Nearsightedness (where objects in the distance are blurry) is a common problem and the normal solution is to use glasses or contact lenses. Unfortunately, these lenses are temporary as most children's prescriptions get worse year to year.
What's so wonderful about Ortho-K is that it stops or slows this progression of worsening vision and it's non-surgical.
Is it safe?
Yes. Ortho-k has been FDA approved since 2002. It is also reversible! Think of it like wearing a tight ribbed sock. There are lines on your skin when you remove the sock but they disappear when you discontinue wearing the sock.
The same analogy can be applied to this corneal reshaping therapy - after you stop wearing the lenses at night, the eye slowly goes back to the way it was before starting therapy. If a child were to wear the lenses starting at 10 years old and decided to stop wearing them at 20, his eyes would slowly reshape back how they were when he started at 10. He would have skipped the 10 years of nearsightedness progression and have the vision of his 10 year old self.
As with contact lenses, the same hygiene, care and maintenance must be followed, which are discussed at length during your dispensing visit. Most soft contact lenses are worn 12-14 hours a day but Ortho-K is half of that!
There are no guarantees in health care. Individuals and results will vary, but we've seen great results in our office.
My mother has 20-20 vision and my father is legally blind without his contacts in. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with my mother’s great vision and inherited my father’s declining vision.
For years my nearsightedness had been getting worse and was continuing to decline every visit to the eye doctor.
However, ortho-k has improved my eyesight greatly and the nightly retainers prevent my eyes from getting worse… Going through this experience has saved me the trouble of putting in my old daily disposable contacts each morning and I also don’t have to worry about dirt getting in my eyes while playing sports.
My vision is now better than 20-20 and I can see the ball better in my soccer and lacrosse games. I was a little hesitant about this procedure, but it really does work and I don’t regret my decision.
~Julia, Age 15
Can anyone wear Ortho-K?
I recommend corneal reshaping therapy for the following reasons:
I prescribe this therapy for individuals with myopia, with or without astigmatism. The youngest age I begin fitting these therapeutic corneal retainers is eight. It can be a great option for children and teens that are active in sports activities or any other extra-curricular activities.
Older patients who require reading glasses may still be candidates for Ortho-K by correcting their distance vision with Ortho-K and wearing 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).
Why haven’t I heard of this before?
Orthokeratology requires post-graduate training, advanced technology and dedication to prescribe. I became educated by the AAMOC and a certified Orthokeratologist in 2010. I have been passionate about this technology ever since.
Interested? A comprehensive vision examination is required prior to beginning Ortho-K therapy . If you have had an eye examination within the past year with another eye doctor who does not offer this service, schedule a FREE consultation to determine if you are a candidate.