December 9, 2020
Orthokeratology, also known as ortho-k, is a revolutionary new method of treating progressive refractive eye conditions and preventing them from getting gradually more severe. This treatment is based upon the use of special gas-permeable contact lenses that work by reshaping the cornea, which is the front surface covering the front of the eye. This changes the way that light is refracted by the cornea, ensuring it is focused more accurately onto the retina rather than in front of behind it. This enables our brains to interpret a clear, concise image rather than one which is blurred and out of focus.
Orthokeratology lenses are designed specifically for each patient and unlike regular contacts, are worn overnight so that they reshape the cornea while you sleep. Since your eyes can retain their new shape for some hours following the removal of your ortho-k lenses, patients can enjoy being able to see clearly with absolutely no visual aids for some time during the day. The more consistently you wear your ortho-k lenses, the longer your eyes will learn to retain their shape and the longer you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. Should you wish to stop treatment, you can do so and within a few days your vision will have returned to normal with no long-term effects,
However, clear daytime vision without glasses or contact lenses isn’t the only reason why patients choose to undergo ortho-k treatment. Wearing orthokeratology lenses consistently has also been shown to be effective for slowing or stopping the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). This means that it can stop your prescription from worsening, reducing your risk of serious eye problems that can occur as a result of severe myopia such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. It’s the ability to slow the progression of myopia is one key reason why orthokeratology is being increasingly recommended to children to prevent them from seeing a steep decline in their vision.
Since it is non-invasive and perfectly safe, many patients find that they are good candidates for orthokeratology treatment. Nevertheless, you will still need to attend a consultation appointment with your provider who will assess your suitability based on your personal circumstances, to ensure that ortho-k is the right solution for you.
At this appointment, your ortho-k provider will also talk to you about your goals and expectations for the treatment and discuss with you how it works and what you can expect to happen.
Good candidates for orthokeratology usually meet the following criteria:
The patient has been diagnosed with myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness) that falls within specific parameters.
The patient has been diagnosed with presbyopia (a condition caused by the hardening of the lens of the eye, causing it to become less flexible – something that happens naturally with advancing age)
The patient has been diagnosed with astigmatism, but it is low to moderate in severity.
The patient doesn’t want to undergo laser vision correction but would still like to be able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses.
The patient is not a good candidate for laser vision correction.
The patient is an amateur or professional athlete and can’t wear glasses or contact lenses during their sporting activities.
The patient is a child that has experienced a sharp increase in their level of myopia.
The patient has a family history of high myopia, putting them at significant risk of future problems including retinal detachment, glaucoma, and more.
If you have any questions about orthokeratology, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation to see if you would be a suitable candidate for this innovative solution, please contact our office in Midtown East, New York, NY.