What You Need to Know About Orthokeratology

What You Need to Know About Orthokeratology

Jan 01, 2021

Orthokeratology in Mississauga, ON, uses specially designed contact lenses fitted on the eyes to restructure your cornea and improve vision temporarily. In dentistry, orthokeratology (ortho-k) lenses can be compared to orthodontic treatment’s dental braces.

Ortho-k lenses are mostly worn at night to reform your eye’s front surface during sleep. Note that vision changes are not permanent. They are reversible but are easily maintained if you keep wearing the lenses as prescribed.

Who Should Use Ortho-k?

Orthokeratology lenses are mostly recommended to people with myopia/ shortsightedness. Myopia is also easily corrected using eyeglasses, regular contact lenses, and Laser Eye Surgery (LASIK). Orthokeratology, however, is a sure way of remedying this defect for people who want to leave their sunglasses at home and those who don’t want to wear contact lenses continually.

At times, orthokeratology is also recommended for children. When children start using orthokeratology at an early age, their vision may continue to change through growth into their 20’s and adulthood.

There is slim evidence, though, if orthokeratology contacts can alter the advancement of myopia in children. LASIK and PRK are treatments not recommended for children until their vision stabilizes.

How Does Orthokeratology work?

Let’s start by defining that the cornea is a clear, dome-shaped space on the front surface of your eyes. Its purpose is to focus light into the eye retina and is usually more responsible for most of the eye focusing, as its tissues are quite flexible.

During an ortho-k treatment, your ophthalmologist takes measurements and a corneal surface map using a corneal topographer, a medical instrument. He then designs a lens specific to your eye. To create the lens, the cornea map is achieved by reflecting the light of the eye surface. There is no pain during this process as the machine never touches your eye.

You might be wondering how these lenses correct an optical defect. The lenses flatten the middle point of the cornea altering the bending of light at that point. That is why most ortho-k lenses are worn overnight to flatten the surface without disturbance, the removed at daytime.

The night contact lenses are rigid and gas-permeable, and they are strong enough to restructure the cornea while allowing oxygen flow to ensure the eye remains healthy.

When you remove your ortho-k lenses during the day, the cornea is usually flattened, and vision is effectively corrected without the necessity for glasses. Once you stop wearing the lenses at night, gradually, the cornea gets back to its original shape, and the refractive defect comes back. To maintain the eye correction, ortho-k lenses have to be worn regularly.

What to Expect from Orthokeratology

It takes up to two weeks to obtain a maximum eye correction from orthokeratology lenses. Some people, however, attain a significant vision correction within days of usage.

Others will require a series of ortho-k lenses to reach their maximum vision as prescribed by the Complete Eyecare dentist. On average, only three pairs of ortho-k lenses are needed, one immediately after the other, to revel in the best eye correction. Once the peak correction is achieved, you will only use one set of lenses for the rest of the time to maintain the correction.

Most people will continue to feel the contact lenses on their eyes before falling asleep until they get used to them. With time, ortho-k lenses become more comfortable. After achieving the cornea’s desired curve, you will continue to use a retainer set of lenses as your ophthalmologist prescribes.

Is Orthokeratology Safe?

Orthokeratology in Mississauga, CA, is a safe eye correction option. However, treatment is continuously associated with the risk of microbial keratitis—this risk mostly involves children and young adolescents who are less careful to maintain contact lenses hygiene.

A good number of Americans who report eye infections each year are usually from contact lenses. This is because one has to touch their eyes when putting on the contact lenses. Eye infections can have adverse consequences, including a life-long impaired vision.

The Mississauga optometrist points out that eyeglasses may be a better option for correcting a defect similar to contact lenses. This is among the reasons you need to consult with an ophthalmologist before settling on ortho-k as an option.

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