Studies have shown that corneal reshaping therapy is effective in controlling and slowing down the progression of myopia. Orthokeratology involves using specially designed gas permeable contact lenses to gently reshape the cornea and temporarily correct myopia. Read on as the Myopia Institute answers five of the most common questions about it:
1. What Is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology is the fitting of special contact lenses that you wear before you go to sleep. While you are asleep, the ortho k lenses gently reshape your cornea to correct your refractive error. After removing the lenses when you wake up, you will have clear vision. This vision correction is temporary, however, so you’ll need to wear the lenses again when you go to sleep.
2. How Long Does the Effect Last?
The vision correction varies depending on the patient. Some patients will see clearly without contact lenses or glasses for a day or more. Some patients will slowly lose their clear vision as the day progresses. For best results, however, we recommend wearing ortho k lenses each night, regardless of how long the effect lasts.
3. What Can I Expect When I Begin This Treatment?
Your eye doctor will use a corneal topographer to measure the curvatures of your corneas. This is a painless procedure that takes only a minute. They can then either order custom ortho k lenses or use the in-office inventory, depending on the results. You might have to wear a series of temporary lenses to achieve maximum vision correction effect.
4. How Long Will It Take Until It Works?
This will depend on many factors, particularly the amount of nearsightedness you have when starting the treatment. Some patients can have clear vision after a day or two of wearing the lenses overnight, while some patients with higher prescriptions will take two weeks or longer. In some cases, the patient will have to wear glasses during the ortho-k process.
5. Who Is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?
The majority of people with mild to moderate myopia are good candidates for this treatment. Since the effect of the ortho k lenses is temporary, there is little risk involved in wearing the lenses. In fact, you can discontinue wearing the lenses at any time as long as you are ready to wear glasses or contact lenses. Patients who can’t undergo LASIK surgery and patients who participate in contact sports are also good candidates.
Aside from orthokeratology, distance center multifocal soft contact lenses, atropine eye drops and bifocal and multifocal eyeglasses can also help slow down your myopia’s progression. The Myopia Institute can provide you with information regarding these methods for controlling nearsightedness. We also provide a local directory of reliable myopia specialists. Call us at (301) 363-0060 to learn more about our services. We serve Chicago, IL, Washington, D.C. and other areas.