Ortho-K Contact Lenses

Ortho-K or corneal reshaping involves gently reshaping the cornea to temporarily modify or eliminate refractive error.

What is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology (also known as Ortho K, or corneal reshaping) is an innovative way of wearing contact lenses – custom lenses are worn overnight, temporarily altering the shape of the cornea enough to produce clear, lasting vision after removal and throughout the day.  This corneal reshaping can be likened to the use retainers used to straighten teeth, however, unlike a tooth which will remain in its new position after correction, the cornea is highly elastic, and always returns to its original shape.  This is why ortho-k lenses are worn several times per week during sleep to maintain the moulding effect.

There is evidence that this procedure may slow down the progression of myopia.  We highly recommend this type of contact lenses for young people who are becoming myopic, especially if they have a parent who is also myopic.

For more information on ortho-k lenses visit www.oso.net.au.

The History of Orthokeratology

Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses to improve vision isn’t new. Orthokeratology has been practiced by some eye doctors for decades.  OrthoK was first introduced to contact lens practitioners by the famous optometrist George Jessen in 1962.  The initial flurry into orthokeratology was hindered by poor technology and understanding of the criteria needed to successfully and predictably correct myopia.

With these changes there has been an upsurge in interest in the technique among contact lens specialists.  There has also been an enormous interest in the technique among researchers and academics that has resulted in an exponential increase in the numbers published on this technique and an increased amount of funding for research from governments and industry bodies.

Who is suitable for Orthokeratology?

  • Mild to moderate myopia (short-sightedness of -0.75 to –5.00D)
  • Mild hyperopes (long-sightedness of up to +3.00D)
  • Presbyopes – monovision corrections
  • Active individuals or those with occupational demands not suited to standard RGP or disposable contact lenses.
  • Lose their contacts easily, or suffer from allergies from some contact lenses.
  • Have considered refractive surgery because of the freedom it provides, but are worried about the risks
  • Have difficulty with dry eyes from air conditioning, computer use or dusty environments
  • Find soft contact lenses do not fulfil the comfort demands their lifestyle places on their eyes

For more information on ortho-k lenses visit www.oso.net.au.

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