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Ortho-Keratology | Candidates | Fitting | Expectation

What is Ortho-Keratology?


Orthokeratology (ortho-k) is the fitting of specially designed gas permeable contact lenses that you wear overnight. While you are asleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (cornea) so you can see clearly the following day after you remove the lenses when you wake up.

Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for two purposes:

  • To correct refractive errors (primarily nearsightness, but also astigmatism and hyperopia). In some cases, ortho-k also is used to correct presbyopia.
  • To slow the progression of childhood myopia.

Who is a good candidate for Ortho-K?


Most people with mild to moderate myopia (with or without mild astigmatism) are good candidates for ortho-k.

Because the corneal reshaping effect is temporary, little risk is involved, and you can discontinue wearing the lenses at any time — provided you are willing to start wearing glasses or contacts again when your myopia returns!

Children and young adults who want to be glasses-free, but are too young for LASIK, or are not good candidates for refractive surgery for other reasons (dry eyes), often are good candidates for ortho-k. People who participate in contact sports or work in dusty environments that can pose problems for contact lens wear can also be good candidates.

Who fits Ortho-K Lenses?


In the United States, doctors who specialize in corneal care perform most orthokeratology lens fitting.

It is important to know that orthokeratology is a very specialized type of contact lens fitting, and not all eye doctors who fit contact lenses also fit ortho-k lenses. If orthokeratology interests you, please call our office for a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for ortho-k lenses.

What to expect with the Ortho-K process.


The eye doctor will begin by measuring the curvatures of your corneas using an instrument called a corneal topographer — a painless procedure that takes about a minute and produces a topographical map of your eye’s surface.

Our doctors might use an in-office inventory of lenses to fit your eyes with ortho-k lenses the same day corneal topography measurements are taken, or he or she may order custom ortho-k lenses for fitting at a later date.

You may need a series of temporary lenses to see properly until you reach the desired prescription. In most cases, up to three pairs of lenses are required to achieve the maximum vision correction effect.

When you begin to wear ortho-k lenses, you will likely have some awareness of the lenses on your eyes until you fall asleep. With time, the lenses typically become more comfortable immediately upon insertion. Please feel free to call our office and schedule a consultation to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to helping you.