is a process of gently molding the cornea to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) and astigmatism by the therapeutic application of contact lenses which are generally worn during sleep. This process is also known as CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) and VST (Vision Shaping Treatment) which are proprietary terms coined by the manufacturers of the lenses. The goal is to give sharp daytime vision without the use of aids and without the need of refractive surgery. There is no loss of tissue as there would be in refractive surgery.
Advantages of Ortho-K:
- Good vision without spectacles or contact lenses for most of the day (in some people it can last up to three days)
- Not a surgical procedure
- Does not hurt
- Children can safely have Ortho-K
- Recent research has shown that the elongation of the eye which occurs in progressive nearsightedness may be slowed by 50-65% making this an excellent method of controlling myopic progression in children
- Does not cause the permanent hazy vision sometimes experienced after laser surgery
- Changes in prescription over time can be handled without surgery
- Procedure is REVERSIBLE (Lasik is not!)
- There is a clear understanding of the effects of contact lens wear on the cornea
- No post-operative pain or recovery period
- Significantly less expensive than Lasik (generally half the fee)
So how come Ortho-K is such a secret? Why haven't I heard more about it? How long has it been around?
Ortho-K is an idea whose time has come. The name was first coined in the early 1960s after the observation that small amounts of nearsightedness were reduced with hard contact lenses. In the 1980's and 1990's, the development of rigid gas permeable contact lenses helped spur the development of the field. In 1989, computer guided lathes were developed which enabled labs to cut very sophisticated curves into the back of rigid lenses. Now, corneal topographers are used to take a three dimensional map of the cornea.
So, now that you have been turned on to this amazing new field... your time has come to see without contact lenses, glasses or the risk of surgery.