Also known as Ortho-K or vision shaping, it is one of the latest innovations in the field of visual health. Our trusted optometrist will discuss the things you need to know about this option.
How Does It Work?
Corneal refractive therapy or corneal reshaping therapy pertains to the method of fitting Ortho-K lenses. They are made of high-breathable gas permeable lenses, which temporarily aim to alter your child’s corneal shape.
We will instruct your child to wear these lenses while sleeping. Upon awakening, he or she may remove the lenses. This provides clearer vision, without having to use prescription eyewear.
Candidates for Ortho-K Lenses
Corneal Refractive Therapy is very suitable for nearsighted people who are not appropriate candidates for vision correction surgery, such as children. Individuals of all ages with healthy eyes can try ortho-k lenses, namely because it can be discontinued at any point without permanent effects to the eyes.
People who require vision correction and engage regularly in sports or work in extremely dusty, dirty environments will also appreciate the convenience of ortho-k.
Vision Results from Corneal Refractive Therapy
Success rates for are generally higher for more mild vision prescriptions. The ideal goal is to provide 20/20 vision without any need for eyeglasses or contacts during the day.
According to FDA trials conducted on both Ortho-k and VST lenses, more than 65% of patients were provided with 20/20 visual acuity. A whopping number of more than 90% of patients achieved 20/40 vision or better (this is the legal requirement for driving without vision correction in most states). Consult with your eye doctor to find out if your vision prescription is within range for successful treatment.
Note that although improvement in vision is generally reported within a day or two of wearing ortho-k lenses overnight, the full effects may not be experienced until the lenses are worn for a few weeks. During this transition period, your vision will probably not be as crisp as it was with regular contacts or eyeglasses, and glare or halos around lights may be visible. Until corneal refractive therapy works fully, a temporary pair of eyeglasses may be required for specific actions, such as driving at night.
How Do Ortho-k Lenses Feel?
Although some people have trouble wearing regular gas permeable contact lenses during the day, ortho-k GP lenses are worn while sleeping – so discomfort and awareness of the lenses in your eyes is generally not an issue.
Are Ortho-k lenses expensive?
Professional fitting requires a series of visits to your eye doctor. A number of pairs of contact lenses are also generally needed. GP lenses that are special for Corneal Refractive Therapy are more costly than standard contacts. In sum, the fees add up to a higher total than regular contact lenses.
LASIK after Corneal Refractive Therapy
Refractive surgeries, such as LASIK, are possible after treatment with ortho-k lenses. Yet because Corneal Refractive Therapy works to reshape your cornea, you are required to stop wearing the lenses for approximately several months before undergoing LASIK. This allows your eyes to return to their original shape.
It’s important to inform your LASIK surgeon if you’ve been wearing ortho-k lenses, and you will be advised as to how long of a wait is necessary before having the laser procedure.