Many people who are not interested in eye surgeries to correct their vision find ortho-k a great alternative. Ortho-k, or orthokeratology in full, is an eye treatment option that works just like braces for your teeth. It reshapes your eye to help you have clearer vision after you remove the lenses.
Just like any other treatment, ortho-k lenses have their risks and benefits. Here is what you need to know before getting ortho-k contact lenses.
Ortho-k lenses are used to improve the following vision impairments:
Another name for myopia is nearsightedness. This is the ability to see nearby objects much clearer than distant objects. Ortho-k lenses bring light to focus beyond the retina to control myopia. The lenses achieve that by preventing light from going out of focus due to myopia.
Hyperopia, also going by the name farsightedness, is an eye condition in which you can see distant images clearly but not nearby images. Hyperopic ortho-k lenses reshape the cornea to help bring light to the surface of the retina as light enters the eye. This brings nearby objects into focus, thus controlling farsightedness.
Ortho-k can visually correct presbyopia as well. Presbyopia is a more severe form of farsightedness that mostly happens to people above the age of 40. The cornea takes on a different and stiffer shape as you age and has trouble focusing light on the surface of the retina.
This is a condition where the cornea is not completely round, thus preventing light rays from having a common focus. Ortho-k lenses correct astigmatism by restructuring the cornea so that it can focus light the right way.
Generally, the FDA approves ortho-k as a safe therapy for people of various ages as long as the lenses are well looked after and made of highly gas-permeable ingredients. But the lenses carry the risk of corneal injury. Distorted corneas can cause changes in the shape of ortho-k lenses, meaning you may struggle with double or blurry vision.
That said, it is important to know that the risks posed by ortho-k lenses can be moderated. The risks are about as similar as the risks associated with other types of contact lenses. Knowing about these probable risks can help you make a knowledgeable decision.
Also, if you undergo ortho-k therapy but then stop wearing your ortho-k lenses, your vision will return to its initial refractive error. It is best to talk to your eye doctor to check whether you can benefit from ortho-k lenses. If you prefer a more lasting solution to your eye problem, you may want to consider having refractive eye surgery instead.
For more on what to know before getting ortho-k contact lenses, visit Hunter Family Vision at our offices in Leawood or Prairie Village, Kansas. You can also call (913) 681-8555 or (913) 381-2323 to schedule an appointment today.