Reshaping Vision With Ortho-k

Imagine being able to correct your vision whilst you sleep—No7 Contact Lens Laboratory tell us about Orthokeratology

How does the cornea’s shape affect vision?

The cornea is the first and most powerful surface in the eye. It bends the light passing through it and helps to focus the image that you are looking at, on the back of the eye. However, if the cornea doesn’t have the correct curvature, it will not bend the light correctly. This results in poor focus and a blurry image.

What is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) lenses correct your vision while you sleep. A specially designed contact lens is put in before bedtime and removed upon waking—leaving you with clear, natural and unaided vision.

How does Orthokeratology work?

Overnight, the custom-designed lenses gently reshape the cornea by less than the width of a human hair! The shaping force is created by the patient’s own tears and the pressure of their eyelids. The lenses make the cornea slightly flatter so that the light entering the eye is bent correctly, and images appear in focus.

What are the benefits of corneal reshaping?

Ortho-k gives patients the freedom to enjoy a life without the restrictions of spectacles or contact lenses.

Who can benefit from Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology is suitable for people with mild to moderate myopia (short-sightedness). Many people can benefit from Ortho-k including:

  • Sporty, active people who want to enjoy their hobbies free from spectacles and contact lenses.
  • Soft contact lens wearers who suffer from dry eye and end-of-day comfort issues.
  • People who have considered laser surgery but are concerned with the perceived risks—Ortho-k is 100 percent reversible.
  • Parents whose children require specs or contact lenses, as all contact lens wear is managed at home.
  • Parents who want to reduce the chance of their children developing eye health issues in the future.

What is corneal topography?

A corneal topographer maps the curvature of the cornea—this is essential for fitting Ortho-k lenses. Mapping the cornea with a corneal topographer doesn’t hurt, and nothing touches your eye during the process. Once topography maps have been taken, the eye care practitioner can use them to assess whether your eye has a normal shape, and whether you are suitable for orthokeratology. If you are suitable, the maps will be sent to the contact lens laboratory, where they will be used to design and manufacture your Ortho-k contact lenses. Topography maps are also used to assess the effect and progress of Ortho-k.

How long-term is Orthokeratology?

The change in the curvature of the cornea created by the Ortho-k lenses is temporary—perfect for people who don’t like the idea of a permanent commitment, as with laser surgery. If you decide to stop wearing Ortho-k lenses, the cornea and your vision will return to their original state within a day or two. For this reason, to achieve the best results, Ortho-k lenses should be worn every night.

How safe is Orthokeratology?

Studies have shown that Ortho-k is a safe and effective form of vision correction. However, all contact lens wear is associated with a small increased risk of infection, some of which can be serious. To minimise the chance of getting an infection you should make sure that you follow the guidance of your eyecare practitioner—they will instruct you on the best way to wear and care for your Ortho-k lenses. It is also important to attend all aftercare appointments

How should contact lenses be handled and inserted safely?

Firstly, and most importantly, wash and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your lenses. This will make it much less likely that any nasty bugs are introduced into your eye. You should only use the care solutions recommended by your practitioner and never let tap water make contact with your lenses. You should always ensure that your contact lens case is kept clean. Again, your eyecare practitioner will tell you how to care for it. Lenses should never be worn if they appear damaged. If your eyes feel painful, the lenses should be removed immediately.

Is it true that orthokeratology can slow the progression of short-sightedness?

Numerous studies on myopia (short-sightedness) and Ortho-k have indicated that these lenses can dramatically slow, and even stop, the progression of short-sightedness in children. Subsequently, they can reduce the risk of developing associated problems, such as glaucoma and retinal detachment, in adulthood.

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