What Are Ortho-K Lenses? Here’s What You Should Know

What Are Ortho-K Lenses? Here’s What You Should Know

Jan 01, 2021

Imagine waking up in the morning and not needing to wear glasses or contact lenses. Even better, imagine not having to undergo eye surgery and kicking your dependency on glasses and contacts to the curb. Does it seem too far-fetched? Well, it’s not.

We have made leaps and bounds in eye care, and now our Vaughan optometrist offers ortho-k lenses in Vaughan, ON. These special lenses are designed to eliminate the need for contact lenses or even glasses so that you can see properly during the day.

Curious to know more about ortho-K lenses in Vaughan? We will unravel what they are all about.

Understanding Ortho-K

Unless you spend a lot of time seeking solutions for correcting eyesight, you might not have heard much about ortho-K. Orthokeratology, also known in short as ortho-K, is a non-surgical treatment for people who have been diagnosed with refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or myopia.

In a nutshell, orthokeratology employs specially designed contact lenses that can temporarily reshape your cornea so that your vision improves. Picture these lenses as the conventional orthodontic treatment. Similar to how braces move your teeth to align your bite, these lenses do the same with your cornea. This is why ortho-K lenses are also referred to as corneal reshaping contact lenses.

Typically, our optometrist will prescribe ortho-K to serve two primary purposes:

  • To slow the progression of nearsightedness or myopia in children
  • To correct specific refractive errors like myopia and astigmatism.

Typically, you will need to wear ortho-K contacts at night so that they can reshape your cornea while you are sleeping. However, the effects are not permanent. Therefore, you need to keep wearing the lenses every night to get the desired results.

Who Is the Right Candidate for Ortho-K Lenses?

In most scenarios, orthokeratology is used to correct mild to moderate myopia or nearsightedness. Even though myopia can be corrected by regular contact lenses, eyeglasses, PRK, or LASIK, this option provides an alternative solution. It is a surgery-free method of correcting your eyesight. It also gets rid of using eyeglasses or contact lenses during the daytime.

There are instances where our Vaughan optometrist may recommend them to correct your child’s vision. Since LASIK surgery and other vision correction surgeries are not recommended until your child’s vision is stable, ortho-K contacts become a viable option. This is because vision can keep on changing for some children, even into their 20s.

Also, if you work in an environment filled with dust or are involved in any form of contact sports that can pose challenges to contact lenses or glasses, you may be an excellent candidate for ortho-K lenses.

How Does Orthokeratology Work?

Your cornea is the part of the eye that is responsible for focusing light onto your retina. It is dome-shaped and clear, and the tissue is very flexible.

Typically, our optometrist will measure and map the surface of your cornea with a corneal topographer. The corneal topographer doesn’t touch your eye, so there is no pain during this procedure. After mapping, our optometrist will customize the lenses for your eye.

When the lenses are placed on your cornea, they flatten the center of the cornea. This changes how light enters your eye. These lenses are typically worn overnight so that they are more effective. The lenses are rigid and sturdy. Also, they are gas-permeable, which means that they can allow oxygen to pass through, keeping your eyes healthy.

When you remove the ortho-K lenses in the morning, your cornea stays flattened for some time, and your vision is corrected for a limited time. The moment you stop wearing them at night, your cornea goes back to its original shape, and the vision error returns. Therefore, regularly wearing them will ensure that your vision is corrected.

How Long Does the Effect Last?

After using ortho-k lenses, you can expect vision correction to last a day and at times two days. This is why you need to wear them regularly for maximum results.

If you would like to learn more about orthokeratology, contact our Vaughan optometrist at Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist, who would love to answer all your questions.

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