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Ortho-K and Corneal Refractive Therapy: Overnight Contacts to Correct Myopia

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What is Ortho-K

Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is the fitting of specially designed gas permeable Contact Lenses that you wear overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses gently reshape the surface of the front of your eye (Cornea) so you can see clearly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake up.

Optometrists prescribe ortho-k lenses for two purposes:

  • To correct refractive errors (primarily short sightedness (Myopia) , but also astigmatism and longsigtedness). In some cases, ortho-k is also used to correct presbyopia .

  • To slow the progression of childhood shortsightedness.

Who is a good Candidate

Most people with mild to moderate short sightedness (with or without mild astigmatism) are good candidates for ortho-k.
Because the corneal reshaping effect is temporary, little risk is involved, and you can discontinue wearing the lenses at any time — provided you are willing to start wearing glasses or contacts again when your myopia returns.
Children and young adults who want to be glasses-free but are too young for Laser Corrective Surgery or are not good candidates for refractive surgery for other reasons ( dry eyes, for example) often are good candidates for ortho-k.
People who participate in contact sports or work in dusty environments that can pose problems for contact lens wear can also be good candidates.

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What to expect when you begin ortho-k

Our Optometrists will begin by measuring the shape of your corneas using an instrument called a Corneal Topographer. This is a painless procedure that only takes a few minutes and produces a detailed map of your eye's surface.
Our Optometrists will use an in-office inventory of lenses for fitting your eyes with ortho-k lenses the same day corneal topography measurements are taken, or they may order custom ortho-k lenses for fitting at a later date.
You may need a series of temporary lenses to see clearly until you reach the desired prescription. In most cases, up to three pairs of lenses are required to achieve the maximum vision correction effect.
When you begin to wear ortho-k lenses, you will probably have some awareness of the lenses on your eyes until you fall asleep. Eventually, the lenses typically become more comfortable right after you put them in.

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