Vision Correction: Corneal Reshaping (Orthokeratology)
Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is a procedure for correcting myopia (nearsightedness) and mild astigmatism by gently and temporarily reshaping the cornea with special contact lenses. When successful, patients can experience clear vision during the day without contact lenses or eyeglasses.
The Ortho-k treatment is performed by a specially trained eye doctor. Treatment begins with a special instrument – a corneal topographer – that “maps” the surface of the patient’s eyes. The doctor uses the data from this test to prescribe lenses that will achieve the desired result and to serve as a reference as treatment progresses.
The patient places the lenses in his or her eyes at bedtime and, overnight, the lenses reshape the cornea. Generally, vision improvements are noticeable after the first night. The results are temporary, however, so the lenses must be worn regularly at night to maintain optimum results.
Because the results of Ortho-k are not permanent, it is recommended for patients who are not considered good candidates for LASIK surgery. This includes children as young as 8 years old, whose eyes are still developing. Ortho-k is also a solution for adults whose daytime activities make wearing contact lenses or glasses inconvenient or uncomfortable. People who participate in active sports can avoid fogged eyeglass lenses or slipping due to perspiration. Those who work in dirty, dusty conditions can eliminate the irritation caused by wearing contact lenses in those environments.