Living with refractive eye errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism is easier than ever thanks to the creation of a range of different solutions to overcome them. Glasses and contact lenses are the most well-known visual aids for people who have blurred vision due to the way that their eyes refract the light then enters their eye, and enable patients to see clearly while their glasses or lenses are in place. Meanwhile, laser vision correction offers patients a chance to permanently correct their eyesight, provided that they are willing and a good candidate for a laser surgery procedure. These solutions are all effective, but they aren’t without compromise. For example:
Glasses can’t be worn for certain activities, alter your appearance, and can be hard to look after.
Contact lenses can be fiddly to handle and wear, aren’t suitable for everyone, and are more expensive than glasses.
Laser vision surgery is permanent, not everyone is suitable and requires a significant financial investment.
Fortunately, there’s another option that can help patients to see clearly all day long, without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses – at least while they are awake. It’s known as Ortho-K.
Ortho-K stands for orthokeratology; one of the newest treatments for refractive eye problems like myopia. Ortho-k takes the same design as regular contact lenses, but unlike conventional lenses, they aren’t worn during the day, but instead, overnight while you are asleep. Ordinarily, overnight wear of contact lenses is actively discouraged since doing so can make your eyes sore and prone to problems like infection. However, ortho-k lenses are specifically designed to be worn while you sleep. They are made from gas-permeable material that allows oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. While you sleep, the tear film you produce plus the shape and design of your ortho-k lenses will gently reshape the cornea into a smoother, more symmetrical shape that allows light to be refracted properly onto the retina, and your vision will be clear.
Cleverly, the cornea can retain this new shape for some time before it starts to relax back into its usual form. The more consistently you wear your contact lenses overnight, the longer your cornea will be able to hold the shape that gives you clear vision without visual aids. At the optimal level, you may be able to enjoy clear vision for up to 48 hours. Should you stop wearing your ortho-k lenses, your cornea will return back to the shape it was before, as will your vision.
Need more convincing that ortho-k might be the best solution for you? Here are some of the key benefits of choosing orthokeratology.
Most people are good candidates for ortho-k. This includes children and those patients who have corneal abnormalities or eye conditions such as keratoconus or dry eyes that make conventional contact lenses uncomfortable or difficult to wear.
Patients who successfully use ortho-k can go through an entire day without relying on glasses or contact lenses. Some people find that their vision is even better than it was when they were wearing visual aids.
It is a non-surgical, non-invasive, and painless solution. There’s no prep needed and no recovery period. Simply collect your ortho-k lenses and start treatment.
The results are completely reversible when you choose to stop treatment.
Ortho-K has also been shown to help slow down the progression of nearsightedness, particularly when used in childhood. This can reduce the risk of serious eye problems that are associated with high myopia in later life, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
For more information about ortho-k or to schedule an appointment to discuss your suitability, please get in touch with our offices today in Kennesaw, GA and Atlanta, GA today.