Am I a Good Candidate for Ortho-K Lenses? Here’s How to Find Out
Orthokeratology (also known as ortho-k) is a treatment that relies on special-designed gas permeable contact lenses to reshape the surface at the front of the eye, or the cornea. The shape of the cornea dictates much about the quality of a person’s vision. For instance, conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) are so-called “refractive errors” and are caused by the shape of the cornea and the length of the eyeball. Astigmatism is another condition caused by the shape of the cornea, this time by irregularities in the curvature of the eye. The cornea can be reshaped to correct these refractive errors.
How Orthokeratology Works
Orthokeratology has become an increasingly popular way of reshaping the cornea, thanks mainly to the fact that it does not involve any surgical procedure. Orthokeratology is the use of custom-designed rigid, gas permeable contact lenses to reshape the front surface of the eye. These types of lenses are known as ortho-k lenses. The patient then wears these lenses overnight, and they gently and gradually reshape the cornea. When the patient wakes up, he or she removes the lenses and can see clearly throughout the day without glasses or contact lenses. When the treatment is stabilized, the reshaped surface can hold between 24-36 hours. The patient can maintain their vision by using the orthokeratology lenses daily.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Ortho-K?
Orthokeratology is a proven method for treating conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. It is also often used as a treatment method for presbyopia, a condition where the lens in the eye hardens and becomes less elastic (and less able to adjust and focus) as the patient ages. In patients who suffer from these conditions, ortho-k can usually deliver at least a day’s worth of clear vision. Some patients don’t even need to wear the lenses every night and can achieve relatively normal vision just by wearing the lenses for a few hours two or three times a week.
If you have one of the conditions mentioned above, you are likely a good candidate for ortho-k lenses.
Using this type of treatment can allow you to live your life free of daytime contact lenses or glasses every day. It has also been proven to slow the progression of myopia. Especially for patients who participate in sporting activities or who have jobs where glasses or contact lenses might be an encumbrance, ortho-k lenses are a life-changing option.
Drawbacks to Know About
Probably the biggest disadvantage to using ortho-k lenses is the fitting process, which takes longer than what you would expect from most other contact lenses. Because the lenses must be specifically designed to fit the patient—and to provide the results the patient wants— several office visits are likely necessary to achieve the right fit. Even after you achieve an ideal fit, the patient should expect to make regular visits to the eye doctor near by thereafter to check that the lenses are fitting well. A skilled eye doctor can make this entire process easy and painless.
In terms of comfort, most patients find that ortho-k lenses are comfortable to wear and do not cause any problems that might impair sleep. Putting contacts on at night before bed can take some getting used to for some patients since it is the opposite of the norm. However, most patients fall into the habit quickly.
Find out If Ortho-K Lenses Are Right for You
At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we are extremely skilled in fitting ortho-k lenses and achieving positive vision effects through orthokeratology. If you are interested to know whether ortho-k lenses are right for you, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our best optometrist in Weston.