Ortho-k for Astigmatism: How It Can Correct Your Vision

May 19, 2023

Orthokeratology, also called ortho-k, is a nonsurgical vision treatment. It involves wearing specially designed contact lenses at night to rectify vision problems. It effectively corrects the refractive error that affects the shape of the cornea, called astigmatism. The condition leads to blurry or distorted vision. 


How Does Ortho-k Work?


Ortho-k reshapes the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped surface covering the front of your eye. The cornea shape in astigmatism is more like a football than a basketball. It causes light to focus at different points in the retina. This error leads to distorted or blurry vision.

Ortho-k lenses reshape the cornea gently while the wearer is sleeping. They correct the irregular curvature of the cornea and allow light to focus well on your retina. As a result, you get clearer and sharper vision without needing contact lenses or glasses during the day.


Benefits of Ortho-k for Astigmatism


Orthokeratology has many benefits when used for correcting astigmatism. It can significantly improve the quality of your vision. It allows you to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. It is also convenient—you only need to wear the lenses while you sleep. 

The next day, you do not have to worry about glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-k is a safe and noninvasive procedure that does not require surgery or permanent changes to the eye. It reshapes the cornea to improve your peripheral vision.


Who Is a Good Candidate for Ortho-k?


Ortho-k is a good option for individuals with mild to moderate astigmatism who want to correct their vision without surgery or daytime eyewear. It is also a good option for those who are not good candidates for LASIK or other types of refractive surgery.

However, orthokeratology is not suitable for everyone. People with severe astigmatism or other vision problems, such as keratoconus, may not be good candidates for ortho-k. People with some eye conditions, like dry eye or allergies, may tolerate ortho-k lenses. Ortho-k can carry some risks like any other medical procedure. 

It can cause dryness of the eyes, corneal abrasions, or scratches. Like all contact lenses, it can also increase your risk of eye infections if not properly cared for. Some patients also experience glare or halos around lights at night. It can resolve as your eyes adjust to the lenses. However, consult your eye doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for these lenses.


How Long Does It Take to See Results With Ortho-k?


Most people begin to see results with ortho-k within the first few days of wearing the lenses. However, it may take several weeks for the full effect of the lenses to be visible. During this time, your eye doctor will monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to the lenses to ensure they work well.


Is Ortho-k Permanent?


Ortho-k is not a permanent procedure. The effects of the lenses will typically last for one to two days, depending on the individual. Wearing the lenses every night or as your eye doctor directs can help maintain its effects. 

However, it is vital to note that it can have a long-lasting impact on some people. Some patients may wear the lenses every other night or a few times a week and still maintain the treatment benefits.

For more about ortho-k and astigmatism, visit Eye Associates of New York at our office in New York, NY. Call (212) 650-4888 to discuss any questions with our team of experts or to schedule your eye exam today.

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