Orthokeratolgy or “Ortho-K,”, improves vision by applying specially designed lenses worn while sleeping. This is similar to wearing a retainer after having orthodonture. Orthokeratology reshapes the cornea of the eye with specially-designed gas permeable (GP) contact lenses. The cornea (the front surface of the eye) is modified and thereby corrects vision for people that are nearsightedness, farsighted, those with astigmatism, and presbyopia. It corrects your vision so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses throughout the day.
Ortho-K began in 1962, but people still have not heard of it. in the same way that not all dentists choose to learn how to provide orthodonture, not all eye doctors chose to learn how to use this technology and therefore can’t offer Ortho-K as a choice for their patients. Ortho-K is taught in all optometry schools and colleges, and Ortho-K has become even better now that there are new lens designs and new materials available. Ortho-K is safe, effective, and FDA approved for both children and adults. Best of all, Ortho-K is non-surgical.
With Ortho-K, we can help children who are becoming more nearsighted from becoming more nearsighted. Please read elsewhere on our website about the benefits of Ortho-K for children.
Ortho-K is also a wonderful procedure for adults that want to see clearly without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Presbyopia is the natural change of the lens within the eye. Usually, around age 40, people start to notice that it is difficult to see at near, for example reading or looking at their watch. People who had been able to see clearly at distance, now notice it is difficult to see at near. People who are nearsighted and only had to wear eyeglasses only for distance, now notice that they have difficulty seeing at near through their eyeglasses. They often notice it is easier to read without their eyeglasses on.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) from Paragon Vision Sciences
WAVE Custom Ortho-k Lenses
Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) from Bausch & Lomb.
A rose by any other name smells just as sweet.
Some doctors have given Ortho-K their own proprietary name such as Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS), GOV, Driem, etc . The name is not what is important, but rather the success of the procedure and the experience of the doctor doing the procedure. Dr. Roth has prescribed orthokeratology for over 20 years and has been recognized and interviewed by newspapers as someone who is well experienced in orthokeratology.
Who is a Candidate for Ortho-k?
Orthokeratology is a good option for children and adults that are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism. It is also useful for people over 40 that have difficulty seeing at near. Ortho-K is particularly appealing for people who participate in sports.
At times people think that surgical procedures are a cure-all. There are risks associated with LASIK including halos and permanent vision loss. Dry eye is a common complaint after LASIK. Once the cornea is surgically altered with LASIK, it can’t be replaced. Ortho-K is a great option for those that don’t want to take the risks associated with surgery. Orthokeratology has the benefit of not being permanent. This a benefit because it can be discontinued at any time without permanent change to the eye. Some individuals want to “test drive” before they consider LASIK.
What results can you expect from Ortho-K?
The goal of Ortho-K is to correct your vision so that you can see clearly without eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).
In our office and because of our experience and being able to design custom Ortho-K lenses, we can help not only individuals with mild prescriptions, but even those who have high prescriptions.
How long does Ortho-K take?
Improvement in vision occurs within a day or two, and at times can become apparent even overnight. It becomes fully stable within several weeks. An overnight test called an Orthokeratology Evaluation, is sometimes done as is usually a good predictor of success.
Is Ortho-K Comfortable?
Ortho-K lenses are worn during sleep and therefore comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.
What is the Cost of Orthokeratology?
Ortho-K takes requires more expertise than a regular contact lens fitting and includes a series of visits to our eye care expert near East Brunswick, NJ. At times more than one pair of lenses is needed to achieve the desired results. The fees for orthokeratology are therefore higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings.
Can I have LASIK after Ortho-K?
Yes, it’s possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology but it is rare for patients to do this. LASIK permanently alters the cornea, and carries some risk. Ortho-K alters the cornea temporarily, and the advantage is that it is not permanent. After age 40, for example, when most people begin to have difficulty at near, the shape of the cornea can be adjusted to enable people to see at near as well. After LASIK, once the cornea has been cut and removed, it can’t be replaced. Ortho-K patients that have stopped wearing their Ortho-K lenses for one reason or another, continue to retain some of their Ortho-K benefit, and often their prescription remains lower than it had been prior to beginning Ortho-K.
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