What is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology (otherwise known as Ortho-K) is the non-surgical process that reshapes the cornea (the clear, protective outer layer of your eye) through wearing rigid contact lenses while you sleep. The aim of Ortho-K is to reshape the cornea so that you are able to see clearly without the aid of contact lenses or glasses during the day. This means clear vision when you are engaging in water sports, in class or out shopping with friends. Ortho-K has also been found to be highly successful at slowing down and managing the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children.
Keen to know what’s involved?
Getting fitted for Ortho-K lenses is a bit like buying a custom made suit or dress. It involves taking your precise measurements so that the product fits you perfectly. It requires a number of visits to make sure the product fits the way it is meant to. At the end of the process you will have a product that is tailored just to your needs
At your first consultation, our optometrist will determine your prescription and examine the health of your eyes. We will also generate a topographical map (a detailed map of the shape of the cornea), which is essential to enabling our optometrist to determine if Ortho-K is a suitable form of treatment for you.
The following appointment with the optometrist involves the fitting of diagnostic contact lenses. This allows our optometrist to determine the appropriate contact lens (corneal moulds) to proceed with initially. We will teach you how to insert and remove the moulds provided, and once you are confident and comfortable with the insertion and removal process, you will take the moulds home to be worn for an overnight trial.
Typically the optometrist will check your eye health, eye shape and vision a few more times after wearing the moulds in order to make sure the shape of the mould is perfect for your eye. Once we are confident that your corneal moulds are right for you we will finalise your prescription.
Are there any risks with Ortho K?
There is a small risk when any contact lens is worn. The risk associated with Ortho-K contact lenses is similar to other rigid contact lenses, in that the side effects can sometimes include pain, redness, irritation, discharge, abrasion of the eye or distortion of vision. These problems are usually temporary if the contact lens is removed promptly, and professional care is sought out. Our optometrists are available to discuss the risks of contact lens wear that are relevant to you .
How quickly will I see results?
In low levels of Myopia, Ortho-K can provide good vision almost immediately after the first overnight lens wear. In some cases, vision in the first two to four weeks may not be completely satisfactory for all day-to-day activities.
After the first month, excellent vision and comfort are normally maintained if the Ortho-K lenses are worn regularly overnight.