What is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology, also known as corneal refractive therapy, vision shaping treatment, corneal molding and Ortho-K is the gentle reshaping of the cornea to correct myopia (nearsightedness). Clinical studies have shown that Ortho-K slows the progression of myopia in children.
The GP lenses for ortho-k are applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you’re awake. The effect is temporary – generally enough to get you through a day or two – so you must wear the reshaping lenses each night to maintain good vision during the day.
Currently, there are two brands of orthokeratology approved by the FDA: Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) from Paragon Vision Sciences and Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) from Bausch & Lomb.
Our doctors at Cascade Vision Center use the Wave Contact Lens System Orthokeratology Lenses (B&L VST overnight approved). Wave contact lenses are custom lenses designed exclusively from corneal topography (corneal mapping) data.
Ortho-K and Myopia Progression
Numerous recent studies have shown that orthokeratology lenses can prevent the progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children. Why is it important to prevent the progression of nearsightedness in our children? The incidence of myopia, in the United States, increased by 66% in the last 30 years. Currently, a multi-center FDA sponsored study is in it’s fourth of five years and thus far the preliminary results are confirming that OrthoKeratology does indeed effectively prevent the progression of nearsightedness.
How Does it Work?
Orthokeratology is accomplished by using a specially designed contact lens called a reverse geometry lens. These computer designed lenses gently flatten the cornea by pushing the central epithelial layers that reside directly over the pupil towards the periphery. This movement of corneal cells causes the center of the cornea to be thinner thus moving the focus of light closer to the retina. Orthokeratology refocuses the light on the retina in the same way as LASIK and PRK.
What Should I Expect?
Patients interested in Ortho-K must start with a comprehensive eye exam. After a comprehensive eye exam, including an Ortho-K consultation, corneal topography (corneal mapping) is done. These are topographical maps of the cornea. Everyone’s topographical map is different, much like our fingerprints.
Corneal topography shows us irregularities in the cornea and is essential to designing contact lenses that will mold your cornea. Corneal topography also allows us to diagnose corneal diseases such as keratoconus.
The corneal topography data and the refractive data are used to design a reverse geometry gas permeable contact lens. This custom contact lens flattens the cornea, resulting in clear vision.
When we receive your new contact lenses we will call you to schedule a time to dispense your lenses, teaching you how to insert, remove, and care for them. A series of follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress. Most patients wear their lenses at night, while sleeping, and remove them in the morning. Some patients wear them every night and some wear them every other night.
For more information or to schedule your appointment, please call our office.