What Is Orthokeratology?

What Is Orthokeratology?

Simply put, Orthokeratology, or ortho-k as its commonly known, is a process whereby using contact lenses the cornea is temporarily reshaped to improve vision. Most ortho-k lenses are worn at night only meaning you can go prescription free during the day. The vision improvements are reversible however but they can be maintained by wearing the ortho-k lenses consistently.

Am I Suitable For Ortho-k Lenses?

Ortho-k is perfect for people who don’t want surgery but like to ditch the glasses or leave their contact lenses at home during the day.

Orthokeratology is mainly used to correct myopia. Myopia, mostly referred to as being short-sighted or near-sighted, is an eye disorder where the light focuses on the front of the retina instead of on it. People affected by Myopia see distant objects as being blurry while close objects appear as normal.

Orthokeratology is fantastic for children with Myopia and has been proven to dramatically slow down or even virtually stop the progression of short-sightedness. This also has the added benefit of reducing the risk of developing associated problems such as cataracts, myopic macular degeneration, glaucoma or retinal detachment in adulthood.

Ortho K lenses are also great for allergy sufferers, allowing for glasses-free vision during hay fever season, sports players and dry eye sufferers.

How Does Ortho-k Work?

Ortho-k lenses have been designed to float on top of the eye’s tear film and apply gentle hydraulic pressure to the front layer of the cornea. The cornea is a transparent dome-shaped layer at the front of the eye which focuses light onto the retina and is mainly responsible for the eye’s ability to focus.

In most cases, your optician will map the surface of your cornea using a corneal topographer which will allow them to create a bespoke lens tailor-made for your eye. These special lenses then work by flattening the centre of the cornea which in effect alters how light is bent as it enters the eye. The ortho-k overnight lenses are rigid, gas permeable lenses meaning they are strong enough to reshape the cornea but also allow oxygen to pass through, keeping your eyes healthy. Fun fact, the cornea is actually the only part of the human body that has no blood supply and has to get oxygen directly from the air. It is the fasting healing tissue in the body and corneal abrasions can fully heal in a single day!

When the ortho-k lenses are removed in the morning the cornea will remain flattened for the rest of the day and your vision will be corrected without having to wear any glasses or contact lenses. However, you will need to wear the ortho-k lenses every night or else your eyes will slowly go back to their original shape and you will experience vision issues once again.

How Can I Find Out More?

If you are interested in learning more about Orthokeratology and ortho k lenses please book a free consultation with one of our friendly, local experts who will be happy to provide all the information you need. They will be able to discuss your individual requirements and also let you know if you are an ideal candidate for these overnight correction contact lenses.