Ortho-K or orthokeratology, to give it its full name, is another form of vision correction that can be used by many patients with refractive eye conditions such as near-sightedness or astigmatism. It is a total alternative to conventional glasses and contact lenses which must be worn during the day to enable patients to see clearly.
Patients who have refractive eye conditions do so because their cornea, which is the clear lens at the front of the eye, is not perfectly and evenly shaped. Instead, it has irregularities that cause light to be refracted onto the retina at the back of the eye incorrectly. Our brain then interprets the image as blurred. How unclear our vision is depends on the extent of the corneal irregularity.
Ortho-K involves wearing gas-permeable contact lenses while you sleep. These lenses are designed specifically to reshape the cornea overnight so that it is a more regular shape. This enables light to be focused correctly and patients to eventually be able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses. You may notice some improvement in your vision the first day after wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight. However, continued use is recommended to help you reach optimal visual clarity. Eventually, the effects of Ortho-K lenses can last for up to two full days, during which patients will be mostly or entirely free of the issues that previously caused them to rely on prescription lenses.
Many different patients are found to be suitable candidates for Ortho-K treatment. These include patients who:
Have mild to moderate refractive eye errors including myopia and astigmatism
Are not suitable candidates for LASIK laser eye surgery
Are under 18 and have been diagnosed with progressive myopia
Are keen sportspeople and want the visual freedom to play without needing glasses or contact lenses
If you would like to discover if Ortho-K may be a suitable solution for you, please get in touch with our expert vision team.