Skip to main content

Basic Facts About Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

Ortho-K lenses are specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that are worn overnight as you sleep. They gently reshape your cornea, the surface of the eye. The next morning, you wake up with close to or exactly 20/20 vision.

Ortho-K lenses are commonly prescribed to slow the progression of childhood myopia.

Ortho-K lenses are also called “corneal reshaping contact lenses” or “overnight contact lenses to correct or control myopia.”

How long does the benefit of Ortho-K last each day?

Most patients are able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses all day, and some people can use their lenses only several times a week.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?

People with mild to moderate myopia (with or without mild astigmatism) are good candidates for Ortho-K. In our office, even individuals who are very nearsighted have been treated successfully, in large part because of Dr. Roth’s experience and the fact we design lenses customized for each patient’s unique corneal shape. Each cornea has a unique shape, somewhat similar to the fact that there are no two fingerprints that are exactly alike.

Young adults can wear Ortho-K safely and it is a good alternative to LASIK.

It enables people to see clearly when playing sports, without the aid of glasses or contacts.

It enables children to see clearly all day in school and often prevents the progression of nearsightedness.

When Do the Changes Begin?

How Long Does it Take for Maximum Ortho-K Effect?

The benefits begin the next day, and are usually solid after several weeks. There are many factors however, including the amount of nearsightedness (and possibly astigmatism) someone has when beginning Ortho-K.

At times, people may need to wear a lower power soft lens until the effects become solid. Some people have glare and halos around lights. Rarely, there is mild glare and halos even after maximum Ortho-K correction.

LASIK Surgery is Possible After Ortho-k

Ortho-k is reversible, so if someone wants LASIK later, that can be done as well. Our Old Bridge eye doctor, Dr. Roth, has helped people who have regressed and become nearsighted after having had LASIK to then wear Ortho-K lenses in order to get clear vision once again. Side effects or complications are rare, although they can occur.