Orthokeratology therapy is most reliable and effective eye care for myopic children.
What is Orthokeratology (short form: Ortho-K or OK)?
This is a non-surgical procedure that eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. It improves vision by gently reshaping your cornea while you sleep using specially designed therapeutic contact lenses (OK lenses). You just put the specially fitted lenses in at bedtime, and when you take out the lenses in the morning, you will have clear, sharp, natural vision for your waking hours. Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for two purposes:
- To correct refractive errors (primarily nearsightedness and certain amount astigmatism)
- To slow the progression of childhood myopia.
Is it safe?
It’s a safe and reversible procedure that was approved by FDA in 2002. The main concern of parents is cornea infection. However, the chance of infection in OK wearers is much lower than in soft contact lenses wears . The risk is greatly minimized by adopting a regime of careful cleaning and disinfecting, by wearing the lenses as prescribed by the doctor and by maintaining the necessary follow-up visits.
Why are children good candidates?
Orthokeratology is effective on nearsighted and astigmatic patients. Ideally, your prescription should be under -6.00 with no more than -1.75 diopters of cornea astigmatism. In some cases we can attempt higher prescriptions if the cornea condition allows. Studies from around the world have indicated that Ortho-K can keep children’s nearsightedness from getting worse. Your child is an especially good candidate if they have a tendency to lose or abuse their glasses, or if wearing them interferes with their active life.
What measurements are needed for OK fitting?
- your initial prescription;
- topographical maps of your eye’s surface
- tear quality and quantity
How long does it take for maximum Ortho-K effect?
This depends on many factors, especially the amount of nearsightedness (and possibly astigmatism) you have when you begin the Ortho-k process. Some people can have excellent vision after a day or two of overnight Ortho-k. But for higher prescriptions it can take two weeks or longer for maximum correction.
Can I have LASIK after Ortho-K?
Yes, it’s possible to have LASIK after Ortho-k if you later desire vision surgery to permanently correct your eyesight. But you will have to stop wearing the lenses and wait a period of time before surgery to allow your corneas to fully revert to their pre-Orthokeratology shape.