Overnight Vision Correction (Orthokeratology /Ortho-K)
What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?
Ortho-K (short for orthokeratology) is a nonsurgical procedure using specially designed contact lenses to gently reshape the curvature of the eye to improve vision.
How does Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) work?
It works each night while you sleep. You put the lenses on when you go to bed and remove them when you wake up. Your vision is clear during the day, without glasses or contact lenses.
Features of Orthokeratology (Ortho-K):
∙ Safe and reversible
∙ Uses a unique process that can free a person from glasses or daytime contact lenses ∙ Can prevent a child's shortsightedness from getting worse
∙ Easy lens care each night, even for children
∙ Often the best treatment for shortsightedness, over any daytime lenses
Understanding Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)
Our eyes must be in focus for us to see accurately, just as a camera must be in focus to obtain a clear picture. Light, which gives us vision, is focused largely by the eye's front surface or cornea. Ortho-K (short for orthokeratology) gently molds or focuses the cornea while a person is sleeping, creating a sharpened image when they wake.
Karmelo, our specialist Optometrist will design the Ortho-K mold to obtain the change needed to achieve clearly focused vision. When the lens is removed in the morning the cornea begins to return to its original shape but so slowly that good vision is maintained all waking hours. Each night the process is repeated although some find they only need to wear their molds every other night.
The elastic tissue of the eye is not harmed by this daily process. Perhaps an analogy that most of us have seen would be the ridges formed on the ankles by a snug fitting pair of socks. The ridges eventually go away and the tissue remains healthy.
Ortho-K is reversible. It is not a permanent alteration of tissue and thus is an excellent Lasik alternative for those reluctant or unable to undergo a surgical alteration of their corneas.
Can children wear Ortho-K lenses?
Yes. See below for questions and answers.
Q&A for parents thinking about Ortho-K for their child to help slow down myopia (short-sightedness)
Can Ortho-K Really Slow the Progression of Short-Sightedness?
Many studies have shown that Ortho-K lenses can reduce the progression of short-sightedness, reducing the likelihood of associated problems in adulthood. The effect is not guaranteed, as results vary for individual children, but it has never been shown to make children more short-sighted. A scientific study conducted over a 12 year period on Ortho -K and slowing down the progression of Myopia can be found at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5721542/
What are the Other Key Benefits of Ortho-K?
All lens wear is done overnight so the lenses aren’t worn out of the house, which means less worry about lost lenses, or spectacles! Also, daytime is free of specs and lens wear so your child can take part in all activities and sports without having to worry about their vision.
Are Ortho-K Lenses Safe?
Ortho-K lenses are CE approved in Europe and FDA approved in the US. In fact the FDA endorsed the lenses for adults and separately for children to ensure that they are safe and effective.
Do They Need to be Worn Every Night?
Yes, to get the full effect they should be worn every night.
What Happens When My Child Stops Wearing the Lenses?
Over a few days vision will gradually return to ‘normal’ (it’s original state) and they can go back to spectacles or other contact lenses.
What Happens if My Child Loses or Breaks a Lens?
We include 1 free replacement, per year. However, it might be worth thinking about purchasing a spare pair as it does take a few days for replacements to arrive.
Here's a video explaining the Ortho-K procedure.