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Home » Myopia Management » Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

Ortho-K, the Safe Way to Sleep in Contact Lenses

What is Ortho-K?

Sleeping without first removing one’s contact lenses is unhealthy. Doing so can cause infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers — even a loss of vision.

The contact lenses used in orthokeratology (ortho-k) therapy are the exception. In fact, they are supposed to be slept in. That’s the whole point.

To slow down the progression of myopia (nearsightedness), eye doctors prescribe customized ortho-k lenses to children and teens. The lenses, which are inserted at night and removed in the morning, temporarily reshape the cornea. It’s the optical equivalent of the retainer or bite plate that your children might wear to bed at night to keep their teeth straight.

Our optometric team will prescribe ortho-k lenses to provide clear, unimpaired vision throughout the day. This enables your child to see clearly, swim, and play sports each day without wearing contact lenses or glasses.

Why is Ortho-K an Important Solution to Myopia?

man wearing green printed crew neck shirt while sleepingOrtho-k is the go-to strategy for children and teens with myopia, first because their eyes have not fully developed, and second, because longer-term solutions like LASIK surgery aren’t an option at this age.

Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eyeball becomes elongated. The elongation causes light to land in front of the retina rather than directly on it. The result is that while nearby objects remain clear, farther-away objects appear blurry.

Glasses and contact lenses allow you to see clearly, but after a few months, the myopia may worsen as the eyeball continues to elongate. This requires a visit back to the eye doctor for an updated prescription for stronger glasses.

Ortho-k lenses provide a solution to this cycle of worsening myopia by slowing down or even stopping the eyeball’s growth.

More is at stake than correcting vision: People with moderate (-3.25 to -5.00 D) and high myopia (greater than -5.00 D) are prone to such vision-threatening conditions as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic macular degeneration later in life.

More than a quarter of the world’s population now has myopia, and half of all people are expected to have myopia by 2050. This is a vision epidemic that is worsening. Children whose parents have myopia, and those who spend most of the day indoors staring at smartphones, TVs, or tablets, are at higher risk.

When a Child with Ortho-K Sleeps Safely, Parents Sleep Soundly

Ortho-k utilizes rigid gas permeable lenses that allow oxygen to reach your child’s eyes so that the eyes remain healthy. Ortho-k lenses safely and effectively work while your child sleeps, temporarily providing clear vision during your child’s waking hours, and slowing the progression of myopia.

As long as your child handles the lenses according to the instructions of Dr. Jonathan Andrews and observes hygiene protocols when using them (washing hands first, using only the designated solutions to clean and rinse the lenses, etc.), ortho-k lenses can be safely used.

Dr. Jonathan Andrews will answer any questions you have about ortho-k. If you decide to proceed, Dr. Jonathan Andrews will conduct a thorough eye examination, fit your child with customized lenses, and oversee care. Optometric Associates serves ortho-k patients in New Holland, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, and throughout Pennsylvania

References:

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  • A comprehensive explanation of the mechanics of ortho-k.
  • CRT, or Corneal Refractive Therapy, is a non-surgical option that helps correct nearsightedness without the daytime use of contacts or glasses. CRT lenses are worn at night and correct the curvature of the cornea while sleeping so you can see clearly during the day.
  • Myopia or nearsightedness affects close to 1 in 7 people across the world or over a billion people. While nearsightedness varies from a little blurry to nearly blind, myopia is an eye condition that many people live with on a daily basis.
  • “Myopia or nearsightedness affects nearly everyone. Orthokeratology (ortho-k) or corneal refractive therapy not only helps young athletes prevent nearsightedness from progressing further, but older athletes appreciate how the vision correction works overnight safely for perfect vision throughout the day.
  • Orthokeratology research has been going on for the past 20 years. We have collected some of the most recent scientific studies supporting orthokeratology and confirming the positive results in using ortho-k in myopia management. You can find links to some of the more significant articles on this page.
  • Orthokeratology. Ortho-k. Overnight lenses. Dream Lenses. No matter what you call them, these custom-fitted contact lenses are worn solely at night, allowing both children and adults to see clearly during the day without glasses or contacts.
  • Ortho-k contact lenses are among the finest contact lenses on the market, made with superior quality materials and completely personalized to each eye for an exclusively customized visual experience. Their cost, while higher than standard lenses, are worth it in the long run. Here's why.
  • Ortho-K uses a specialized therapeutic contact lens which is applied to the eye while the patient sleeps, gently reshaping the cornea overnight. In the morning, the patient removes the lens and is able to see clearly, without the need for any vision correction such as contact lenses or eyeglasses, for the rest of the day.

Video

Optometric Associates, New Holland, Pa. from David D. Speace on Vimeo.