How Orthokeratology Can Help Correct Your Vision Problems

Orthokeratology, which is often referred to as Ortho-K, is a way of correcting your vision that is especially effective for people with myopia, or near-sightedness. The prefix “ortho” is from Greek, and means “to correct.” Like orthodontics uses braces or orthopedics uses inserts or bracing, orthokeratology uses a device to correct your vision a little at a time. 

Reshaping your cornea without surgery

Myopia is caused by an abnormality in the shape of your cornea. There are several ways to correct this problem. If you wear eyeglasses to correct your nearsightedness, the lenses are curved to change how the light enters your eye.

Contact lenses for nearsightedness work the same way as glasses, and surgeries like LASIK change the actual shape of your cornea.

Orthokeratology also reshapes your cornea, but not permanently like LASIK. There are many reasons you may not want to have surgery to correct your vision and orthokeratology may be a preferable way to correct your vision. 

It all happens while you sleep

Orthokeratology involves wearing specially-designed, rigid contact lenses while you sleep. The lenses slowly, gently reshape your cornea over time, so your vision is corrected without the use of glasses or contacts during the day.

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for the correction to happen, so you may need to continue to use glasses or contacts during the day as orthokeratology begins to work. 

It’s also important to note that orthokeratology doesn’t result in permanent change to the shape of your cornea. You’ll need to continue wearing special lenses at night, although not every night, in order to maintain your corrected vision. It’s quite similar to needing a retainer after your braces are removed. 

Vision correct designed for your eyes

When you come to Cooper Eye Care for orthokeratology, your doctor maps and measures your cornea with a device called a corneal topographer. This process is painless, and the results help your doctor see where your cornea needs to be reshaped.

While you sleep, the ortho-k lenses, which are rigid, press your cornea into a shape that corrects your vision. If you stop wearing them, your cornea will slowly return to its original shape. 

Are you a candidate? 

Orthokeratology often works well for athletes, as it removes the need for eyeglasses; it’s also useful for people who have progressive myopia — nearsightedness that worsens over time.

Results are generally better for people under the age of 40, and you must be willing to see your eye doctor regularly to make sure your ortho-k lenses are still appropriate for your eye.

Since your corrective lenses are rigid and fit your eye closely, it’s critical for you to make sure they’re cleaned properly daily. 

Orthokeratology has been used to correct mild to moderate myopia most often, but more recently lenses have been designed that can treat astigmatism, far-sightedness (hyperopia), and presbyopia. 

If you’d like to learn more about orthokeratology and find out if you may be a candidate, book an appointment at Cooper Eye Care today. You can book an appointment online at either of our two locations, or feel free to give us a call to schedule.  

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