Ortho-K, also known as orthokeratology, is a treatment using special gas-permeable contact lens molds to reshape your eye overnight while you sleep. If you are tired of relying on glasses or contacts during the day for clear vision, Ortho-K is a great alternative. Think of the retainer you might wear to correct the alignment of your teeth. Ortho-K utilizes a patented corrective mold that improves your vision by gently reshaping the cornea and shortening the length of the eye WHILE YOU SLEEP. You just put the specially fitted lens in at bedtime and when you awake, you will have clear, sharp, comfortable vision for your waking hours. The optometry professionals at Vision Solutions in La Mesa / San Diego have years of experience prescribing and fitting ortho-K for the treatment of blurred vision.
How Do Ortho-K Work?
Unlike traditional soft lenses that are worn during the day and removed at night, Ortho-K lenses are worn at night while you sleep. The molds gently change the shape of your cornea (the front surface of the eye) to eliminate the refractive error of your prescription. When you wake up in the morning and remove the molds, you will be able to see clearly.
What Conditions Does Ortho-K Treat?
Ortho-K can treat blurred vision due to refractive errors including nearsightedness, astigmatism, and minimal farsightedness.
How Long Does Ortho-K Take To Work?
It can take 7-10 days for Ortho-K to reach maximum effectiveness, but some people, especially children, can get great vision results in as little as one night. The speed depends on your prescription and your age. To work properly, you insert the molds every night right before bedtime. If you forget to put them in one night, your vision may still be clear in the morning, but this effect may diminish throughout the day. If you do not insert the molds for several nights, your corneas will begin to return to their original shape, and you will need to wear glasses or contacts to see clearly.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Ortho-K?
This therapy can be effective for farsighted, nearsighted (myopic), astigmatic and presbyopic patients.
If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you are also a great candidate because the mold is so easy to use and it’s worn while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while using conventional contact lenses.
You are also a great candidate if you need excellent vision without the use of contacts or glasses. Ortho-K can help pilots, police officers, military personnel, and those with safety concerns such as athletes, parents of small children, lifeguards, and many others.
Finally, if you just don’t want to be bothered with wearing glasses or contact lenses during a variety of activities such as hiking, playing sports, swimming, skiing, camping, off-road driving, biking, snorkeling, scuba and more, Ortho-K is for you.
- Poor LASIK candidates: If you are a poor candidate for Lasik surgery or are nervous to have laser surgery done on your eyes then Ortho-K is an excellent alternative. When you use Ortho-K, you won't need to rely on glasses or contacts during the day to see clearly. Ortho-K is also reversible. If you stop wearing the molds you will return to your previous prescription in 3-4 days after discontinuing them.
- People with Dry eye or Allergies: If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, dryness, etc.), you are also a great candidate because the mold is so easy to use and it’s worn while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while using conventional contact lenses when your eyes are open to the allergens in the air or in windy conditions.
- Children with advancing myopia (nearsightedness): The world is experiencing a large proliferation of nearsightedness in children in the past 20 years. Some of the causes include increased screen time, minimal outdoor time, and genetics from myopic parents. Ortho-K is a well-studied treatment to slow down the progression of myopia in children. Another benefit is you no longer have to worry about their glasses becoming damaged or lost or even interfere with their active lifestyle.
Is this a lens that has been proven safe for overnight wear?
The FDA approved Paragon CRT® lens for overnight Ortho-K use on 6/13/2002. This issuance of approval was the culmination of the most extensive clinical study to date to establish the safety and efficacy of corneal reshaping molds in overnight use. Today molds made by most manufacturers are FDA approved. However, some of the custom designs cannot be approved due to their custom nature. They are completely safe for overnight use when worn and cared for according to our instructions.
Ortho-K molds are made from a material that allows twice as much oxygen to enter the cornea as a standard extended wear oxygen permeable lens. This significantly minimizes complications due to a lack of oxygen. Again, meticulous care and careful wear make a huge difference to safety.
Eye Care Services in San Diego
If you are interested in ortho-K and want to find out if you or your child is a candidate, schedule an appointment with Vision Solutions in La Mesa / San Diego. Our doctors of optometry can fit you with Ortho-K to treat your refractive error. For more information on our eye care services call to schedule an appointment for an Ortho-K fitting.