5 Questions to Ask Your Optometrist about Orthokeratology


Orthokeratology refers to the use of a unique, specially designed contact lens while you sleep. This reshapes the front surface of the eye and improves your vision. The ortho k lenses gently reshape your cornea to correct your refractive error while you are asleep. You will have a clear vision when you wake up and remove the lenses. This method of vision correction is not permanent, however, so you’ll need to wear the lenses every day when you go to sleep. The back surface of the lens is specially designed to create a specific shape and thickness in the layer between the lens and the cornea. Overnight, the layer produces a hydraulic force between the lens and the cornea which molds it into the desired shape.

1. Is Ortho-K only for children and who is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?

Ortho-K can be for children as well as for adults. Currently, 95% of the Ortho-K patients are children but there are Ortho-K patients in adults as well. There is little risk involved in wearing the ortho k lenses and the effects of the lenses are temporary. The good candidates for Orthokeratology are the people suffering from mild to moderate myopia. Patients who participate in contact sports are also considered as good candidates.

2. Why Ortho-K instead of LASIK surgery?

For LASIK, the most general age is above 21. Although as young as 18, some of them go for LASIK as well. But optometrist suggests that patients younger than 18 are not suitable for LASIK surgery. Therefore, Ortho-K is most suitable for those age groups.

3. Is Ortho-K safe?

There is a small element of risk involved in almost all the contact lenses. The risk involved in ortho k lenses is very minimal. With regular follow up and with proper discipline in the cleaning of the lenses, ortho k lenses are pretty safe.

4. How long do the Ortho-K lenses last?

The lifespan of the contact lenses depends on many factors. Typically, the lenses should last between two years which is the general lifespan of the lenses. However, some of them would have to replace it. For example, some children scratch or break their lenses which are very rare. Otherwise, most lenses last about 2 years.

5. How long does the effect of lenses last?

The vision correction tends to vary depending upon the problems of the patients. It is found that some of the patients can see clearly without using contact lenses for a day or more. On the other side, as the day progresses some patients will slowly lose their vision. For best results, optometrist recommends wearing ortho k lenses each night, regardless of how long the effect of lenses lasts.

Final Thoughts

Most people rely on conventional glasses and contact lenses to correct refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. These methods are the popular non-surgical method which improves eyesight. Orthokeratology is an attractive option for individuals who play sports or have careers in which wearing glasses at all times might pose a challenge.

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