Orthokeratology more commonly referred to as ‘Ortho-K’, the use of contact lenses to reshape the cornea (front surface of the eyes) in order to reduce levels of myopia and astigmatism.
The cornea is highly elastic and therefore the use of custom made orthokeratology contact lenses can achieve a flattening effect, improving vision during the day.
The lenses are worn at night only whilst sleeping and removed in the morning for all day useable vision.
The effect generally lasts for all regular waking hours and as the lenses are inserted again the next evening then seamless clear vision can be maintained.
Safety is paramount with any type of contact lens, and orthokeratology lenses are made from the safest and highest oxygen permeable materials to maximise ocular health.
The Orthokeratology patient, once successfully fitted, is then free from wearing spectacles or conventional contact lenses during the day, improving lifestyle at the same time as vision.
It is an ideal solution for persons who have issues in air conditioning with regular daytime contact lenses and for those who wish to play sport freely.
At Vision West, orthokeratology is commonly recommended to young emerging myopes, ie late primary or high school children who have recently shown signs of becoming progressively more short sighted. When fitted with orthokeratology lenses the children are free to attend school and play sports without the hassle or inconvenience associated sometimes with spectacles or regular contact lenses.
In many cases, when fitted with orthokeratology contact lenses, progression of a person’s myopia can often be seen to not change as rapidly as when they were wearing other visual aids.
Orthokeratology is a precision customised fitting procedure and works best with shortsighted persons up to around -5.00 dioptres. If Astigmatism is associated with the myopia then levels up to -1.50D of astigmatism can sometimes also be corrected.
Orthokeratology is commonly also chosen as the preferred method of myopia management by persons who are interested in Laser eye surgery but are not yet convinced by the longterm riks and effects of the surgery, and as OrthoK is reversible then long term effects are minimised.
That is, if the lenses are not worn the cornea returns to the original shape after a few days.
In some cases OrthoK lenses may only be required to be worn every second night should the cornea be found to have a longer ‘memory’ of the new shape, although most persons wear the lenses nightly.
Although not a cure for myopia, Orthokeratology offers daytime vision without use of spectacles or contact lenses to a large portion of the population.