What Is Ortho-K?

8 Oct 2014

Orthokeratology (or Ortho-K for short) is a clinical technique to reshape your cornea with a specialty contact lens whilst your sleep. But what does this mean? Well it means you don’t have to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day, giving you closest simulation to perfect vision without requiring surgery!


What’s involved?


An initial consultation is required to assess your suitability – we check three aspects:


  • We ensure there is no underlying ocular health issue.

  • Check your prescription to ensure it’s in the suitable range.

  • Conduct corneal topography to see if your cornea is the right shape for Ortho-K.


If you’re a candidate, we’ll book you in for an Ortho-k fitting. Depending on your prescription, you could be seeing clearly without glasses in as little as 3-4 days!


How does it actually work?


An Ortho-K contact lens reshapes the very top layer of the cornea. The cornea is the clear film over the coloured part of your eye and it makes up approx. 70% of the power of the eye. Therefore, any change in the corneal shape has a big impact on the overall power of the eye. The very top layer, called the corneal epithelium, can be moved around and that’s essentially what an Ortho-K lens does – moves it around so the shape of the cornea coincides with your prescription. The theory is simple but requires accurate corneal topography and specialised Ortho-K lenses to get predictable and sustainable results.


Moving the corneal epithelial cells is non-permanent. In other words, if you leave your Ortho-K lenses out for 2-3 days, the epithelial cells start to migrate back to their original location. By about day 7 everything will be back to how it was before you started Ortho-K.


What are some of the advantages of Ortho-K?


No glasses or contact lenses during the day means unrestricted vision for your active lifestyle. Imagine what it would be like to go surfing or swimming and not worry about your contact lenses falling out!


Apart from the obvious vision improvements, Ortho-K actually slows the rate of myopia (short-sightedness) progression. Particularly worrisome in children and young teens, myopia can progress quite quickly depending on environmental and genetic factors.


And what about dry eye issues with conventional contact lenses – do you find that your eyes are red, dry and tired and the end of the day? Are you sick of using lots of eye lubricating drops with your contacts? Well Ortho-K has none of those problems – your lenses are in when your eyes are closed so no dry eye issues!


What now?


Come in for your free assessment or read more and we’ll start you on the road that leads to freedom from glasses.



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