Envision Optical
Optometrist in QLD and NSW
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What Is Ortho-K and How Does It Work?

August 30, 2021
Posted By: Envision Optical
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At Envision Optical, we want you to have the clearest vision possible so you can enjoy the most precious moments in life. Dr Andrew Bowden and our team offer various vision correction treatments, including an advanced and effective solution known as orthokeratology.

What Is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology, or ortho-k, involves using specially designed contact lenses to improve your vision. Ortho-k temporarily reshapes the cornea, the front surface of the eye, while the wearer sleeps. Many people compare ortho-k to orthodontics for your eyes because it reshapes the corneal tissue into the desired prescription. 

How Does Ortho-K Work?

Your ophthalmologist maps the shape of your cornea using a corneal topographer. This non-invasive machine does not touch the eye; it simply reflects light off of its surface. Dr Bowden uses the results from the corneal topographer to design your custom ortho-k lenses. 

The ortho-k lenses flatten the centre of the cornea, altering how light bends as it enters the eye. Most ortho-k lenses are worn at night and removed during the day. Overnight lenses are sturdy enough to reshape the cornea while maintaining your eye health. 

When a person removes the ortho-k lenses, the cornea stays flattened and corrects the person’s vision without the need for glasses. However, ortho-k’s vision improvements are reversible, so you must wear the lenses as your ophthalmologist instructs. 

Who Are Candidates for Ortho-K?

The cornea is the transparent, flexible outer layer of the eye that focuses light and enables clear vision. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the cornea’s shape, curve, and thickness can affect a person’s ability to see clearly.

People with myopia, or near-sightedness, are usually candidates for ortho-k. Other treatments, such as LASIK, eyeglasses, and regular contact lenses, can also correct near-sightedness. 

One of the benefits of ortho-k is that it’s non-invasive and doesn’t require surgery. With ortho-k, a person’s vision can improve without wearing glasses or regular contact lenses all the time. Ophthalmologists sometimes recommend for children, according to the AAO

What Can You Expect from Ortho-K?

At first, you may notice you’re wearing lenses when you fall asleep, but with time, most patients find them more comfortable. Once the corneas develop the desired curve, your ophthalmologist may recommend using retainer lenses to maintain your vision. 

The AAO says that ortho-k can be used for many years, as long as you see your ophthalmologist for regular checkups and your eyes stay healthy. 

Are You Ready to See More Clearly with Ortho-K?

If you are interested in learning more about vision correction treatments like ortho-k, we invite you to contact one of our Gold Coast Eye Clinics. We have clinics in Burleigh Waters, QLD and Tweed Heads, NSW and we always welcome new patients. 

We look forward to welcoming you to our eye clinic!