Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is a way to improve your vision without wearing contact lenses or glasses during the day. At Family EyeCare Center, PC, in Pella, Iowa, skilled optometrist Kevin Jones, OD, offers ortho-k to both children and adults who can benefit from reshaping their cornea (and improving their vision) while asleep.
Ortho-k is a type of treatment that's typically prescribed for myopia. In this treatment, you wear custom-made contact lenses to reshape your corneas overnight. Then, you remove the lenses to enjoy clear vision for a day or two, possibly longer. Your corneas return to their normal shape after that time, so consistency is important if you want to maintain the benefits from ortho-k.
Ortho-k can be a great choice for nearsighted, farsighted, and astigmatic adults. There are even ortho-k lenses for presbyopia (age-related focusing power loss) and multiple prescriptions (multifocal). In children, ortho-k is mainly used for myopia, especially progressive myopia, because ortho-k might slow it down.
Generally, ortho-k works best for prescriptions in the range of +2.00 to -6.00, and surface astigmatism of -1.75 diopters maximum. But, Dr. Jones is very experienced with ortho-k, and he might sometimes prescribe this treatment for more severe vision problems, too.
Many patients who choose ortho-k were originally interested in permanent vision correction with laser surgery like laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). But, if you have thin corneas, cataracts, or certain health problems like diabetes, laser surgery might not be possible. In these cases, ortho-k can give you effective vision correction without wearing lenses during the day.
Yes, you can still see when wearing ortho-k lenses. Some patients insert their ortho-k lenses shortly before bedtime, and then fall asleep while watching television or reading, in fact.
Dr. Jones will recommend a replacement schedule for you. Generally, ortho-k lenses last for a year or longer as long as you take good care of them. Remember to bring your ortho-k lenses to your regular comprehensive eye exams so Dr. Jones can check them.
Ortho-k lenses cause temporary changes in your corneas. Your corneas gradually return to their original shape if you stop wearing the lenses, and your vision will return to its prior state as well. If you stop wearing your ortho-k lenses, you'll need to wear contact lenses or glasses during the day to see clearly.
Want to find out how ortho-k can help you? Call Family EyeCare Center to schedule a consultation today.