What is Orthokeratology?

picture of a woman

What is Orthokeratology?

picture of a woman with glasses

What is Orthokeratology?

picture of a man with glasses

What is Orthokeratology?

picture of a man with glasses

The way in which eye conditions can now be treated is continuing to evolve to offer patients the greatest convenience, patient experience, and success. Orthokeratology is an innovative new technique that is being used both to treat refractive eye conditions that would normally require the patient to wear glasses or contact lenses and to slow the progression of myopia – the most common refractive eye error. You may also hear of this treatment being referred to as ortho-k. 

How does orthokeratology work?

Orthokeratology refers to the use of bespoke gas-permeable contact lenses which are worn by the patient overnight. Whilst you are sleeping, the slight pressure of the contact lenses along with the movement of tear film across your eyes changes the cornea so that it is more regular in shape. This enables light to pass through it and be refracted onto the retina correctly, ensuring that the message that is sent to the brain via the optic nerve at the back of the eye can be interpreted correctly. As a result, the patient can see clearly without corrective lenses. Since the cornea can retain its shape for a number of hours the next day, the patient can remove their orthokeratology lenses the next morning and go about their usual activities without using prescription glasses or contact lenses.

What issues can orthokeratology be used to treat?

Orthokeratology can be used to treat:

  • Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, this is where patients can see objects close by clearly, but those that are further away appear blurred. 

  • Hyperopia: also known as farsightedness, this is the opposite of myopia and nearby objects appear blurred whilst ones further away are clearer to see. 

  • Astigmatism: this occurs when the eyeball grows too long or the curve of the eyeball is abnormal, leading to blurred vision at all distances. 

  • Presbyopia: this is a refractive error that occurs with advancing age as a result of the hardening of the natural lens of the eye. 

What are the benefits of orthokeratology?

There is a wide range of benefits associated with orthokeratology that are making it an increasingly popular choice amongst patients who are unhappy with the compromises that need to be made when wearing glasses or contact lenses, and who don’t want to explore permanent laser vision correction. 

  • The treatment is non-surgical, meaning there is no permanent change to your vision and the effects can be reversed simply by ceasing to wear the lenses. 

  • The lenses are bespoke, made specifically for each patient which ensures the success of the treatment and the comfort of the lenses. 

  • The effects of orthokeratology are progressive, which means that you will need to wear your lenses continuously to achieve full improvement in your vision. However, by continuing to wear them nightly, you will be able to see clearly for an entire day without glasses or contact lenses. 

  • It is an ideal solution for patients who do not want to undergo laser vision correction, or who are found to be unsuitable candidates for the treatment. 

  • With orthokeratology, patient vision often becomes better than can be achieved by wearing glasses.

  • The vast majority of patients can be approved as candidates for orthokeratology. 

In addition to these benefits, orthokeratology has also been proven to be an effective way at slowing and even halting the progression of childhood myopia. This is something that could prevent your child from experiencing complications as a result of high myopia in the future. 

If you would like to find out more about orthokeratology, or if you would like to speak to us to discuss your candidacy for this treatment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at (310) 796-5665. 

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