Also called ortho-k, orthokeratology is a method that corrects visual refractive errors by wearing specially designed RGP (rigid gas permeable) contact lenses which will reshape and flatten the cornea while sleeping at night. People who have nearsightedness or astigmatism will magically receive clear vision without wearing prescription contact lenses or eyeglasses after they use ortho-k lenses at night. As a result, they do not need to worry about extra emergency that may happen because of wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses during sports.
Orthokeratology technology has made progression
Orthokeratology is not originally as popular as contact lenses and LASIK eye surgery because of its unpredictable outcomes. However, modern orthokeratology is more advanced and has yielded good results in correcting nearsightedness and astigmatism. People regularly use ortho-k contact lenses can always receive satisfying vision during daytime. In addition, researchers are further testing the effectiveness of ortho-k in correcting farsightedness.
The visual outcomes of ortho-k contact lenses
The effectiveness of ortho-k varies from one user to another. For some wearers, it will take several weeks to reach and maintain stable 20/20 vision. For most people, one or two pairs of ortho-k contacts will be enough. This difference among persons depends on the degree of nearsighted or astigmatism they have. After the vision has reached the desired level of clarity, wearing ortho-k lenses one or two days a week is necessary to keep good vision. It is important to bear in mind that the visual outcome created by these lenses is not permanent.
Ortho-k lenses have advantages over vision refractive surgeries
Compared with LSAIK and other vision correction procedures, ortho-k is more secure and entirely reversible. Wearers do not need to worry about the risks caused by ortho-k. Ortho-k is even suitable for children as young as 7 or 8 years old, because this treatment involves no visual risk in the long run. When they reach 18, they can choose a surgery or continue to wear ortho-k lenses. In addition, ortho-k lenses can help wearers reduce the progression of nearsightedness.
Ortho-k contact lenses have better performance than regular contacts
Though contact lenses have some advantages such as convenience, they also have several drawbacks. Firstly, if people do not blink or apply certain eye drops frequently enough to keep contact lenses moist, they will dry out and even move off center or dislodge from eyes. Secondly, some people do not like to wear contact lenses or deal with daily lens care. Thirdly, many contact lenses can not correct astigmatism as effectively as eyeglasses and even cause potential eye allergies. Compared with contact lenses, ortho-k contact lenses do not have these regular vision problems and bring lower risk of developing eye infections than conventional contact lenses.
Ortho-k contact lenses are extremely helpful for athletes
For certain athletes, ortho-k lenses have some advantages which are not available from other lenses. Most athletes and sports amateurs are regularly bothered by the use of prescription sports eyewear. Even if they provide vision aid during sports, the inconvenience caused is really disappointing. More clear vision, lower risk of causing eye problems and no worry about lenses moving all make ortho-k lenses to be suitable for athletes.
Only mild to moderate myopia and astigmatism are candidates
Of course, ortho-k is not right for everyone. The evaluation of the patients’ prescription and corneas is a crucial point of ortho-k procedure. Currently, ortho-k can correct mild to moderate degrees of nearsightedness and mild astigmatism. Patients with particularly heavy myopia or astigmatism are still beyond the capability of this technology. Customers should ask the eye care practitioner about eye conditions before applying ortho-k lenses.
Ortho-k treatment costs much more than regular contact lenses
In addition, ortho-k procedure requires special equipment, special expertise, specially designed gas permeable contact lenses and a longer period, all of which explain the reason why ortho-k contacts are much more expensive than other soft contact lenses. However, compared with vision correction surgeries, ortho-k is much cheaper. Most of the ortho-k services cost less than $3,000 per two eyes.