Orthokeratology (Ortho-K): Correct your vision while you sleep.... I swear it's not some voodoo ancient ritual thing
Orthokeratology (OrthoK) is the science of reshaping the cornea to correct ametropias (nearsightedness, or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia and astigmatism).
The way it works is as follows: Your eye doctor designs a corneal mold (similar to a gas permeable lens )based on your eyeglass prescription and your corneal shape. The corneal mold is then inserted before bed, and reshapes the cornea to correct your vision while you sleep! The molds are then removed in the morning and the wearer can enjoy great vision throughout the day without wearing contacts or glasses.
OrthoK has been around for longer than LASIK, and for those who aren't a candidate, or who aren't interested in the permanent risks of the procedure, OrthoK may be a viable option to correcting your vision.
The real magic of OrthoK is in the great ability of the mold to slow the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). Traditional glasses in kids do correct the central vision, however they create a farsighted peripheral defocus on the retina that stimulates the eye to grow longer over time to "catch up" to the peripheral defocus. The figure below explains this pretty well.(http://www.cvs.rochester.edu/yoonlab/research/mpc.html)
OrthoK induces a myopic defocus in the periphery of the retina to help slow progression through the incorporation of a reverse or relief curve in the corneal mold (red ring featured below). This curve is what slows down the myopia and isn't possible to create with soft contacts or glasses at this time (development with soft lenses is happening, but is won't be customizable like our OrthoK designs).
The initial cost of OrthoK is certainly higher than that of soft contacts or glasses, but is only a fraction of what someone would spend on LASIK. The other great thing about OrthoK is that we can adjust the curvature of the molds overtime to account for the onset changing visual needs for those over 40 who are struggling with their near vision also. We can adjust one eye for near vision (monovision) or adjust both (multifocal).
If you'd like to discuss OrthoK more or are unsure of whether or not you're a good candidate, give us a call.
See well friends,
Ryan Schott, OD
Maitland Vision Center