Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is a non-surgical vision therapy that utilises rigid contact lenses to reshape the cornea temporarily. It is a great alternative for people who have tried traditional contact lenses, glasses or refractive surgeries and still experience discomfort or dissatisfaction with their vision correction. Here are some of the pros and cons of ortho-k therapy, how it works and who is a qualified candidate for it.
How ortho-k works
Ortho-k lenses flatten the centre of the cornea, which leads to a change in the refractive power of the eye. This process enables the lens to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The lenses are worn at night, and the effects last through the following day. The therapy is effective because it works while you sleep, giving you clearer vision during the day.
Ortho-k can also help slow down and reduce the progression of myopia in children. The repeated pressure of the contact lens on the cornea can affect the growth of the eye and reduce the chances of developing myopia. Moreover, ortho-k can also provide better reading vision to patients who previously struggled with presbyopia.
Who is a candidate for ortho-k?
Generally, ortho-k is suitable for people with good eye health and a stable refractive error. They must have a prescription within a certain range and have a cornea that is thick enough to support the reshaping process. Regular follow-up appointments with your optometrist are necessary to review the progress and check for any changes in eye health. It is also worth noting that ortho-k is a temporary solution, and the contacts must be worn every night to maintain its effects.
Pros of ortho-k
Besides providing clearer vision without the need for surgery, ortho-k offers several other benefits. Firstly, it can be a better alternative for people who exercise or play sports regularly since it does not interfere with their activities. Secondly, it is also suitable for people with allergies, dry eyes or a high prescription that prevents them from wearing traditional contact lenses. Finally, ortho-k can also be a less expensive option in the long run since the lenses can last a couple of years with proper care.
Cons of ortho-k
There are some potential drawbacks to ortho-k, including the cost of the lenses, the need for regular appointments and the possibility of discomfort during the adaptation period. There may also be a slight increase in the risk of developing infections and other eye conditions due to the contact lenses' constant use.
Contact a professional to learn more about ortho-k.