Optometry sets us apart. We do custom lens fittings in our office to fit each individual. Everyone’s eyes are different, and custom fittings allow us to work with prescriptions outside the normal range for these contact lenses, so you know you’re getting the best prescription, the best fit, and the best results. The right lenses can neutralize your astigmatism, hyperopia (far-sightedness), presbyopia and myopia (near-sightedness) and can prevent further myopic progression.
Contact our team at Eyes of NM to find out more about how Ortho-K can help you get rid of the glasses and see the world more clearly.