Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

Orthokeratology is a non-surgical procedure using specially designed contact lenses to gently reshape the curvature of the eye while you sleep. This procedure eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses.

Who benefits from Ortho-K?

  • Adults and children active in sports where glasses may get in the way

  • Patients who want an alternative to refractive surgery or patients who are too young for refractive surgery (such as LASIK or PRK)

  • To slow the progression of childhood myopia (nearsightedness)

  • Patients who cannot tolerate daytime contact lenses due to reasons such as allergies, dry eye or dusty work environments

  • Patients who simply dislike wearing glasses or daytime contact lenses

How long does Ortho-K effects last?

You should be able to see well without glasses or contact lenses for one to two days. For best results, the lenses should be worn every night.

What to expect when you begin Ortho-K

A special instrument called a corneal topographer will be used to measure the curvature of your cornea. This is a painless procedure that only takes a few minutes to map out the surface of your eye. Custom ortho-k lenses will be ordered, and you will return to office for a contact lens fitting. When you begin to wear these lenses, you may have some awareness of the lenses on your eye until you fall asleep. With time, the lenses become more comfortable.

Some people will have excellent vision after a day or two of overnight Ortho-k, however, patients with higher prescriptions (higher amounts of near sightedness) can take up to two weeks for maximum correction. Until your eyes are fully corrected, it is not uncommon to experience blurred vision, glare and halos around lights.

Unlike LASIK, Ortho-K is reversible. If you try Ortho-k and later decide you want to have LASIK surgery, you can still do that. The cornea reshaping effect is temporary, and you can discontinue wearing the lenses at any time. As with all contact lenses, there are some possible side effects and complications of wearing Ortho-k lenses. Speak with your optometrist to see if this is right for you!

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