What is Orthokeratology?
This is a revolutionary non-surgical procedure that reduces or eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. It improves vision by gently reshaping your eyes while you sleep using specially designed therapeutic contact lenses. After placing the specially fitted lenses in at bedtime, you awake to clear, natural vision for your waking hours. This safe and effective treatment is ideal for low to moderate myopia (near-sightedness) with little or no astigmatism. It is a great alternative to LASIK for those who don’t want the risk or not ready for surgery. Since there is no age requirement, it is also an option for children.
How does it work?
When a person cannot see clearly, it is because their eye is too long, too short or the surface is misshaped. Images fail to reach or focus on the retina producing blurred vision. In order to create a therapeutic lens, the surface of your eyes is mapped using an instrument called a topographer. This allows your doctor to create a custom lens specifically designed for your eye and its unique visual problems. This Ortho-K lens has several specialized curves responsible for reshaping the cornea. And is made from an advanced highly oxygen permeable material which allow the eyes to breathe overnight to maintain optimal health. As a result of the cornea being reshaped, images now focus on the retina which means you have clear vision.
Is it known by other names?
Orthokeratology was first used to correct nearsightedness over forty years ago. While the procedure has benefitted from the latest technological breakthroughs over the years, it has accumulated many different names to describe the same procedure. Orthokeratology is also known as Ortho-K(OK), corneal refractive therapy(CRT), vision shaping technology (VST), gentle vision shaping system(GVSS) and finally overnight corneal reshaping(OCR). These procedures may differ slightly in technique, but all fall under the Orthokeratology umbrella.
Is it safe?
Ortho-K is a very safe and reversible procedure. It was approved by the FDA in 2002. However, as with any lens wear, there is a small risk of infection. Studies show the risk of infection from wearing overnight lenses is slightly higher than daytime contact lenses and less than extended wear lenses. This risk is greatly minimized by adopting a regime of very careful cleaning and disinfecting, by wearing the lenses as prescribed by your doctor and by maintaining the necessary progress visits.