Ortho-k: The LASIK Alternative for All Ages
Orthokeratology is a non-surgical method to correct eyesight by wearing specialized contact lenses at night. The process is also known as as ortho k, corneal refractive therapy (CRT), and vision shaping treatment (VST). These overnight contact lenses are worn only while sleeping and removed upon awakening – leaving you with crystal-clear vision even after you take out your ortho-k lenses! For many people who are tired of bothering with eyeglasses and daytime contacts (and laser refractive surgery is not a suitable solution) orthokeratology is a dream come true.
How Does Ortho k Work?
As a non-surgical vision correction, ortho k is a simple, non-invasive procedure that involves inserting customized rigid gas permeable contact lenses before bedtime. As you doze, these lenses will reshape your cornea gently to correct any refractive error, thereby resolving your nearsightedness (myopia). Upon awakening, you just remove the lenses to see clearly without any need for prescription eyeglasses or daytime contact lenses. However, because the effects of orthokeratology are temporary and only last a few days, you must insert the lenses nightly in order to maintain your sharp vision.
Is Ortho-k Right for Me?
In general, if your eyes are healthy and you have mild to moderate myopia, ortho-k can be an effective and suitable option for people of all ages. This is mainly because this non-surgical vision correction can be discontinued at any time, with no permanent effects to your eyes. Anyone who plays sports or works in a dusty, dry environment will also appreciate the benefits of crisp eyesight with no bothersome eyewear.
Ortho-k is considered safe for children above five years old. It is also a viable option for people who do not qualify for refractive surgery and need a LASIK alternative. However, the best ortho-k results are typically experienced by people with a lens power less than -6.00 diopters and astigmatism less than -1.75 diopters.
To find out if you are a good candidate for orthokeratology, schedule an eye exam in our clinic, located in 6510 Hillcroft Street Suite 300, Houston TX.
Is Orthokeratology Safe?
Ortho-k lenses are approved by the FDA and considered safe to wear as overnight contact lenses for vision shaping. Most people also find that they are very comfortable and don’t even sense that they are there. As for side effects, some people experience glare or see halos and starbursts around lights – but these possible side effects are short-lived and usually dissipate after a few days of wearing ortho k.
Does Ortho-k Work for Myopia Control?
Recent studies have demonstrated how ortho-k contact lenses can suppress elongation and growth of the eye. In effect, this will slow or stop the progression of myopia in children. If your child wears eyeglasses or contact lenses and continually requires a more powerful vision prescription each year, ortho-k may be a recommended solution. Ask our eye doctors for more information about the benefits of ortho-k and myopia control for children.
Can You Undergo LASIK After Orthokeratology?
Yes, refractive surgeries such as LASIK are possible after treatment with ortho-k lenses. However, because ortho-k changes the shape of your cornea, you must stop wearing these specialized lenses for at least a few months before having the LASIK surgery. This gives your eyes time to return to their original shape. Our eye doctor will provide you with specific, personalized guidelines.
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