Orthokeratology 101: What You Should Know About Ortho-K

June 12, 2023
Orthokeratology 101: What You Should Know About Ortho-K

Are you tired of relying on glasses or traditional contact lenses to correct your vision? If so, you may have heard about a revolutionary alternative called orthokeratology, or Ortho-K. This non-surgical procedure offers a safe and effective way to correct refractive errors while you sleep. Let us introduce orthokeratology and provide you with a beginner’s guide to understanding what it is, how it works, and its potential benefits. Whether you are considering Ortho-K for myopia control or simply exploring options for vision correction, this article will equip you with the essential knowledge to make informed decisions about your eye care.

All About Ortho-K

Orthokeratology, often referred to as Ortho-K, is a specialized contact lens treatment designed to reshape the cornea and temporarily correct refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Unlike traditional contact lenses that are worn throughout the day, Ortho-K lenses are worn overnight while you sleep. Let's delve into some key aspects of this innovative vision correction technique.

The Benefits Of Ortho-K

  1. Myopia Control: Ortho-K has gained significant attention for its potential to slow down the progression of myopia, particularly in children. By gently reshaping the cornea, it can help to reduce the elongation of the eyeball, which is associated with progressive myopia.
  2. Improved Convenience: One of the primary advantages of Ortho-K is the freedom from daytime visual aids. You can enjoy clear vision during the day without the hassle of wearing glasses or contact lenses. This is particularly beneficial for those engaged in sports or other physical activities.
  3. Non-surgical and Reversible: Ortho-K is a non-invasive and reversible procedure. If you decide to discontinue wearing Ortho-K lenses, your cornea will gradually return to its original shape, and your vision will revert to its pre-treatment state.
  4. Suitable for Various Refractive Errors: Ortho-K can effectively correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, providing an alternative for individuals who may not be eligible for laser eye surgery or are seeking non-surgical options.

Important Considerations

  1. Professional Consultation: Before considering Ortho-K, it is critical to consult with an optometrist who specializes in this field. They will evaluate your eye health, determine your candidacy for Ortho-K, and guide you through the fitting and follow-up process.
  2. Proper Lens Care: Good hygiene and proper lens care are essential when using Ortho-K lenses. Following the cleaning and disinfection instructions provided by your eye care professional will help maintain the health of your eyes and prevent complications.
  3. Regular Eye Exams: Regular follow-up eye exams with your optometrist are crucial to monitor the progress of your Ortho-K treatment and ensure the lenses are fitting correctly.

To learn more about myopia diagnosis and treatment, read
True Or False? The Facts About Myopia.


Explore Your Options For Orthokeratology At My Optometrist

Orthokeratology offers a promising alternative to traditional vision correction methods. Whether you're seeking myopia control or a lens-free day, Ortho-K can provide clear and comfortable vision without the need for surgery. However, it's important to remember that Ortho-K is not suitable for everyone, and a thorough consultation with an optometrist is essential. Orthokeratology is an exciting and effective alternative for vision correction. With its potential benefits, such as myopia control and improved convenience, it has garnered attention and interest from individuals seeking a lens-free day and clearer vision. 

The key to great vision for a lifetime is early diagnosis and effective management of any impacts to your eye health and eyesight. The team at My Optometrist uses state-of-the-art equipment for assessments and treatment, and we prioritize patient education. To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How long does it take to see results with Ortho-K?
A: Ortho-K is a gradual process, and the timeline for noticeable results can vary. Some individuals may experience improved vision after the first night of wearing Ortho-K lenses, while others may take a few days or even weeks to achieve optimal vision correction. It's important to follow your optometrist’s guidance and attend regular follow-up visits to monitor your progress.

Q: Are there any potential risks or side effects associated with Ortho-K?
A: Like any vision correction method, Ortho-K does come with potential risks and side effects. These can include temporary discomfort, dryness, glare or halos around lights, and increased sensitivity to light. These effects are usually mild and tend to diminish as your eyes adjust to the lenses. However, it is crucial to consult with an optometrist to understand the specific risks and determine if you are a suitable candidate for Ortho-K.

Q: Can I wear Ortho-K lenses if I have astigmatism?
A: Yes, Ortho-K lenses can effectively correct astigmatism. The specialized design of these lenses allows for customized reshaping of the cornea, addressing both spherical refractive errors (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness) as well as astigmatism. During your consultation with an eye care professional, they will evaluate your astigmatism and determine the feasibility of Ortho-K for your specific needs.

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