With this type of myopia treatment, the child only wears special, dimensionally stable contact lenses, called orthokeratology contact lenses or 'ortho-k' lenses, while sleeping. These gently reshape the cornea overnight and are removed upon awakening, providing clear vision without using glasses or contact lenses.
This solution addresses the correction of myopia, as it may help to slow down the elongation of the eye and thus the progression of the myopia as well. While you sleep, the tiny forces created by your tears being squeezed between the lens and the cornea applies the necessary tension to reshape the surface of your eye. This change essentially corrects your vision!
Is Ortho-K Safe?
Ortho-K lenses don’t actually touch your cornea. They are designed to float on a layer of your natural tears!
This treatment can be used at any age and is completely reversible.
Because the corneal reshaping effect is temporary, little risk is involved and you can stop at any time.
When you begin to wear ortho-k lenses, you will likely have some awareness of the lenses on your eyes until you fall asleep. With time, the lenses typically become more comfortable immediately upon insertion.
- Contact Lens Safety: For Kids | Myopia Control
- Orthokeratology/myopia prevention
- Myopia in Children - How to guides
How Clear will my child's vision be with this treatment?
- Their vision improves over days or weeks.
- The best results are obtained for people with mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness or astigmatism. Generally, ortho-k can correct up to -6.00 diopters of myopia, but the amount of refractive error that can be effectively managed with orthokeratology differs for every patient.
- With this treatment, the vast majority of people achieve dramatic improvements in their vision after the 1st night. Until your child’s eyes are fully corrected, they might notice slightly blurred vision. We will give the option to be fitted with soft contact lenses to wear in the meantime if this is bothersome until they achieve full results.
What is the Ortho-k fitting process?
- Because the fitting of an Ortho-K lens depends mostly on the curvatures of the cornea, we will measure the cornea and it’s shape using an instrument called a corneal-scleral topographer. This is a painless procedure that takes less than a minute and provides a detailed map of the front surface of the eye.
- The next step is examining the eye using an instrument called a digital biomicroscope (a.k.a- a fancy microscope with a light source and camera!)
- We then custom design the lenses based on this and other measurements taken at the office. Some lenses will be designed together with the manufactures consultation team ensuring the best vision possible is achieved!
- Toward the end of the treatment, these lenses are only worn to maintain the vision correction. The amount of time that these lenses need to be worn differs for each patient. (This is why Ortho-K therapy is often referred to as a retainer lens.) Some patients only need to wear the lens for several hours a few times a week, but most require several hours every night.
How many appointments will we need?
Fitting ortho-k lenses is a more time- consuming process and requires more expertise than fitting regular contact lenses. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple sets of lenses. Patients need to be seen regularly to ensure that their lenses are fitting well and that their eyes are remaining healthy.
We will review all of these appointment details during the consultation.
We want to make sure this is the right choice for you and your child and that we are a good fit too!
We get it…being a parent makes life busy and our schedules are hectic if not flat out complicated. We will work with you to ensure the appointments work for both of us.