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Ortho K, Is Corneal Reshaping Effective?

Orthokeratology Lenses Have you ever thought how great it would be to not have to wear your glasses or contact lenses? Are you afraid of permanent surgical procedures such as Lasik? It sounds nearly impossible, but there is a procedure that allows you to do just that and it’s called Orthokeratology.

How does it work?
Orthokeratology, also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that reshapes the eye’s cornea to correct the vision. Using a rigid gas permeable contact lens, the cornea is flattened to compensate for the right amount of myopia (nearsightedness). Myopia is caused be a slightly elongated eye or a steepened cornea. Much like Lasik, Ortho K can accurately control the amount of corneal flattening to bring the eyes focus onto the retina. However, unlike Lasik, Ortho K is not permanent. By wearing a rigid gas permeable contact lens at night, while sleeping, the cornea is temporarily flattened and the vision is corrected for about a day or so. In order to maintain clear vision, the lenses should be worn every night.

First discovered in 1940, doctors realized that vision can be corrected by reshaping the cornea. But it wasn’t until 2002 that FDA approved Corneal Refractive Therapy with overnight wear rigid gas permeable contact lenses. Technology has come a long ways and we now have the technology to create a material that is safe to wear overnight and provides much higher levels of oxygen permeability.

Are you a Candidate?
Ortho K is for the treatment of myopia and low amounts of astigmatism of patients of all ages. One of the most widely used ortho K lens is the Paragon Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). FDA has approved Paragon CRT for the treatment of up to -6.00 D of myopia and up to -1.75 D of astigmatism. Another lens Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) is approved to treat up to -5.00 D of myopia and -1.50 D of astigmatism.

Ortho K is a great alternative to glasses and contacts for athletes, people who are very active in sports, people who work in dusty environments that are unable to wear contact lenses comfortably during the day. Because Lasik is not recommended for anyone under the age of 25, ortho K can be a great alternative for children and teens who are not eligible for Lasik, but are also seeking the benefits of freedom from spectacles and day contacts.

Are there other Benefits?
Besides freedom from glasses and contact lenses during the day, ortho K is said to also be beneficial to adolescents with progressing myopia. Progressive myopia is a constant frustration for both adolescents and their parents. Every year their prescription keeps creeping up to a higher number. But with the ortho K technology, we may now have a way to control myopia. Research has showed that wearing rigid contact lenses is the most effective way to halt the advancement of myopia by pushing on the cornea and not allowing it to become more steep and increase in myopia.

What to expect with Ortho K?
On your initial visit to your eye doctor, they will measure your refractive error and corneal curvature. From that information, they will design a lens that will treat your myopia and/or astigmatism. The doctor or the optician will train you how to insert and remove the lens properly, clean and care for the lens. Once treatment begins, you will wear the lenses every night during bedtime for anywhere between 6-10 hours, depending on the severity of your myopia. The higher the number, the longer the hours needed to treat. 20/20 vision can be achieved anywhere from the first night of treatment up to 2 weeks of wear. Multiple visits to your eye doctor will be scheduled so that they can monitor your progress.

If you are interested to learn more about orthokeratology, make an appointment with a certified orthokeratology eye doctor today.

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