Orthokeratology (OrthoK) is an exciting technique of fitting specially designed RGP contact lenses that are worn overnight to gently reshape the cornea so that you can see clearly the following day on removal of the lenses.
OrthoK lenses are typically prescribed for two purposes:
- To correct refractive errors (typically low to moderate myopia but also astigmatism and hyperopia)
- To slow the progression of childhood myopia (Myopia control)
Who is suitable for OrthoK?
- OrthoK is typically used to correct moderate myopia of up to -5.00 dioptres and up to -2.50 dioptres of astigmatism.
- It is a great option for active people that want to be free from spectacles and contact lenses throughout the day.
- It is becoming a popular choice of vision correction for myopic children and teenagers as it can reduce the progression of short-sightedness.
- OrthoK is an alternative to laser eye surgery. It is completely reversible. When you stop wearing the lenses your eyes return to their natural prescription.
How does OrthoK work?
OrthoK lenses are worn whilst asleep when they gently reshape the front of the eye, the cornea, correcting your refractive error. You will be able to see well without glasses or contact lenses for a full day or more but the lenses must be worn each night whilst asleep to maintain the effect. Your vision will also be similar to your spectacle vision with the lenses in so you can use them whilst awake if needed.
OrthoK is completely reversible; if you have a break from the OrthoK lenses your eyes will resume their natural shape and you will require spectacles or conventional contact lenses again.
What happens in an OrthoK appointment?
An OrthoK fitting is similar to a normal contact lens fitting appointment but includes careful measurement of the corneal curvature using an instrument called a topographer - a procedure that creates a detailed topographical map of your corneal surface. This ensures the Ortho-K lenses centre accurately to create the desired correcting effect.