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What is OrthoK Lens?

Orthokeratology (also known as OrthoK) is a safe, non-surgical contact lens treatment that sculpts the front of the eye resulting in clear vision. OrthoK lenses are worn overnight every night and removed in the morning. OrthoK allows you to enjoy a whole day of clear vision without wearing your glasses or contact lenses. These contact lenses work well for both children and adults. However, it is more commonly used in children for its well-researched benefit in slowing down the progression of myopia (short-sightedness).

How does OrthoK lens work?

The clear layer at the front of our eyes is called the cornea. The cornea focuses light onto the retina at the back of our eyes to allow us to see clearly. When your cornea is unable to focus light on the back of your eye accurately, you require glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. OrthoK contact lenses work by reshaping your cornea temporarily so that light can focus accurately onto the back of your eye without the need for glasses. You can think of the OrthoK lens as a customised mould with the ideal shape for your cornea in each eye. When you wear OrthoK lenses on your eyes, the lenses gently reshape your cornea while you are sleeping. In the morning you remove the OrthoK lenses and clear vision is achieved. As the cornea is soft and changes shape easily like jelly, wearing the OrthoK lenses every night is important in order to maintain clear vision.

Who can wear OrthoK lenses?

OrthoK lenses are a safe and effective option for both children and adults. The lenses allow clear and comfortable vision throughout the day without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses. This is especially favourable for people who have an active lifestyle and or play a lot of water sports.

 In addition, OrthoK is an evidence-based tool that slows down the increase of myopia (short-sightedness) in children. Over the last 40 years, research into OrthoK lenses has found that the use of OrthoK lenses reduces the increase in short-sightedness in children and adolescents by up to 50%. It is one of the most effective methods to control short-sightedness globally. 

A comprehensive eye examination will determine whether OrthoK will be a suitable option for vision correction for your eyes. Factors such as the shape of your cornea and your spectacle prescription will influence whether OrthoK will achieve the desired outcome of clear daytime vision. Your optometrist will be able to measure these variables and advise if OrthoK is suitable for you.

At what age can a child start wearing OrthoK lenses?

OrthoK is an overnight-wear rigid contact lens and it requires a reasonable level of care to keep the lenses clean and handled appropriately. Therefore, the selection of the age of a child to commence wear of OrthoK lenses depends on the child’s level of maturity and hand coordination skills. In our practice, we tend to recommend  OrthoK for children who are 8 years and older.

Is OrthoK lens wear safe? 

It is well-established from research that OrthoK lenses are safe for both children and adults provided that: 

  • The OrthoK lenses are correctly and safely fitted. In our clinic, we have optometrists who have completed specialised contact lens training to ensure the OrthoK lenses are fitted appropriately. 
  • The OrthoK lenses are being handled and cleaned correctly. At Bayside Eyecare, our friendly optometrist will make sure you are comfortable with the insertion and removal of your contact lenses before we send you home with them. We will also provide clear and detailed instructions on how to clean and take care of your OrthoK lenses.
  • You are returning to the follow-up appointments as required. 

Occasionally irritation, injury and infection might happen with any type of contact lens including OrthoK lenses. Our optometrists are capable of treating and managing most of the possible complications of wearing contact lenses.

How much does OrthoK cost?

OrthoK costs vary depending on the lens design required to achieve the optimal fit for your cornea shape. Once our optometrist has taken a number of measurements at your initial assessment they will be able to advise whether you are likely to achieve clear vision with OrthoK treatment and also the cost for OrthoK lenses suitable for your eyes.

Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about Ortho K lenses, give us a call at (03) 9596 1238 or complete the form below: