How does Ortho-K work to correct nearsightedness? Learn all about this nonsurgical solution.
How does Ortho-K work for myopia patients? For decades, the only options to correct nearsightedness have been glasses, contacts, and laser eye surgery. However, a game-changing treatment is now available. It’s called orthokeratology (Ortho-K for short). If you’re tired of wearing corrective lenses but concerned about surgery, this may be the best option for you. Here’s how it works:
Those with nearsightedness, or myopia, struggle to see objects that are far away. Many children learn they need glasses when they can’t read the blackboard at school. Adults may require corrective lenses to drive a car. Optometrists often prescribe glasses or contacts to correct a patient’s vision. Others may turn to Lasik or another form of laser eye surgery to permanently alter the shape of the cornea.
What causes myopia? Nearsightedness occurs whenever the eyeball is too long. The shape of the eye directly relates to how the cornea processes and reflects light. In some instances, the patient may also have a misshaped cornea, known as astigmatism.
Nearsightedness is often genetic. If a parent wears glasses, there is a high probability that their child will also need corrective lenses. While the condition usually stabilizes as a person gets older, some patients will need a stronger prescription every year.
Reshape Your Cornea While You Sleep
Imagine being able to see clearly without wearing glasses or undergoing surgery. Ortho-K makes this a possibility. This groundbreaking treatment reshapes a patient’s cornea while they sleep. Yes, you read that correctly. You can improve your vision while getting your beauty rest every night!
An optometrist will prescribe you a special pair of gas permeable contact lenses. Since no two eyes are the same, your doctor will use a corneal topographer to map out the exact shape and size of your cornea. This step will ensure a comfortable fit.
When you go to bed, the Ortho-K lenses begin to work their magic. They slowly reshape your cornea to help your eyes focus light better. Did you know that your cornea is super flexible? While wearing these special lenses, your cornea will mold into the desired shape. When you wake up, you’ll be able to see far away without putting on your glasses. Imagine having 20/20 vision for the first time in your life!
Not a Permanent Solution
Like glasses and contacts, Ortho-K is not a permanent solution for myopia—only laser eye surgery provides lasting results. The results you achieve are reversible, and if you forget to wear your overnight lenses, your vision will return to baseline within a day or two. That’s why it’s so important to adhere to a strict schedule.
However, it only takes a few days to experience great results. Most patients stop wearing their regular glasses or contacts within the first week of treatment. And as long as you remember to put in your Ortho-K lenses every night, you may never need your glasses again.
Are You an Ideal Candidate?
It may surprise you learn that most nearsighted patients can benefit from Ortho-K lenses. After all, this low-risk, non-invasive treatment may seem too good to be true. You may want to ask your optometrist about Ortho-K if:
- You’re older than 40 and also need to wear glasses for reading.
- You lead an active life or play contact sports, and glasses or contacts get in the way.
- You suffer from allergies that prohibit you from wearing traditional contacts.
- You don’t want to wear glasses but are nervous about the risks of laser surgery.
- You have a child who is at risk for degenerative myopia.
- You’re tired of wearing thicker glasses every year.
Most candidates can wear their Ortho-K lenses without any problems. Eye infection is the most common side-effect, which mainly occurs in children. Properly washing your hands and storing your lenses reduces this risk.
Ask an Expert about Ortho-K
Only a licensed eye doctor can prescribe Ortho-K lenses. The team at Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses wants to make sure every member of your family can see clearly. Our clinic offers a full range of eye care services for people of all ages. In addition to glasses, contacts, and Lasik, we also prescribe Ortho-K to qualified patients. After a thorough examination, you’ll be ready to begin treatment right away.
If glasses or contacts control your life, we can offer a better solution. With our help, you’ll be able to read the eye chart better than ever. How does Ortho-K work for the average patient? Schedule an appointment with Eyes of NM Family Optometry and Contact Lenses to learn how you’ll benefit from this innovative treatment.