FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about ortho-k
I KEEP HEARING DIFFERENT TERMS FOR ORTHOKERATOLOGY, DO THEY ALL MEAN THE SAME THING? Yes! Orthokeratology may also be known as: Ortho-K, Corneal Refractive Therapy, CRT, Dream Lens, Vision Shaping Treatment, VST, Gentle Shaping System, The Gentle Vision Shaping System, Corneal Molding, Wave Front Corneal Molding, and Gentle Molding. Additionally, the treatment devices used to achieve corrected vision may be referred to as: Retainer Lenses, Vision Retainers, Retainers, Ortho-K Lenses, Corneal Molds, Molds, Wave Lenses, and CRT Lenses.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE? Orthokeratology can be effective on farsighted, nearsighted (myopic), and astigmatic patients. Ideally, your prescription should be in the range of +2.00 to -6.00 with no more than -1.75 diopters of surface astigmatism. In some cases your Orthokeratologist will attempt higher prescriptions. If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you are also a great candidate because this lens is so easy to use and it's worn while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while using conventional contact lenses. You are also a great candidate if you need excellent vision without the use of contacts or glasses. Ortho-K benefits pilots, police officers, military personnel and those with safety concerns such as professional athletes, parents of small children, lifeguards and many others. Finally, if you just don't want to be bothered with wearing glasses or contact lenses during a variety of activities such as hiking, playing sports, swimming, skiing, camping, off-road driving, biking, snorkeling, scuba and more, Ortho-K is for you.
WHY ARE CHILDREN GOOD CANDIDATES? Studies from around the world have indicated that Ortho-K can keep your children's nearsightedness from getting worse. Currently, an ongoing 5 year FDA study is seeking to confirm previous studies and prove anecdotal evidence to this fact. Increasing nearsightedness is also a risk factor for detached retina and glaucoma. Your child is an especially good candidate if they have a tendency to lose or abuse their contact lenses/glasses, or if wearing them interferes with their active life.
IF I WEAR BIFOCALS, READING GLASSES OR PROGRESSIVE LENSES, AM I A CANDIDATE? If you are over 40 your reading correction may be addressed with Hyperopic/Presbyopic, Myopic/Presbyopic, or monovision Ortho-K (this last modality involves correcting one eye for great distance vision and the other eye for near vision; your brain automatically chooses the appropriate eye for the task). Another alternative is to have both eyes corrected for distance vision and wear reading glasses whenever you want to do near work.
IS AGE A FACTOR? No, unlike the age limits imposed on refractive surgery, your Orthokeratologist can fit young children. And, there is no upper limit on age either.
I SUFFER FROM DRY EYES, AM I A CANDIDATE? Dry eyes are usually not a problem while you sleep as there is little tear evaporation in a closed eye, and Ortho-K lenses are only worn while you sleep. If your dry eyes are a problem while you sleep, dry eye treatment is a simple option. Orthokeratology can provide those unable to wear conventional contact lenses due to dry eyes with excellent vision with no compromise to their comfort. If you have dry eye disease due to severe arthritis or a collagen-vascular disease, you may not be a candidate. However, a comprehensive exam will give us a better idea of your chances for success.
I USED TO WEAR CONTACT LENSES, BUT STOPPED DUE TO DISCOMFORT. AM I A CANDIDATE? Yes, your corneal reshaping lenses are worn at night while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while wearing contact lenses during the day.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE GREAT VISION? This depends on your prescription, age, and treatment goals. In adults, the higher prescriptions can take two to four weeks to achieve good vision but children's corneas are much more easily molded. Some patients are seeing clearly in as little as one night of retainer lens wear.