Ortho-k lenses are a specialized type of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. Unlike regular contacts you wear during the day to see well, you wear these contacts while you sleep. Sleeping with the contacts leads to near-perfect vision in the morning. You can see the entire day as clearly as you would with glasses or contacts.
What Is Ortho-K?
Ortho-k is short for orthokeratology, a term interchangeable with corneal reshaping therapy. The ortho-k lenses work by changing the shape of your cornea to improve light refraction as it enters your eye.
In astigmatism and myopia, the shape of the eye affects how light refracts and focuses on the eye. You can change this by changing the shape of the cornea. Ortho-k lenses subtly and gently reshape your cornea while you sleep. The lenses are uniquely designed to fit each patient according to their prescription.
What To Expect In The Treatment Process
Finding The Right Eye Doctor
Unlike other vision correction eyewear, ortho-k can only be fitted by a specialized eye doctor, specifically an optometrist. The only other specialized eye doctor who can fit these lenses is an ophthalmologist. Also, not all doctors with these titles are qualified to provide these lenses; you will need to find one with experience fitting them.
Every eye doctor does not fit it because the treatment process is more complex than with other lenses.
Are You A Candidate?
Once you find the right eye doctor, you must go for a consultation. During the consultation, the eye doctor will assess if you are an appropriate candidate for the lenses. They work best for patients with moderate or mild myopia or astigmatism.
They are also a good fit for patients too young for LASIK. Also, patients with other eye conditions prevent them from receiving eye surgery, like dry eye. Moreover, the lenses are also a good fit if you work in dusty environments or play contact sports.
Because ortho-k lenses are unique to each patient, the eye doctor will first measure your cornea. They will do this by using a corneal topographer to get a detailed image of the surface of your cornea.
Then the doctor will check your measurement against an in-office lens inventory to check if your size is available. If they still need to, they will have your lenses custom-made for you to pick up later.
Once you start your treatment, you will need to use temporary lenses to see well while the reshaping continues. You may need to go through three pairs of ortho-k lenses to get to the maximum correction level.
In the first days of using the lenses, you will be aware of the lenses before you fall asleep. However, you will get used to it after a few days or weeks.
For more on what to expect from the ortho-k treatment process, visit Eye Care Center Optometrist at our offices in Richmond, Lexington, Beattyville, McKee, or Irvine, Kentucky. Call (859) 208-2020, (859) 623-6643, (859) 272-2449, (606) 464-8148, (606) 726-9321, or (606) 287-8477 to book an appointment today.