What You Should Know About Orthokeratology (ORTHO-K)
Orthokeratology is a non-surgical treatment that uses precise, specially shaped contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea in order to eliminate nearsightedness or myopia so that you can see better at distance without wearing eyeglasses or regular contact lenses throughout the day. Children are excellent candidates.
The Orthokeratology Procedure – Being Prepared
Orthokeratology involves first measuring the refraction of your eye, which tells the doctor the degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism you have. Next it will be necessary to map the shape of the front surface of the eye using an instrument called a corneal topographer.
Based on this digital map of your eye, your eye doctor will determine the ideal shape of your cornea. Then a series of special contacts are made according to your doctor’s exact specifications for your eyes.
Initially they will be worn for about eight hours daily until the cornea is reshaped, proper correction is achieved, and your vision is improved.
Sometimes your doctor will actually prescribe a wearing schedule that allows you to only wear the lenses while you sleep.
After that, the lenses may only need to be worn for a few hours a day for about three days a week to keep the cornea in the shape necessary for you to see clearly. The exact wearing schedule will depend on the correction your doctor thinks you need.
Orthokeratology Side Effects
Although orthokeratology is effective, it is only as effective as the commitment of the patient. If the lenses are worn constantly, the patient’s vision will improve, but once the lenses are removed for an extended period, the eye will return to its original shape and the patient’s vision will revert back to its refractive error state.
CRT is reversible and only lasts as long as the lenses are worn. Fluctuating or blurry vision are possible side effects of Ortho-K and CRT. Still, these side effects can be prevented.
Orthokeratology and CRT are designed for people who do not desire refractive surgery and are content with occasionally wearing contact lenses. These methods carry the same risks as regular contacts, and a few more. The risks of Ortho-K are best explained by your eye doctor. We welcome any questions you may have.
Am I a Candidate for Ortho-K?
People who are best suited for Ortho-K have myopia less than -4.00 diopters and astigmatism less than -1.50 diopters. Ortho-K is safe for people of all ages, as long as their eyes are healthy.
This is a great alternative for those who are too young to consider LASIK, those whose prescriptions are continuing to change, and those involved in sports that make contact lenses impractical. Ortho-k is not suitable for everyone, so it is best to consult with your eye doctor if you are interested in this procedure.
- → Non-surgical method
- → Available for most people
- → Freedom from constant corrective lens wear
- → Better vision improvement
- → Longer result time
- → Not a permanent solution
- → Higher startup cost than regular contacts or eyeglasses
- → Currently only for myopia
Contact us today!
For our Ortho-k come see Dr. Joanna Barnett in Vienna, visit one of our locations or contact us online to learn more about the Orthokeratology services we have available. We have been helping people throughout Fairfax County with the best optometry treatments and service available.