The Orthokeratology Procedure
Correct Your Vision Without Pain
Orthokeratology is a non-surgical treatment that uses precise, specially shaped contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea in order to eliminate nearsightedness or myopia so that you can see better at distance without wearing eyeglasses or regular contact lenses throughout the day..
Most often the doctor will prescribe specially designed rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses that gradually alter the shape of the cornea and temporarily eliminate myopia.
It all began in the 1960s, when doctors realized that the hard contact lenses of the time caused a slight change in the shape of the cornea. They also noted that this flattening of the cornea reduced myopia. Patients would take their contacts off and be able to see much better for the rest of the day. By the next day, however, their vision would return to its normal state, and they needed to wear their contacts again. Over the course of the next decade, orthokeratology was developed.
Orthokeratology technology continues to improve, and the average duration of treatment is now one week, versus the twelve to eighteen months it used to take. Newer materials, similar to what rigid gas permeable lenses are made of, have led to the development of a new program called CRT, or Corneal Refractive Therapy.
The Orthokeratology Procedure
Orthokeratology involves first measuring the refraction of your eye, which tells the doctor the degree of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism you have. Next it will be necessary to map the shape of the front surface of the eye using an instrument called a corneal topographer. Based on this digital map of your eye, your eye doctor will determine the ideal shape of your cornea.
Then a series of special contacts are made according to your doctor’s exact specifications for your eyes. Initially they will be worn for about eight hours daily until the cornea is reshaped, proper correction is achieved, and your vision is improved.
Sometimes your doctor will actually prescribe a wearing schedule that allows you to only wear the lenses while you sleep. After that, the lenses may only need to be worn for a few hours a day for about three days a week to keep the cornea in the shape necessary for you to see clearly. The exact wearing schedule will depend on the correction your doctor thinks you need.
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