It may sound too good to be true, but just by SLEEPING in your contact lenses you can correct your vision overnight! Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K for short, reshapes the cornea using custom-designed contact lenses to correct nearsightedness in a matter of hours.
How Does it Work?
Much of the eye’s focusing power is provided by the surface of the eye, the cornea. By making very small changes to the shape of the cornea, significant changes to the overall eye prescription can be produced to correct vision. A rigid contact lens is used to gently mold the cornea while you sleep resulting in clear vision when you awake. The effects are temporary and typically last between 24-48 hours, after which the cornea returns back to its original shape. For best results, Ortho-K lenses should be worn every night.
Who Is a Good Candidate?
Ortho-K works well for many patients, however, it may not be the best option for all. When considering the prescription, Ortho-K works best when correcting nearsightedness (myopia) up to -4.00 diopters and only mild astigmatism, -1.00 diopter or less. If the prescription requirements are met, the following types of patients may benefit most from Ortho-K treatment:
- Active patients whose glasses get in the way or who are not comfortable with wearing soft contact lenses daily
- Patients who suffer from chronic irritation or dryness with soft contact lenses
- Younger patients who are not yet old enough for LASIK or patients who would like to be glasses-free but are uncomfortable with LASIK
Slowing Down Myopia
Several studies have also suggested that fitting Ortho-K lenses for children may slow down the progression of nearsightedness. Most recently, the SMART study (Stabilizing Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique), which began in 2009, examined the effects of Ortho-K lenses on myopia progression over a 5-year time period and found a statistically significant reduction in progression. Though Ortho-K is yet to be clinically proven to prevent long-term myopia progression ongoing research and studies continue to evaluate its potential benefits.
Wondering if Ortho-K is right for you?
Call in or make an appointment online to ask one of our doctors for more information!
-Dr. Allen Kim | Myoptic Optometry