Ortho K Contact Lenses - Orthokeratology Explained

26th Apr 2023

If you are a contact lens wearer, you are no stranger to the reminder, “don’t fall asleep with your contact lenses in!”, but with Orthokeratology this is actually the point.

Orthokeratology, or Ortho K is a non-surgical procedure that involves the use of specialised contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea of the eye. This reshaping of the cornea helps to improve vision and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day.

Who can benefit from Ortho K Lenses?

Nearsightedness, also known as Myopia, is a common vision problem affecting many people worldwide. Myopia causes difficulty in seeing objects from afar, while objects up close appear clear. This vision condition occurs when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, leading to blurry distance vision. Myopia often develops in childhood, when the eye grows either too quickly or continues to grow into adulthood.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) lenses offer a promising solution for treating childhood myopia and nearsightedness while also benefiting individuals with hyperopia and astigmatism.

How do Ortho K Contact Lenses Work?

Ortho K works by using the principle of corneal molding. The contact lenses used in Ortho K are designed with a specific curvature that gently flattens the cornea of the eye while you sleep. This flattening effect corrects any refractive errors you may have, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. By reshaping the cornea, the lenses help to redirect light that enters the eye so that it focuses correctly on the retina, improving your vision.

Ortho K is a non-invasive and reversible procedure, which means that if you stop wearing the lenses, your cornea will return to its original shape and your vision will return to its previous state. The effects of Ortho K are not permanent, and you will need to continue wearing the lenses on a nightly basis to maintain the benefits.

The Benefits of Ortho K

One of the main benefits of Ortho K is that it can provide a safe and effective alternative to traditional contact lenses or glasses. Ortho K is particularly useful for people who engage in sports or other activities where glasses or contact lenses can be a hindrance. The lenses can also be useful for people who suffer from dry eyes, as they don't need to wear contact lenses during the day.

Another benefit of Ortho K is that it can slow down the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness, in children. Research has shown that Ortho K can help to reduce the progression of myopia by up to 45%, making it an effective treatment option for children who are at risk of developing more severe myopia.

Orthokeratology and Ortho K contact lenses can be an effective and safe way to improve vision and reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day. If you are interested in Ortho K, talk to your optometrist to see if it is a suitable option for you.