What is orthokeratology?
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Orthokeratology is a complex process with the sole purpose of reshaping the contour of the cornea to reduce myopia. Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a common condition. The patients who suffer from it can clearly see things that are in front of them, but can’t focus in on distant objects. What this procedure does for these patients is utilise special GP contact lenses to change a person’s cornea and hinder the further development of myopia. Some more recent developments in medicine have lead to the appearance of ortho-k procedures which can help people who suffer from presbyopia as well.
What does the process look like?
Once your ophthalmologist is certain that you fulfil all the requirements for an ortho-k procedure, he will prescribe you a pair of specially designed GP lenses. You will have to wear them every day during the evening hours. If you are being treated for myopia, you will start noticing significant improvements and your nearsightedness will gradually decrease. On the other hand, this also means that you will have to buy soft lenses to wear during the day because your vision will be changing at a faster rate. After your ortho-k treatment is over you will be able to see perfectly during the day without wearing any corrective lenses, keeping in mind to put GP lenses on during the evening hours. However, don’t forget to have regular appointments with your ophthalmologist so that you can monitor your progress. The best way to improve your vision and get quality care is to get advice from a professional, and we strongly recommend opting for an optometrist in Sydney.
How long does it last?
The duration of the effect of wearing corrective ortho-k lenses can vary a lot depending on the patient and the frequency of use. If you want to experience the benefits of having 20/20 vision during the day without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, we recommend wearing ortho-k lenses every night. Additionally, if you choose to take a break for a day and not wear them, then the benefits can last up to 3 days. It is also very important to note that some patients who want to have LASIK eye surgery can do so even if they had an ortho-k. Doctors usually advise their patients who wish to do so to postpone the surgery for a period of no less than a month, because ortho-k reshapes the corneas. This means that any additional use of ortho-k lenses must be stopped before undergoing a LASIK surgery.
Ortho-k, apart from being used for myopia and hyperopia correction, is also used for treating astigmatism. Astigmatism is a defect in the eye, or typically a deviation in the lens, which prevents light rays from meeting at a common focus point. This causes the person to see objects more curved than they actually are. Thanks to ortho-k, and the fact that astigmatism is directly linked to defects in the cornea, a person can be safely treated.
Apart from opting for an ortho-k procedure you can try going for some other myopia preventive treatments. The most popular ones that have shown significant improvements towards reducing myopia in patients are atropine eye drops, multifocal contact lenses and multifocal eyeglasses. Atropine eye drops are prescribed by your ophthalmologist and have to be used with caution. Some more practical solutions that can also be implemented include walks through parks, forests and abstaining from staring at screens.
Children are the most vulnerable because they play video games for hours each day, which makes them extremely susceptible to myopia. Studies have shown that children start developing this condition from the moment they start going to school. Their argument was that the developing eyes of children function better when they are exposed to more peripheral stimuli than central vision. It was reported that the children with myopic parents are less likely to develop myopia if they frequently spend time outside.
As we can see, opting for orthokeratology can help both children and adults treat issues related to their vision with ease. If you are struggling with the same problem, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist today and schedule your first ortho-k.
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