Ortho-K and myopia (short sight) control
What is Ortho-K?
Ortho-Keratology, or Ortho-K, is a technique using custom-designed contact lenses which work by flattening the central cornea during overnight wear by causing cells to migrate outwards during the night. These lenses are manufactured based on the minutest of details of the corneal shape gathered by our state-of-the-art corneal topographer, using the most advanced software available on the market. After the first few night’s wear, the effect lasts throughout the day, providing clear vision during the day.
Is it safe?
In general, wearing lenses overnight is not advised as the incidence of eye infections is far greater. However, with Ortho-K you remove the lenses in the morning, allowing your eyes to make a full recovery during the waking hours. Hence the risk of eye infection is minimal, and the eyes often look healthier than if you had been wearing contacts all day.
Are the effects lasting?
If you cease to wear your lenses, your cornea quickly returns to its natural shape, meaning the effect is fully reversible
(unlike laser surgery).
Ortho-K and Myopia Control
All around the world, vision scientists are trying to find solutions to slow progression of short sight (myopia). There is very compelling evidence that Ortho-K not only reshapes the cornea, but has the effect of slowing the growth of the eye by 50% or more! It is one of the most exciting developments in myopia control in recent history. It means that if you wear Ortho-K lenses for 5 years and then stop wearing them, your eyes would be far less myopic than if you had persisted with spectacles. There is some evidence that some types of soft multifocal contact lenses can also slow myopic progression, but the evidence is less compelling.
Keratoconus is a relatively common condition, where as a result of weakness in the cornea (the main focusing lens at the front of the eye), the cornea bulges outwards. This gives rise to distortions in vision which often cannot be satisfactorily eliminated with traditional spectacle solutions (spherical or cylindrical lenses). Contact lenses provide far better visual acuity in the majority of cases.
Keratoconus can present in many different variations, and there are multiple designs of Contact Lenses in order to cater for the full range of presentations. These start from custom soft contact lenses for mild cases, to rigid lenses of varying diameters, including large scleral lenses.
Our optometrists will endeavour to find the best solution, from the perspective of vision, comfort and eye health unique to each patient. They will draw upon years of experience fitting keratoconic patients with customised contact lenses , and with the assistance of state-of-the-art corneal mapping technology.
Most High Street optometrists may see a couple of keratoconus patients a year, while here at Milton’s we have specialized in this condition and we see patients with keratoconus virtually every day.