Last updated on November 7th, 2017 at 09:50 am
Wouldn’t it be great if you could correct your eyesight and reduce your reliance on glasses or contact lenses — without having to go through eye surgery? It might sound far-fetched, however it’s a truth for many individuals. It’s called orthokeratology, or ortho-k.
Here are the top 10 things you need to learn about orthokeratology:
Does Ortho-K Lenses to Correct Myopia Work?
Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is the fitting of specially developed gas permeable contact lenses that you use overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses carefully reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see plainly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake up.
Ortho-k lenses are recommended for two functions:
- To fix refractive mistakes (mainly nearsightedness, however likewise astigmatism and hyperopia). Sometimes, ortho-k also is used to correct presbyopia.
- To slow the progression of childhood myopia. (Read more about myopia treatment.)
Ortho-k lenses are likewise called “corneal improving contact lenses” or “over night contact lenses to correct or manage myopia.”
One particular brand name of ortho-k lenses and fitting method is Bausch + Lomb’s Vision Shaping Treatment (VST). But ortho-k can be securely and effectively performed with other gas permeable (GP) lenses and corneal reshaping fitting methods.
Only highly “breathable” GP lenses that have been FDA approved for overnight wear needs to be used for orthokeratology.
mild to moderate myopia, LASIK ineligibility.
- Normal results: 20/40 or much better without glasses or contacts
- Cost: around $800 to $1,500 for both eyes, plus replacement lenses
What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)?
Apotheosis CRT (Paragon Vision Sciences) is a specific brand of corneal improving lenses that has a proprietary lens design and fitting method, called corneal refractive therapy (CRT). Though technically various than orthokeratology, CRT is used for comparable purposes and produces comparable results.
For simplicity, I’ll be utilizing the terms “orthokeratology” and “ortho-k” to explain all types of corneal reshaping lenses — including corneal refractive therapy lenses — in this post. Your eye doctor will determine which type of corneal improving lenses are best for you after examining your eyes.
See also: Eye Exercises to Improve Vision
For how long Does The Ortho-K Effect Last?
You should have the ability to see acceptably well without glasses or contact lenses for a day or two, sometimes longer. For best outcomes, you must use the ortho-k lenses every night.
Which Vision Problems Can Ortho-K Correct?
Orthokeratology is most frequently used to momentarily correct myopia (nearsightedness). Normally, ortho-k can correct upwards of -6.00 diopters (D) of myopia.
Ortho-k also can fix lesser degrees of astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia.
The type and amount of refractive mistake that can be effectively handled with orthokeratology differ on a case-by-case basis. Your optometrist will have the ability to give you more particular assistance after analyzing your eyes.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?
Most people with moderate to moderate myopia (with or without mild astigmatism) ready candidates for ortho-k.
Since the corneal reshaping impact is temporary, little risk is included, and you can stop wearing the lenses at any time — offered you are willing to start using glasses or contacts once again when your myopia returns!
Children and young adults who want to be glasses-free but are too young for LASIK or are bad candidates for refractive surgery for other reasons (dry eyes, for instance) often are good prospects for ortho-k. Individuals who take part in contact sports or operate in dusty environments that can pose issues for contact lens wear also can be great prospects.
Who Fits Ortho-K Lenses?
In the United States, eye doctors perform most orthokeratology lens fitting. However ophthalmologists likewise carry out ortho-k fittings. Sometimes, ortho-k may be performed by a contact lens service technician under the supervision of an eye doctor or ophthalmologist.
It is important to know that orthokeratology is a really specialized type of contact lens fitting, and not all optometrist who fit contact lenses likewise fit ortho-k lenses. If orthokeratology interests you, look for the services of an optometrist who specializes in fitting these lenses.
What Results Can You Expect From Ortho-K?
Eye care specialists typically go for 20/20 vision after ortho-k, however 20/40 vision (the legal minimum for owning in the majority of the United States) often is considered an acceptable result.
In the FDA clinical study for approval of Paragon CRT lenses, 93 percent of patients achieved 20/32 vision or much better, and 67 percent achieved 20/20 or much better. In the clinical study for FDA approval of one VST design, about 95 percent accomplished 20/40 or better, and 73 percent accomplished 20/20 or better. Both studies followed patients for at least 9 months.
What To Expect When You Begin Ortho-K
The eye doctor will start by determining the curvatures of your corneas using an instrument called a corneal topographer — a pain-free procedure that takes about a minute and produces a topographical map of your eye’s surface.
Your doctor may use an in-office inventory of lenses for fitting your eyes with ortho-k lenses the same day corneal topography measurements are taken, or she or he might order custom-made ortho-k lenses for fitting at a later date.
You may need a series of temporary lenses to see correctly until you reach the wanted prescription. In many cases, up to 3 pairs of lenses are needed to achieve the maximum vision correction result.
When you begin to use ortho-k lenses, you will likely have some awareness of the lenses on your eyes up until you drop off to sleep. With time, the lenses normally become more comfortable right away upon insertion.
The length of time Does It Take For Maximum Ortho-K Effect?
This depends upon lots of elements, especially the amount of nearsightedness (and possibly astigmatism) you have when you begin the ortho-k process.
Some individuals can have excellent vision after a day or more of overnight ortho-k. However for higher prescriptions it can take two weeks or longer for optimum correction.
Till your eyes are fully remedied, you might discover blurred vision and glare and halos around lights. In some cases, you may need to use glasses (with a lower prescription than you initially had) during the ortho-k procedure. Also, in many cases, moderate glare and halos may continue after maximum ortho-k correction.
10. How Much Does Ortho-K to Correct Myopia Cost?
Fitting ortho-k lenses is a more time-consuming procedure and needs more expertise than fitting regular contact lenses. It requires a series of office check outs and possibly numerous sets of lenses.
Each eye care practitioner identifies his/her own fees for orthokeratology, based in part on the doctor’s level of knowledge, time required and lens costs.
The cost of ortho-k, consisting of follow-up care connected with fitting the lenses, can differ considerably depending on the type and degree of your refractive error and whether you are selecting ortho-k lenses for long-term myopia control in addition to the temporary correction of existing myopia.
Costs also can vary based on the area of the nation, urban vs. rural settings, and the kind of practice where you have the procedure performed.
Ortho-k costs in the United States usually range from $1,000 to $2,000 (for both eyes), making the procedure roughly half the cost of LASIK. However particularly difficult cases of ortho-k can cost as much as $4,000.
There are additional costs for replacement ortho-k lenses, lens care services and follow-up examinations, which can amount to about $300 to $500 per year.
See also: LASIK Eye Surgery Cost
Can I Have LASIK After Ortho-K?
Yes, it’s possible to have LASIK after ortho-k if you later on want vision surgery to completely correct your eyesight.
Unlike LASIK, ortho-k is reversible. If you try improving lenses and later on choose you want laser eye surgery rather, you can do that.
But you will have to discontinue wearing the lenses and wait a time period prior to surgery (perhaps several months) to enable your corneas to totally go back to their pre-orthokeratology shape.
Finally, bear in mind that, as with all contact lenses, there are some possible side effects and complications of wearing ortho-k lenses. Ask your eye care specialist for details.