What is Ortho-K and does it mean I'm contact lens and spectacle free through the day?
Orthokeratology is the programmed application of retainer contact lenses that gently change the shape of the cornea, in a controlled way, while asleep! On taking the retainers out when waking, the cornea retains its new programmed treated shape allowing clear vision for the rest of the day, without (this is the clever part) surgery, contact lenses or glasses. Then before going to sleep again at night they are worn once more. This has many advantages, some of which are:
• Non-surgical vision improvement without glasses or contact lenses
• Easy, safe and effective in use
• Comfortable, convenient and reversible
• Suitable for certain careers/sports/activities in which need to be glasses-free or contact lens-free like: swimming, water sports, athletes, pilots, police etc. or when in dusty environments
• Feel free to shower, swim, use sauna as normal
• No end of day contact lens discomfort or blur
• No contact lens dehydration or spectacle fogging due to face mask wear
It may sound a little amazing, it can be explained another way. Something that most people have heard of and can relate to. That is orthodontic treatment for teeth? Most will know or have heard of this especially in regard to teenage children. In orthokeratology, a treatment lens is worn at night during which it adjusts the shape of the cornea. Removing the over-night refractive treatment leaves your vision newly adjusted throughout the day. To maintain good day time vision, the treatment is simply used at night. To discuss if this may be suitable for you, please see the email details at the bottom of this article.
Is it new, safe and effective?
Like orthodontics, orthokeratology has been around a long time - it just not as mainstream. It is completly reversible and as safe as other forms of contact lens wear, it is a real alternative to other forms of vision correction, including Laser Vision Correction. Stop wearing the lenses and your eyes return to the normal, pre-treatment prescription in around five days.
Many previous contact lens wearers find overnight orthokeratology more comfortable and altogether more satisfactory than conventional lenses. Many choose this because of dry eye or other comfort related issues present with their existing lenses which doesn't happen with orthokeratology. Wearers experience a different lifestyle feeling free from adverse effects of normal contact lenses that can occur, such as problems with hay fever, dryness, air conditioning, wind, dust or slippage... leaving them free to focus on enjoying a modern, active lifestyle. Active sports and recreation is helped since participation without wearing lenses means there are no issues of lens loss.
Could I be suitable?
It used to be thought that only low to mild myopia (short-sight) could be treated, however here at ADP-EyeCare we can treat certain hyperopic (long-sight), astigmatic and bifocal type prescriptions. This has the greater advantage of reducing spectacle dependence to a much wider popultion than previously. Just as with all contact lenses a thorough examination is required, then an extremey specialised instrument called a corneal topographer is used to map the exact contours of the cornea using thousands of points of reference. This data is then used to produce individually tailored lenses to suit your precise needs. These lenses are unique, no one else in the world will have lenses to the same design!
Are they painful at night and what happens if I get up in the night?
The vast majority of wearers cannot feel the lenses while they are asleep at all and another clever aspect is vision is good with or without them, so at night if awake and during the day after taking them out!
How does the Ortho-K Programme work?
There are minute adjustments to the cornea’s surface to make overnight vision changes possible. Small alterations to the lens surface may affect these changes over time, so included in the care plan, at no extra cost, are new treratment lenses dispensed periodically, the determining factors are the type of treatment lens worn and the individual response of the eye.
What are the charges?
The Ortho-K Programme is not funded by the NHS. It involves a great deal of time with professional staff and may require changes of lenses – this is included in the programme fees. More detailed programme charges can be given on request.
What do I do next?
If you would like to discuss Ortho-K as may relate specifcally to you or contact us for non-urgent eye care discussions related to dry eyes or contact lenses you can by email:
- Andrew D Price (Nantwich or general enquiries)
- Mohamed Ayyaz Kasmani BSc(Hons) MCOptom (North London)
- Colin Jones FBDO(Hons) CL (Widnes)
- Elizabeth Ralph (East Midlands and South Yorkshire)
Personal portfolios can be found here: