Corneal Molding (Ortho-K)
What is Orthokeratology?
Corneal Molding or Ortho-K is a revolutionary non-surgical procedure that eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contacts. It improves vision by gently reshaping your eyes while you sleep using specially designed therapeutic contact lenses.
You just put the specially fitted lenses in at bedtime, and when you awake, you will have clear, sharp, natural vision for your waking hours.
This safe and effective treatment can correct near-sightedness (including high prescriptions), farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia (blurred near vision). It is a great alternative to LASIK for those who don't want the risk or are not ready for surgery.
How Does It Work?
When a person cannot see clearly, it is because their eye is too long, too short or the surface is misshaped. Images fail to reach or focus on the retina. This produces blurred or distorted vision.
In order to create a therapeutic lens, the surface of your eyes is mapped using a high tech instrument called a topographer. This allows your doctor to create a custom lens specifically designed for your eye and its unique visual problems. This Ortho-K lens is manufactured using high-speed computer assisted lathes and made from an advanced highly oxygen permeable material which allows your eye to breather overnight and maintain excellent health.
This corneal reshaping lens has several specialized curves that reshape your cornea (the front surface of your eye). The tear film beneath this therapeutic lens continuously flows across the corneal surface, resculpting the shape. This improved shape focuses images directly on the retina. The result is crisp, clear vision upon waking and removing your lenses.
Is It Known By Other Names?
Orthokeratology was first used to correct nearsightedness over forty years ago. While the procedure has benefitted from the latest technological breakthroughs over the years, it has accumulated many different names to describe the same procedure.
Orthokeratology is also known as Ortho-K; Corneal Refractive Therapy or CRT; Vision Shaping Technology or VST; Accelerated Orthokeratology or AOK; Gentle Vision Shaping System or GVSS; Gentle Molding and finally Overnight Corneal Reshaping or OCR.
These procedures may differ slightly in technique, but all fall under the Orthokeratology umbrella. So when you hear the many names of Orthokeratology, don't be confused. They are all referring to reshaping the cornea of the eye with a therapeutic contact lens worn overnight, so you may see all day long without wearing glasses or contacts.
How Long Does It Take?
It can take from one to four weeks to achieve excellent vision. However, some people achieve this in as little as one day. The speed depends in part on your initial prescription.
During the first few days of the Ortho-K process while your cornea is being resculpted, your doctor may fit you with a temporary soft contact until excellent vision is achieved.
Is It Safe?
Ortho-K is a very safe and reversible procedure. It was approved by the FDA in 2002. However, as with any contact lens wear, there is a small risk, most typically a minor infection easily addressed by antibiotic drops.
This risk is greatly minimized by adopting a regime of very careful cleaning and disinfecting, by wearing the lenses as prescribed by your doctor and by maintaining the necessary progress visits.
Ortho-K and Kids
The Myopia Epidemic!
The number of children that are becoming myopic (nearsighted) has been growing rapidly over the last 25 years and is expected to impair fully 50% of the world's population by the year 2020. This rapid increase is due in part to children spending more time studying, reading and using the computer rather than playing outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) now views progressive myopia as an epidemic.
Increasing myopia causes poor vision. But more importantly, it can lead to sight threatening conditions like retinal detachments and glaucoma. The earlier a child exhibits myopia, the more likely they will progress to dangerously high levels.
WHAT CAN WE DO TO STOP THIS MYOPIA EPIDEMIC?
Studies have shown that Ortho-K lenses can slow myopia. Numerous published studies have documented that children wearing Ortho-K lenses experience little to no myopic progression during treatment.
Children make great Ortho-K wearers. They are highly motivated and learn how to care for their lenses quickly, even children as young as five. The lenses are placed on the eyes right before bed. The mild lens sensation disappears as soon as the eyes close for sleep, so children aren't afraid to wear their lenses. And you have the security of knowing that you are protecting their future sight.