Myopia can be treated with the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses or through other treatments like LASIK and PRK.
Research suggests various ways to control the rate of progression of the condition. A few of these are the use of atropine eye drops, soft multifocal contact lenses, multifocal eyeglasses, and ortho K lenses.
What are Ortho K lenses?
Ortho K (orthokeratology) is also known as corneal reshaping. It involves the use of ortho k lenses, which are rigid special customized gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. These lenses work by gently reshaping the cornea (the transparent part of the front of the eye). This molding of the corneal curvature helps to adjust the refractive power of the eyes.
These lenses are used overnight every night or every other night depending on the prescription. The user can be lens-free and spectacle-free during the daytime. Although this is not a permanent solution, it can keep the user’s daytime vision clear. When they are taken off in the morning, the eye begins to gradually go back to its previous state. If unworn, the eye returns to its natural state in a few days.
How Do Ortho K Lenses Work?
When ortho k lenses are worn at night, they compress the corneal epithelium, causing a reduction in the thickness of the center of the cornea. This molds the cornea while not causing any harm to the epithelial cells and stromal tissue. When they are removed in the morning, the cornea starts on a gradual journey to regaining its natural shape instead of bouncing back quickly. The shape given by the lenses stays for a minimum of 12 to 15 hours and even 2 – 3 days in some cases. At night or on alternate nights, the lenses should be worn again to maintain the compressed shape of the cornea.
Are Ortho K Lenses Suitable For Everyone?
Ortho K lenses are one of the safest measures to control myopia progression rate. They can be safely used by children and the elderly from 7 years old to 70 years old.
Good candidates are those who are myopic but don’t have other eye complications. When you visit your Kirkland optometrist at Optical Images, we will perform all the necessary tests to check if you or your child are suitable for Orthok. The European Academy of Orthokeratology says that it is most effective for people with up to -6.00D myopia with astigmatism not exceeding -1.75D.
Sportsmen and people who are into water sports may find these beneficial as it would keep them lens-free in the daytime. Also, it is beneficial for kids who aim to slow or stop the progression of myopia.
If you like to know more about ortho k lenses, contact our optometrists in Seattle WA at Optical Images.
Advantages of Using Ortho K Lenses
- Corrective glasses or lenses not required during the day making them suitable for kids and sportsmen.
- No discomfort due to use of lenses during the day.
- Not painful
- Safe when the fit is good
- Effective - can reduce myopia progression by 55 to 100 percent
- Can be used by kids and elderly
- Can slow or stop myopia progression in kids.
- Can be used for people with eye diseases
Any Side Effects?
Side effects are similar to those with other contact lenses and refractive treatments. Some of them are:
- Corneal edema
- Visual distortions and aberrations
- Temporary discomfort, pain, irritation, redness, tearing
When a correct fit is achieved and the user is monitored, they should be quite safe. Report any problems or changes in your vision as soon as you notice them, they can be reversed within 3 days.
What Our Patients Say
Optical Images Serves the Following Areas: