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Jul 17 2023

Ortho-K for vision correction

July 17, 2023  /   Eye Care  /   4-minute read

Five reasons to consider Ortho-K for vision correction

Orthokeratology (pronounced here), or the more easily pronounced Ortho-K, is a non-surgical vision correction treatment that uses specially designed contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. This reshaping allows people with nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), or astigmatism to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses during waking hours. Of course, there are some situations where Ortho-K will not work; it is commonly recommended for kids with worsening nearsightedness, adults with nearsightedness or astigmatism, those who prefer a non-surgical option, individuals who don’t want to wear glasses or contacts during the day, and athletes. 

Medical illustration of the eye before, during and after wearing Ortho-K lenses.

Think of Ortho-K lenses as braces for your eyes. Rigid gas-permeable contact lenses are worn overnight while you sleep. During this time, the lenses gently apply pressure to the cornea, flattening the central portion and allowing the peripheral cornea to bulge outward. This change in the shape of the cornea causes light rays to focus properly on the retina, resulting in clearer vision. 

Top 5 reasons to consider Ortho-K

There are many reasons why people choose Ortho-K, but here are the top 5:

  1. It is non-surgical. Ortho-K is a non-surgical procedure, meaning no cutting or lasering is involved, making it a safe and reversible option for vision correction.
  1. It is convenient. Lenses are worn overnight while you sleep so you can see clearly during the day without glasses or contact lenses. This can be especially convenient for people who are active or who work in dusty or dirty environments.
  1. It is comfortable. Ortho-K lenses are made of a rigid yet flexible material that changes the cornea’s curvature. Most people report the lenses are comfortable and are most often worn at night. 
  1. It can slow the progression of myopia. There is some evidence that Ortho-K can help slow myopia progression in children. This is because Ortho-K lenses can reshape the cornea to reduce the amount of nearsightedness that develops over time.
  1. It is a cost-effective option. The cost of Ortho-K can vary depending on the type of lenses used, but it is generally considered a cost-effective option for vision correction.

If you are considering vision correction, Ortho-K is a safe, convenient, and effective option that you may want to consider. 

Here are some additional reasons why people choose Ortho-K:

  • A wider range of vision conditions can potentially be corrected – nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
  • It can be used by people young and old. Ortho-K can be used by children as young as eight and adults of all ages.
  • It can be used to improve athletic performance. Ortho-K lenses can help to improve your vision and reduce the risk of eye injuries during sports activities. Forget about constantly adjusting eyeglasses or worrying about your contacts falling out.
  • It can be used to improve your appearance. Ortho-K may prove to be a major advantage for those concerned with their overall look by wearing glasses or contact lenses. 

Know the risks of Ortho-K

Ortho-K is generally considered a safe procedure, but it has some potential risks. These risks include:

  • Dry eye
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Infection
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Decreased night vision

In rare cases, Ortho-K can also cause more serious complications, such as corneal scarring or thinning. 

The success rate of Ortho-K

While not all patients can adapt to orthokeratology, studies typically find that about 80% of patients treated with orthokeratology are successful. The success rate can vary depending on the type and severity of your vision issue and your lifestyle.

How to get started with Ortho-K

If you are considering Ortho-K, it is important to talk to a provider specializing in this type of treatment. Talk with your Welia Health eye care provider for a referral. To schedule an appointment at the Eye Care Center in Mora, call 320.679.2020, or log in to MyChart.

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