What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?
Ortho-k is a process using contact lenses that progressively reshape the front surface of the eye(the cornea) whilst sleeping. The effects are similar to laser surgery in correcting visual prescriptions.
When are the Lenses worn?
The contact lenses are worn whilst you sleep. In the morning you remove the contact lenses and enjoy the benefits of clear vision without correction during the day
Is everyone a candidate for ortho-k?
No! While orthokeratlogy can help most individuals (including long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism), the procedure is effective to prescriptions falling within a specific range. Additional factors may include individual corneal rigidity, ability to wear contact lenses, allergies and dry eyes. A thorough consultation and examination at Lamas and Brown Optometrists, using advanced computerised diagnostic instrumentation can easily determine if orthokeratology is suitable.
How safe is Ortho-k?
Ortho-k is believed to safe when appropriately fitted and managed properly. Unlike surgical procedures like radial keratotomy(RK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), laser assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and laser assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK), the corneal tissue (the front surface of the eye) is not incised or vaporised by a laser or scalpel. As with all contact lenses, proper lens care and handling must be performed to maintain eye health. The state-of-the-art, high permeability GP materials now available provide adequate amounts of oxygen to the tissues of the eye.
Is Ortho-k permanent?
No! Maximum results are achieved when lenses are worn on an ongoing basis. Once the patient stops wearing the lenses the pre-existing prescription will return.
What are the risks of wearing lenses overnight?
The complications of wearing contact lenses include ingrowth of vessels, ulcers, and abrasions. The risks associated with wearing contact lenses overnight are higher than wearing contact lenses only while awake. Contact lenses cannot become lost behind the eye (this anatomically impossible) and it is rare for ortho-k lenses to become decentered from the cornea.
How long does it take for the process to stabilise and provide functional vision for the whole day?
This is dependant on corneal rigidity and levels of prescription, but in general functional vision is achievable in 5 to 7 nights, and the full affects are noticeable after 4 weeks.
Are Ortho-K lenses uncomfortable to wear?
Overnight wearing of the lenses is surprisingly comfortable, as the process of blinking is generally what leads to discomfort with contact lenses. Most patients are unaware of their presence within a very short time after insertion.
Will I still have to wear glasses or contacts?
Once the desired reduction in prescription is achieved, regular contact lenses are not needed. Glasses may be needed for reading or other part-time use.
Once the treatment phase is completed, how frequently will I need to wear the overnight retainer lenses?
Most people will need to wear lenses six to seven consecutive nights in order to enjoy good, unaided vision during the day. Some patients with a lesser degree of myopia (short-sightedness) may find that wearing them every other night is satisfactory.
If the patient decides to return to wearing glasses, can vision be restored to its pre-treatment level?
The wearer’s eyes will return to their pre-treatment prescription after about 2 weeks. Depending on how long ortho-k lenses have been worn, this process may be as long as 30-90 days.