Skip to main content

Distinction in Eyewear and Eyecare

Ortho K Fact Sheet

What is Ortho-K ? How does Ortho-K work? Who is Ortho-K for?

Orthokeratology reshapes the cornea overnight, granting you freedom from contact lenses & eyewear by day.

What is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K or Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), is an innovative, therapeutic approach to improve myopia or nearsightedness. In children, the therapy has been shown to actually slow down the progression of nearsightedness.

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. This procedure is repeated every night and may take a few weeks to reach optimal vision.

How Does Ortho-K Work?

Ortho-K uses a special lens that is unlike contact lenses you are probably familiar with. The optometrist takes a topographical map of the eye, then uses that map to make custom contacts for each patient. These special Ortho-K lenses apply a gentle amount of pressure to the eye to reshape the corneal surface, which is responsible for clear vision. As a result, the patient’s nearsightedness is temporarily corrected and eyeglasses or contact lenses will not be needed for the following day.

For children with progressive myopia, Ortho-K has been shown to halt the progress of the condition. While it is not completely understood, it seems that the orthokeratology contact lenses hold the cornea in place, preventing it from further changing shape and as a result, the progression of myopia is slowed. Research shows that this enables the child’s vision to stabilize at an earlier age, whereas children without the treatment will continue to see progressive vision changes.

Myopia management is important because it will prevent eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal tears (which increase by 2200% with high myopia) later in life. In other words, it is a medical necessity to prevent blindness when your child gets to old age. In fact, it is projected that myopia will be the leading cause of blindness in the future.

Advantages of Ortho-K

Hassle-free, clear vision without glasses or contact lenses.
Can slow the progression of myopia and stabilize vision.
May even improve or stabilize vision for future (patients that use eyeglasses or conventional soft contact lenses for myopia usually see an increase of 25% a year in their prescription, while Ortho-K patients sometimes see improvement or it remains the same.)
Can prevent age-related eye diseases and conditions that threaten the eye and vision.
Can significantly reduce the risk of blindness later in life.

Who is a Candidate for Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology is not for everyone, particularly those with a very strong prescription or corneal disease such as keratoconus.

Ideal candidates are:
Contact lens dropouts (usually due to discomfort using conventional soft contact lenses).
Those who play sports or engage in other hobbies that require optimal vision where contact lenses or eyeglasses are not ideal.
Individuals who want to keep their prescription as low as possible in order to have LASIK in the future.

For more information, contact Dr. Galan today!