Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, temporarily reshapes the cornea with specifically designed and fitted contact lenses to improve eyesight. It’s similar to orthodontics for your eyes, and the procedure is frequently likened to dental braces. Most ortho-k lenses are used at night to reshape the eye’s front surface while you sleep. Vision improvements are reversible but can be sustained if the lenses are used as prescribed.
Who is ortho-k for?
Ortho-k is mainly used to treat nearsightedness (myopia). This eyesight impairment is generally treatable with glasses, regular contact lenses, LASIK, or PRK. Orthokeratology is a non-surgical procedure that allows some individuals to ditch their glasses and avoid wearing contact lenses all the time.
Ortho-k is occasionally prescribed for children’s eyesight correction. Some children’s vision might continue to alter throughout maturity into their twenties. LASIK and other vision correction operations are not indicated until the patient’s vision is steady. There is no conclusive proof that ortho-k can delay the growth of myopia in children, although it is being investigated as a potential.
What is the procedure for ortho-k?
The cornea is a transparent, dome-shaped window at the front of your eye that functions to focus light onto the retina and accounts for most of your eye’s capacity to focus. Its tissue is very malleable.
Your ophthalmologist will use a piece of equipment to measure the surface of your cornea before designing a lens specifically for you. Reflecting light off the surface of the eye produces the cornea map. There is no discomfort, and the machine does not touch your eye. In addition, your ophthalmologist will be able to see the form and curvature of your cornea thanks to the corneal topography map.
The lenses function by flattening the cornea’s centre, altering how light bends as it enters the eye. The majority of orthokeratology lenses are worn overnight to flatten the cornea before being removed throughout the day. These rigid, gas-permeable lenses are strong enough to sculpt the cornea while allowing oxygen to pass through to keep your eye healthy.
When ortho-k lenses are removed, the cornea remains flattened for a short period, and eyesight is corrected without using glasses. However, when you stop wearing the lenses at night, your eyes will revert to their previous form, and the refractive error will return. Therefore, to retain vision correction, you must wear the lenses daily.
What can you anticipate from ortho-k?
Although some patients see considerable vision improvement in days, it might take two weeks or longer to achieve maximal vision correction through orthokeratology.
To see correctly, you may require a succession of interim ortho-k lenses until you get the desired prescription. To obtain optimum vision correction, up to three pairs of orthokeratology lenses are often employed, one after the other. Once you’ve achieved the proper prescription, you’ll wear the same lens shape every night to keep the correction.