Ortho-K lenses or Orthokeratology lenses are specially designed gas permeable lenses designed to gently reshape the cornea. The lenses are worn over night and removed in the morning allowing you to see during the day without glasses or regular contact lenses. They also have the added benefit of slowing down a child’s prescription as they grow (nearsighted children). The article below answer 5 common questions patient typically have about Ortho-K.
- Are Ortho-K Lenses Safe?
Ortho-K Lenses are approved by both Health Canada and the FDA for corneal reshaping and over night wear. The lenses are made from highly gas permeable materials which allow a lot of oxygen to reach the surface of the eye even while sleeping in the lenses. The risk of Ortho-K lenses are similar to other types of contact lenses. We recommend that Ortho-K lenses are cleaned and disinfected in ClearCare which is a hydrogen peroxide lens care system. This helps ensure they are disinfected before wearing them again at night.
- How many nights of wear before I can see clearly?
In most cases after one night of wear, approximately 50% of the prescription is eliminated. It then takes an additional 10 -14 days for the rest of the prescription to be reduced. If after two weeks of wear there is still some additional prescription left over, you doctor will most likely modify the lenses to get more treatment effect.
- How effective are Ortho-K lenses at slowing down prescription change?
Ortho-K lenses are often used in children who are nearsighted. Depending on their level of nearsightedness Ortho-K lenses have been found to reduce progression by 40-70%.
- Do Ortho-K lenses hurt?
One might think that Ortho-K lenses are painful but they are not. The lenses sit on the tear film and do not press directly against the cornea (surface of the eye). People are aware they have the lenses in their eyes but they are not uncomfortable.
- How often do you have to replace Ortho-K lenses?
On average once per year. After about 1 year of wear the lenses begin to change shape slightly or warp. It is this warpage that alters the effect of the lens. As a result vision during the day may not be as clear as it should be. Replacing lenses yearly ensures you eyes remain healthy and your vision as crisp and clear as it should be.
The doctors and team members at Abbey Eye Care have years of experience in fitting Ortho-K lenses. If you have any questions about this type of contact lens modality, please call our office, stop by or book an appointment. We are always happy to answer any of your questions.