Orthokeratology, also known as ortho-k or corneal molding, is a specially designed oxygen permeable therapeutic, corneal retainer used in corneal refractive therapy. Corneal refractive therapy is a sophisticated, non-surgical process, which reshapes the cornea while you sleep. You remove the retainers when you awake and are able to go throughout the day without any other correction.
Contact lens corneal reshaping is not a new concept. Previous corneal reshaping designs were only as successful as technology allowed. Recent advancements in computerized corneal mapping, computerized manufacturing, and oxygen permeable contact lens materials have produced a therapeutic corneal retainer that is like no other. The FDA approved ortho-k in June 2002.
No. It’s temporary. If you stop wearing the retainers regularly while you sleep, your vision will return to its original state in as little as 72 hours.
Most patients have rapid improvement in the first few days of treatment and achieve nearly their optimum vision in 7 to 10 days; however, the higher the initial spectacle prescription before treatment, more time is sometimes needed to achieve desired visual outcome. Younger children often have a rapid response and achieve excellent vision within a few days!
Yes. Most wear soft contacts 12-16 hours a day but ortho-k retainers are worn 8 hours a night. Half the time! Ocular infection is a risk factor for any type of contact lens wear, including corneal retainers.
It’s important to understand that for a time after you have begun treatment, but before sufficient treatment is realized, your old glasses or contacts will no longer be the appropriate prescription. It may involve using temporary soft lenses in different prescriptions as an option. Dr. Vasilakos will discuss your options for visual correction during that transitional period of time.
Yes. One of the great features of the ortho-k lens is that if you have to get up in the middle of the night, you will be able to see where you are going.
The fee depends on the complexity of your prescription and the type of ortho-k retainer Dr. Vasilakos uses to fit each patient’s eyes. The cost for the first year ranges between $4-6 a day for the first year. Subsequent years have a daily cost of $2-3 a day. We offer Care Credit, or you may also consult want to consult with your employer about Flexible Spending Accounts.
No. Ortho-k is an elective procedure and not covered by insurance.
Generally speaking the ortho-k retainers will have to be replaced once a year.
No. Dr. Vasilakos has been successfully performed ortho-k on children 8 years old and older. It can be a great option for children and teens that are active in sports activities or any other extra-curricular activities. Those who are older and presbyopic (requiring reading glasses or bifocals) may still be candidates for ortho-k. They may correct their distance vision with CRT and wear near-vision reading glasses for close work. At the doctor’s discretion you may be fitted in a monovision mode (one eye corrected for near vision and one corrected for distance vision).
No. Initially, you will feel a lens awareness when eyes are open, but the lenses are designed to be worn during sleep. With eyes closed, the ortho-k retainers feel fine.
Yes. There are no recorded permanent corneal changes post-treatment.
All materials used for the ortho-k retainers have received FDA approval. There are some brands that have received approval but not every unique custom design.
Ortho-k lenses need to be worn every night to maintain clear vision thought the day. Since the one goal of ortho-k is to control myopia in children, a child may choose to wear them for several years, until they have reach adult. In general, it takes approximately 10 years for myopia to plateau from its start, so if a child acquired myopia at the age of 8, then at the age of 18 we would expect a halt of myopic progression. Dr. Vasilakos will discuss with each parent the goal of ortho-k with their child.
Ortho-k is different than wearing regular contact lenses. If you discontinue wear for one night, your vision may be impaired the next day. Previously worn glasses or contact lenses may not help. Immediate replacement is necessary! Having a spare pair of retainers is strongly recommended.
Orthokeratology requires advanced training to prescribe the complex corneal retainers as well as specialized instrumentation. Although Ortho-k has been around since the 1960’s, recent advancement in corneal topographers allowed for customized fitting and design of ortho-k retainers.
Most insurance policies do not cover the costs of vision therapy and some cover only a small portion. We will provide you with diagnosis and procedure codes at the consultation. You will need these codes to contact your insurance company to determine if you have coverage for vision therapy so you can submit to your medical insurance for reimbursement directly.
We offer several payment plans to make vision therapy affordable.
It is important to recognize that just because an insurance company chooses not to cover vision therapy, this does not take away the need or medical recommendation for vision therapy.
Even with little or no insurance coverage, our patients choose to invest in vision therapy and improve their quality of life.
Each session is 45 minutes once a week. The length of the treatment will vary, depending on the one or more diagnosis found during the functional and/or visual perception evaluation. Home support activities must be performed to reinforce the therapy techniques learned in the weekly sessions. Most programs last between 6-9 months with some extending 1-2 years.
No. Vision therapy is like physical therapy for the eyes; however, it focuses on the entire visual system not just eye muscles. It is a program of procedures individually chosen by Dr. Vasilakos based on the patient’s functional eye examination results. Therapy may include corrective, therapeutic, and/or prism lenses, optical filters, eye patches, brock string, electronic targets with timing mechanisms, computer software and balance boards.