Ortho K

Wake Up to Clear Vision

What is Ortho K?

Ortho K is gentle reshaping of the cornea (the front window of the eye) to correct blurred vision, using contact lenses. Ortho K is also known as orthokeratology, corneal reshaping, and corneal refractive therapy.

Special custom designed contact lenses worn overnight, alter the shape of the cornea to produce clear, lasting vision throughout the day once the lenses are removed. 


How does Orthokeratology work?

OrthoK Process

Soft tissues of the body conform to gentle and persistent pressure – intentionally like braces used to straighten teeth, and incidentally such as the effects of shoes on feet and toes.

Ortho K lenses designed specifically for your eyes will gently reshape your corneas as you sleep to the slightly different curvature needed to focus clearly again. The change is only a few microns (1/1000mm) and unlike teeth and toes (which remain permanently in the new conformation), the cornea will return to its original shape over a few days if contact lens wear stops.

The science and technology used to map the eye and generate the precise curves of Ortho K lenses is complicated, but the process is simple for you: You wear your individually customised lenses while you sleep. When you wake up, remove the lens and you will be able to see for the rest of the day without any glasses or contact lenses. Once the correct corneal shape has been achieved (over a few days), you need to wear the Ortho K lenses every night or every second night (depending on the level of correction) to maintain clear vision the next day.

Benefits                     History                    Myopia Control                  OrthoK FAQ                           Media 

Who is Suitable for Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology is suitable for anyone over 6 or 7 years of age who can wear contact lenses, and wants to have clear vision without wearing glasses or contacts during the day.

It is most successful for people who fit the following profile:

- Mild to moderate myopia (-0.50D to –4.00D) with minimal astigmatism
- Sports people, active individuals and those who risk losing their contacts
- Those whose jobs don't suit regular contact lenses such as in dusty environments
- Existing wearers who suffer with irritation from their contact lenses
- Those who don't want to risk laser surgery but need a reversible and affordable alternative to correct their vision
- Contact lens wearers who have allergies or get dry eyes from air conditioning or computer use
- Moderate astigmatism and some hyperopia (longsightedness) may also be corrected but the results are less predictable
- Early presbyopes (reading loss from middle age) are showing some success now too 

  • Benefits of Ortho K

- No glasses
- Control of progressing myopia in children and teenagers
- No daytime dryness or irritation from contacts
- No problems with dusty or dry environments
- No surgery
- Reversible
- You can wear regular sunglasses
- Freedom for sports, especially swimming and water sports

Ortho K is adjustable if your vision changes 

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  • The History of Orthokeratology

Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses began in the 1960’s but was limited by the basic contact lens designs and materials available at that time, and by the limited understanding of the mechanisms involved in successfully and predictably correcting myopia.

An understanding of corneal physiology generated modern lens materials which now allow almost unlimited oxygen onto the eye and computers now enable us to precisely map the contours of the corneal surface in 3D and to produce revolutionary contact lens designs to a degree of precision previously unimagined.

These changes have led to an upsurge in Ortho K among contact lens specialists and there is enormous interest among academics now too. This is resulting in a huge increase in research on Ortho K which is being funded by governments and industry concerned about the dramatic increase in myopia.

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  • Myopia Control and Ortho K

Myopia or short-sightedness blurs distance vision, and has become epidemic in some Asian nations, with over 90% of teenagers becoming more short-sighted every year. The latest research from Hong Kong, Europe USA and Australia (Swarbrick 2010) confirms the observations of optometrists over many years that overnight Ortho K reduces (and may even stop) the progression of myopia in children and teenagers by at least half.

Ortho K has become the number one technique for myopia control and likely to eventually become a mainstream form of vision care. However it is only available at present from optometrists who have the clinical skills and advanced technology to utilise it.

Stopping myopia cannot be guaranteed to result for every child, but Ortho-K will give good sight all day. Parents prefer Ortho-K to regular contact lenses as they no longer have to worry about children losing contact lenses or glasses at school. Parents are more in control of their child’s lens wear, as their child only wears the lenses at home while they sleep.

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