A New Year is upon us, and with all of the resolutions that you may have been making, why not try to prioritize your vision? Corneal refractive therapy is often overlooked, although it is one of the least invasive procedures and still offers a clear daily vision without corrective lenses.
Your cornea is responsible for allowing light to pass through the eye so that images can be clearly seen without distortion, spots, or blurriness. Even slight problems with the shape of your cornea can have some drastic effects on your ability to see.
Corneal refractive therapies work by correcting the shape of your cornea so you can see images clearly, much like a dental retainer keeps teeth in correct alignment. Other approaches are commonly used by vision professionals, such as prescription lenses, LASIK, or other laser surgeries. However, at Insight Eyecare, we also offer Orthokeratology or Ortho-K. This approach utilizes specially designed rigid contact lenses to gently shape your eye into the proper curvature so that you can see clearly throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Decades ago, eye doctors that were prescribing gas-permeable contact lenses to their patients thought that this type of lens might actually be able to give the eye a different shape, even if it were only temporary. Of course, their idea was correct, and the field of orthokeratology was born.
Orthokeratology does not use traditional gas-permeable lenses to change your vision while they are worn. Instead, special rigid lenses are placed on your eye just before you go to sleep. As you rest through the night, they gently help to reshape your cornea into the proper curvature. When you wake up in the morning, you take the lenses out, and are rewarded with a clear vision all day!
The results of wearing your lenses for a night do not last forever. Many patients find that they can go at least a full day, and sometimes three days and still enjoy clear vision. This can be an advantage for those wanting a correction solution without surgery or other permanent changes to the eye. And, if your vision does change, we can modify the retainer lens to compensate!
Ortho-K is not for every patient. However, this approach is beneficial for adults and children. In addition, many people who are active, or spend a lot of time outdoors may find that the freedom of not having to wear contact lenses throughout the day is a huge benefit to their lifestyle. Imagine being able to swim or ski without having to worry about losing a contact.
Ortho-K has been widely used to help control the progression of near-sightedness (myopia) in young eyes. Multiple studies have shown that children who wear Ortho-K lenses have less myopia than their peers later in life. Just because your mom or dad have a high prescription does not mean the children need to suffer the same fate! Early intervention provides the best long-term outcome.
Many athletes utilize Ortho-K to help keep them focused on their training or on the big game.
While some patients may have been told that they are not good candidates for other approaches, such as LASIK, it does not mean that Ortho-K is not a good fit. This approach is used for patients with astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia, and a number of other eye conditions. The process is not ideal for every eye, but for many, it’s an option.
Ortho-K is an approach that requires you to wear rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses while you sleep. These lenses may initially cause a mild foreign body sensation when they first start to wear them. However, this sensation usually passes within a few days or weeks as your eyes get used to the new lenses.
In contrast to LASIK surgery, Ortho-K is non-invasive and is not permanent. Many of our patients who seek orthokeratology do not feel prepared for surgery. Sometimes they may worry that if a mistake is made that they will have to live with that issue forever. Fortunately, if you do not like the approach, you do not have to continue the treatment, you can discontinue lens wear, and your vision will return to where it was previously.
If you want to see the New Year in clearer vision and start enjoying all of the things you have been missing, call Insight Eye Care today to schedule your consultation! We can find out of Orthokeratology is the right approach for you.