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86 Major MacKenzie Dr W Richmond Hill ON L4C3S2 (905) 883-8182
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Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) Lenses: How They Can Help Treat Myopia


Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) Lenses: How They Can Help Treat Myopia

A young girl is holding a transparent case with orthokeratological contact lenses at the eye clinic.

While modern medicine has advanced greatly, there is still no permanent solution or cure for myopia or nearsightedness. There are, however, ways that Myopia can be treated which can have long term results and can noticeably slow down its progression.

Orthokeratology (ortho-K) lenses are specially designed contact lenses that help to reshape the cornea while you sleep. Myopia is a condition where the eyeball is too long or the retinas, the clear outer layer, are too steep. This causes the vision to be altered so that objects close by are in focus, while things seen at a distance, appear blurry. 

What Causes Myopia?

Myopia can be hereditary, with no visible markers, it can also come on spontaneously. This is quite common and affects more than 30% of the Canadian population. Patients may notice changes in their vision when doing common things such as watching tv, looking at white boards and driving. 

Myopia Treatment Options

There are ways in which myopia can be corrected that do not involve invasive measures, such as undergoing surgery. This correction is not permanent, though by implementing some corrective measures, the results can be long-lasting, as long as they are kept up.

Ortho-K Lenses are meant as an alternative measure to surgery. While the risks for surgery can be greater and have longer recovery times, ortho-K lenses are lower risk, and an option for those who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure. These specially designed lenses are worn at night to help reshape the eye while you sleep. With ortho-k, these lenses are versatile and can be worn by children as well as adults. 

A close-up of an Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) lens inside a transparent case. Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) lenses are specially designed contact lenses that help to reshape the cornea while you sleep.

How Often Will I Be Wearing My Ortho-K Lenses? 

Once you begin wearing your ortho-K lenses, they will become part of your regular eye care routine. Your ortho-K lenses will not impact your day to day activities as they will not be worn during the day. Ortho-k lenses, they are worn while you’re sleeping, and reshape your cornea, allowing you to see clearly without the aid of glasses or contact lenses during the day.

Ortho-K lenses apply pressure to the top of the eyes tear film to reshape the front layer of the cornea. Most people notice a change in their vision within 24 to 72 hours of first wearing their Ortho-K lenses. 

Similar to other corrective measures, should you stop wearing your lenses, your vision will eventually revert back, in as little as 72 hours. Many people will not need to wear the lenses every night, this will depend on how severe your symptoms are. 

Over time, your eyesight will begin to improve and you will need to wear your glasses or daytime contact lenses less and less. The pressure that is applied to your eyes regularly will noticeably slow down the effects of nearsightedness and keep your eyes from reverting back to their previous shape.

How Can I Manage My Myopia & Ortho-K Lenses? 

Regular vision care check ups are always important. By seeing your optometrist regularly, you will be able to manage the prescription level and be better suited to care long term for your Myopia. 

Some factors to keep in mind after you have introduced your ortho-K lenses into your health care routine are:

  • Always keep your lenses clean: Contact care is an essential part of caring for your eyes. If you do not regularly wash your lenses, and do not wash them properly, you can get infections that can lead to severe eye problems. They will need to be cleaned after every use.
  • Ortho-K lenses are meant to be worn at night: You should not wear these lenses for long periods of time when your eyes are open—the pressure could cause harm to your eyes. 

We’re Here for Your Ortho-K Needs

If you’re ready to ditch glasses and contact lenses during the day and are interested in whether or not ortho-k could work for you, we would love to talk. Schedule an appointment on our website to learn more.

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