Ortho-K lenses, short for orthokeratology, are specialized gas-permeable lenses designed to gently reshape the cornea. This non-surgical procedure involves wearing these lenses overnight, and upon waking, experiencing clear vision throughout the day without glasses or traditional contact lenses. Ortho-K lenses are effective in treating various eye conditions like astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia. Here are six intriguing insights into corneal reshaping and Ortho-K lenses that might surprise you:
Ortho-K Lenses is not new
While Ortho-K lenses might appear to be a recent innovation, their history dates back to the 1940s when doctors first realized that glass contact lenses could reshape the cornea. Over the decades, this technology has evolved significantly, with enhancements in gas-permeable lenses and corneal topography software. Additionally, orthokeratology has proven to be one of the most effective methods to slow the progression of myopia in children.
Myopia Is More Prevalent
Obviously, Myopia has emerged as a global health concern, affecting over one billion people worldwide. Predictions suggest this number could surge to nearly five billion by 2050, driven by factors like age, reduced outdoor activities, and increased screen time. Ortho-K lenses have been a highly effective treatment for over two decades. As myopia’s prevalence rises, orthokeratology gains importance not only for myopia correction but also for preventing its progression.
Effects Can Extend Beyond a Single Day
While it’s recommended to wear Ortho-K lenses every night for optimal results, their effects can sometimes last beyond a single day. In many cases, individuals enjoy clear vision for up to two days following just one night of lens wear. While these lenses can be worn during the day, they are most comfortable and effective when worn at night to reshape the cornea. Frequent nightly wear is crucial during the initial stages, and later on, individuals may reduce wear frequency.
It’s Not a Painful Procedure
Reshaping the cornea with Ortho-K lenses might sound painful, but it’s surprisingly pain-free. The reshaping doesn’t involve squeezing or compressing the cornea. Instead, it relies on hydraulic forces. The lens forms a fluid vault over the eye, redistributing fluid across different parts of the cornea, temporarily correcting curvature issues.
Ideal Benefits for Children
Ortho-K lenses are effective for a wide range of candidates, with children being particularly suitable. This is due to the fact that LASIK surgery isn’t recommended for young patients. Children who prefer not to wear glasses often achieve excellent results with Ortho-K lenses, particularly in slowing the progression of myopia. The treatment is now recognized as a leading approach to myopia management. Other ideal candidates include those within specific prescription ranges and individuals who require vision correction without conventional lenses, such as pilots, police officers, and athletes.
More than one visit for Proper Fittings
Fitting Ortho-K lenses correctly may require several visits to an eye care practitioner. The process spans several weeks and involves testing multiple temporary lenses to ensure the perfect fit, ensuring optimal results.