How does Ortho-K work and Who is it for?
Orthokeratology is an innovative way of slowing down a child’s nearsightedness. Basically, the child or adult sleeps in a rigid contact lens, and in the morning the patient will remove the contact lens, and see clearly for the rest of the day. This procedure is repeated every night.
Orthokeratology contact lenses reshapes the cornea while the patient sleeps. The contact lenses apply a gentle amount of pressure that reshapes the cornea surface. As a result of the cornea changing shape, the patient’s prescription will be corrected and eyeglasses or contact lenses will not be needed for that day.
The process of orthokeratology is not 100% understood. However, it seems that the orthokeratology contact lenses prevent the cornea from changing shape and as a result, will slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness).
What makes orthokeratology exciting is the fact that a child can go to school eyeglass or contact lens free. In addition, it gives the doctor and parent a way of slowing down the amount of nearsightedness and the child’s vision can hopefully stabilize at an earlier age.
The patient’s vision upon removal of the contact lenses should be the equivalent as their vision is with their conventional contact lens. More importantly, over the next several years, we usually notice that the prescription has decreased slightly or has not changed at all. This statement cannot be said with eyeglasses or conventional soft contact lenses which usually increase 25% a year.
Read some of our Ortho-K Success Stories Here
Patients are usually delighted to know that they do not have to rely on eyeglasses or regular soft contact lenses in order to see clearly. They like the ability to see without anything in their eyes during the day. The orthokeratology patient is no longer concerned that their soft contact lenses are bothering them, or that their eyeglasses are cumbersome. The orthokeratology patient (and or the parent) is thrilled after their yearly exams when I state that the prescription has not changed and their vision is stable.
Orthokeratology is not for everyone especially if you have a very strong prescription, or have corneal disease (example keratoconus) Good candidates are children, previous contact lens drop outs due to poor comfort with conventional soft contact lenses, those who play sports or other hobbies that require optimal vision but can’t wear contact lenses or eyeglasses. Also, those individuals who want to keep their prescription as low as possible in order to have LASIK in the future, are ideal candidates.
Contact us today to make an appointment for Ortho-K with Dr. Galan.