Orhtokeratology, or Ortho-K is the use of specifically designed and fitted hard contact lenses to temporarily re-shape the corneal surface to improve distance vision. It has been a great option for those who are nearsighted and want clear vision without the use of glasses, daytime contact lens wear or do not want to undergo refractive (Laser) surgery. Ortho-K lenses are worn at night and reshape the eye while you sleep. Vision improvements are only maintained as long as you continue to sleep with the lenses as directed.
Nearsighted or myopic individuals typically have a steeper cornea, this causes light not be properly focused on the retina resulting in distance blur. Ortho-K lenses rest just above the corneal surface on a thin layer of a tears. The lenses put pressure on this tear layer which then causes the central cornea to flatten. The now flatter cornea can now properly focus distance images clearly on the retina. While rigid enough to reshape the cornea, the lenses also allow oxygen to pass through keeping your eyes healthy overnight. When ortho-k lenses are removed in the morning the cornea stays flattened for a while and vision is corrected without the need for glasses. If you stop wearing the lenses at night, your eyes will eventually go back to their original shape and distance blur will return. You have to keep wearing the lenses regularly to keep the vision correction.
Until you get used to them, you may feel the lenses until you fall asleep. As treatment progresses, the lenses typically become much more comfortable. Proper lens hygiene is very important with children and adolescents who are treated with Ortho-K as there is a risk of infection with any contact lens wear.
It typically takes 1-10 days to obtain optimal results, Ortho-K is one of the best ways at reducing the eyes elongation, showing an average of 60% reduction in myopia. However, not everyone is a candidate for Ortho-K. You Optometrist will perform numerus measurements to determine ones candidacy