Congratulations. Your eye doctor approved you for ortho-k lenses. You are about to begin an exciting journey. What is it like to wear these lenses? How long will it take to see an improvement in your vision? Do ortho-k lenses feel different from regular contact lenses?
These are some of the questions you are probably asking yourself. Of course, every situation is different, but it is good to know what to expect.
These are rigid gas-permeable lenses designed for overnight wear. You wear them before bed and remove them when you wake up. As you sleep, they gently reshape your eye’s curvature to control myopia progression and improve your vision.
Orthokeratology lenses float on top of the tear film and apply gentle hydraulic pressure to the epithelium, the top layer of the cornea. The pressure causes the epithelial cells to move from the center to the cornea’s periphery. That leads to a temporary reshaping of the cornea and vision correction.
Orthokeratology is a specialty contact lens fitting that is safe and effective for adults and kids. It has promising results in controlling myopia progression. That makes it an excellent choice for various patients.
The first step to success is ensuring that you are a good candidate for these specialized lenses. You can expect to provide information about your visual demands, hobbies, occupation, and daily activities. Your eye doctor will also evaluate your refractive status and eye health to determine whether you are a good candidate.
Eye doctors use a range of tests to help make this determination. These include objective and subjective refraction, slit-lamp imaging, ocular biometry, and corneal topography. These analyses and tests allow them to ensure that the patient’s eyes are healthy.
They also enable eye doctors to map the eye's surface and check the prescription. The information collected helps them design contact lenses with a personalized fit.
Orthokeratology lenses are gas permeable and go in like soft contact lenses. However, you may need to apply lubricating eye drops before putting them on your eyes. You should always clean and check them for scratches and chips before wearing them. Your optometrist will give you a special remover when taking them off in the morning.
Your optometrist will want to see you the morning after the first night of use to verify centration. This visit will determine whether you can continue using your lenses or if changes are necessary.
An early appointment is best to get the most accurate measurement of refraction and topography in the initial stages of the fitting. That is because the effects gradually regress throughout the day.
If necessary, your optometrist will provide disposable contacts while your orthokeratology lenses continue reshaping your eyes. It is best to schedule ongoing follow-up visits to monitor your eyes’ progress. Your appointments will be less frequent as your eyes adjust.
If you or a loved one has a refractive error and want to stop wearing corrective eyewear during waking hours, consult your optometrist about ortho-k lenses. They will let you know whether you are a good candidate for these lenses and how to proceed.
For more on ortho-k lenses, visit Focus Eye Care, P.C., at our Hackensack, New Jersey office. Call (201) 654-0602 to schedule an appointment today.