How does Orthokeratology work and is it safe?
Orthokeratology is a wonderful technology to achieve great vision while slowing down myopia progression at the same time. My husband is an active orthokeratology user as well as my sister and both are very happy with the results.
Orthokeratology works by reshaping the front surface of the eye known as the cornea. It does so with a retainer lens that gently shapes the cornea while you sleep. The lenses are placed on the eye right before bedtime and when you awaken you remove the lenses. By reshaping the cornea to be flatter, light will be redirected to the back of your retina. Your cornea will retain its new shape throughout the day and you will have great vision without any glasses or daytime contact lenses.
Orthokeratology has been around for decades but the most recent designs are much more effective. Previously it would take months to have perfect vision. With our custom designs that we use at our office, many patients are able to achieve great vision within a couple of weeks. In the United States, it has been FDA approved for over a decade but other countries in Europe and Asia have been doing orthokeratology for much longer.
We take the safety of performing this service very seriously. After all, these are young children we are dealing with! However, we know with proper follow-up and training, our patients do very well. If this wasn’t the case, we certainly wouldn’t be fitting our own friends and family in this modality.
Just like with soft contact lenses, there is risk of eye infection that may occur with use. The safety of orthokeratology is similar to the safety of wearing soft contact lenses. However, with the proper cleaning regimen the risks are extremely minimal. You may hear varying reports questioning the effectiveness of orthokeratology from different eye doctors. Some of the uncertainty amongst other doctors has to do with reading false reports or outdated information from old technology. We recommend always doing your own research before deciding if orthokeratology is right for you.
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