Ortho-K: everything you need to know


What is Orthokeratology?


Orthokeratology, commonly known as Ortho-K, involves gently reshaping the front surface of the eye (cornea) to correct your distance vision, which eliminates the need to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day.


How does it work?


An Ortho-K lens is a contact lens made specifically for you and is worn at night whilst you sleep. The lens reshapes the cornea whilst you sleep so that when you wake up, you can remove the Ortho-K lens and you will be able to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Your vision will remain clear throughout the day, giving you freedom from having to wear glasses or contact lenses.


Does it mean I won't have to wear contact lenses or glasses ever again?


Ortho-K can be compared to retainers, which are used by Orthodontists to straighten teeth. The main difference is that corneal reshaping is temporary, so if your customised Ortho-K contact lens is left out for several nights, the cornea will start to return to its original shape bringing your vision back to its original state. This has advantages over permanent corneal reshaping, such as refractive surgery, because your vision may change over time and Ortho-K will be able to adapt very quickly to that.


Ortho-K aims to achieve clear distance vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses during waking hours. In some cases, reading glasses may still be required but this will depend on the individual.


What are some of the benefits of Ortho-K?


  • No need to wear glasses or contact lenses during waking hours

  • Non-surgical, modifiable and reversible

  • Excellent for active individuals, who find normal contact lenses or glasses a hindrance.

  • Especially beneficial for people involved in water sports

  • Very good for people who have occupational demands where glasses and contact lenses are not suitable

  • Excellent for allergy or dry eye sufferers or people who have built up an intolerance to normal contact lens wear

  • Ortho-K is an excellent alternative to refractive surgery, with reduced risk, and at about quarter of the cost. Because it is reversible, it means that refractive surgery can still be an option later

  • Can reduce myopia (short sightedness) regression in children and teens


The History of Ortho-K


Ortho-K was first practiced in the US in the 1960's but the results were unpredictable. Developments in high oxygen permeable contact lens materials, the use of modern day corneal topographers, and development in software programs, has meant modern day Ortho-K practitioners have all the tools to provide a completely safe and predictable result for vision correction.


Many of the pioneers and innovations in Ortho-K have come from Australia placing us as a leader in this advanced procedure.


Who is suitable for Ortho-K?


  • Anyone from the age of 10-70

  • Primarily myopic (short sighted) individuals with a prescription between -0.75 to -5.00, with low levels of astigmatism

  • Ortho-K is not advised for those who have had previous corneal surgery, keratoconus or chronic corneal issues. Please discuss this with us so we can assess your suitability.


I'm interested in trying Ortho-K - what's the next step?


At Eyecare Plus Miami we will conduct an initial assessment appointment to assess suitability and provide you with further information. We use a computerised corneal topographer to assess the cornea and will also check your prescription. We will place an Ortho-K lens on your eye to assess fit. If the findings are suitable, your lenses will be ordered and your trial evaluation will be scheduled. Your initial assessment appointment is free.


How does the trial evaluation work?


Once your lenses arrive (which can take up to 2 weeks), you will undergo an overnight trial. In most cases, these lenses will be a perfect fit and your first week of Ortho-K will begin. You should experience a significant improvement in your sight after the first night of wearing your new lenses and after one week you will have consistent good vision during the day. After a while you may be able to even skip a night and wear the lenses every second night to maintain good vision during the day.


Contact us for your free consultation to see if Ortho-K would be suitable for you