An alternative to glasses, contact lenses and laser eye surgery. Using rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight to reduce or eliminate your absolute dependency on glasses and contact lenses during the day.
What is Orthokeratology?
Ortho-K is a procedure which uses oxygen permeable contact lenses to produce a reduction in myopia by redistributing the surface cells of your eye while you sleep. Much like braces reposition your teeth, the redistribution of cells is accomplished by using hydraulic forces under the contact lens. The contact lens does not apply direct pressure to your eye. It is a safe, non-surgical, reversible, modifiable alternative to laser eye surgery and does not require medications.
How does Orthokeratology work?
The front surface of an eye is called the cornea. The cornea is like a watch crystal in that it is transparent and very strong. The cornea is about 1/2mm (555 microns) thick, has five layers and is mostly made of water. The corneal curvature is responsible for about 60% of the light bending (refractive) power of your eye. As the Ortho-K lens is worn while you sleep at night, up to 15 microns of surface cells are precisely redistributed to create a small change in corneal curvature which results in a large change in the focusing of light inside the eye. Laser surgery permanently vaporizes about 40 microns of corneal tissue for the same amount correction.
Who is a good candidate for Ortho-K?
Good candidates for Ortho-K are near sighted persons with healthy eyes and no prior history of significant ocular disease or injury.
What about children?
Children who wear gas permeable lenses have a slower rate of progression of their myopia than do children who wear glasses. People who wear soft contact lenses have the highest rate progression of their myopia.
What is a realistic outcome?
A realistic outcome is one which provides functional vision and freedom from the absolute dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Happy patients are able to wake up in comfort, lubricate and remove their lenses with ease, see the soap in the shower, read, drive a car and participate in sports without the need for eye wear. The effect will last throughout the day. In exceptional cases some people might require a weak pair of glasses for driving at night in the rain or going to the movies. Persons over the age of 40 will still need reading glasses.
Range of treatment
Myopia up to -4.00 diopters
Astigmatism up to -1.00 diopter
Advantages of Orthokeratology
- reversible, modifiable and painless
- only acts on the surface cells of an eye
- longer history than laser surgery- safely used since 1962. – a painless, non surgical, non invasive procedure-unlike laser surgery there is no cutting or surgical removal of corneal tissue
- may stabilize or reduce the rate of myopic progression
- lower cost compared to laser surgery
Disadvantages of Orthokeratology
- reversible – only effective when you continue to use the lenses as prescribed.
- retainer lenses need to be worn at least every other night to maintain the effect.
The rate and amount of improvement varies from one person to the next. You must be prepared to follow instructions to obtain the best results.
How predicable is Orthokeratology? A predictable outcome is achieved using sophisticated computer soft ware and corneal topography to analyze 15,000 points of data (which describe the hills and valleys on the surface on your eyes). Because each lens is custom made for each eye, the mathematics must yield a greater than 95% certainty of success before a lens is ordered.
If you are dissatisfied by 30 days we will refund the cost of your lens but not the professional service fees.
Alternatives to Orthokeratology:
- daily wear contact lenses
- extended wear contact lenses
- laser eye surgery
How long does it take?
You will notice an immediate effect after your first night of wear. The effect will last all day long within days of starting treatment. After three months most patients only sleep with a lens on every other night.
During the first days you may experience a minor amount of variable vision, glare/flare and blur.
Why overnight wear?
Overnight wear allows for a greater effect in a shorter period of time. The lenses are comfortable because you don’t blink when you sleep. If you don’t blink you won’t feel the lenses. The oxygen permeable lenses are FDA approved safe to sleep with on your eye because they stay clean and breath better than most extended wear soft contact lenses.
What Are The Risks?
- Infection – an unlikely event and no greater than with other contact lenses. Your risk to infection is proportional to your hygiene.
- Irregular Astigmatism – extremely rare and completely reversible.
- Overcorrection/undercorrection – all treatments can be modified or reversed.
- Regression – you may lose some effect by the end of the day during the first few days. After that, the effects will last all waking hours for as long as you wear the lens as prescribed.
- Light Sensitivity – may occur during the first few days of treatment
- Contact Lens Intolerance – not usually a problem since you wear the lens with your eyes closed.
- Halos/Glare – transitory. More likely to be seen with light coloured eyes with large pupils at night. The effect is completely reversible.
- Reduced Contrast Sensitivity – a rarely reported reduced ability to discern between “shades of gray”. The effect is completely reversible.
What is my first step?
Your first step in to have a comprehensive eye examination. Following that examination your optometrist would be able to tell you whether or not you would benefit from this procedure and what your probable outcome could be. This is achieved through the use of advanced corneal topography to determine the probability of our being able to generate a lens which would precisely match the unique contours of your eye. Sophisticated software if used to determine the exact amount of corneal shaping possible.