What Are Overnight Ortho-K Contact Lenses?
Ortho-k lenses are customized contact lenses that gently reshape the cornea, the front part of the eye, overnight, allowing children and adults to enjoy clear vision the following day—without needing to wear glasses or contact lenses. They’re ideal for people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
Studies have shown that ortho-k lenses can help stop the progression of myopia in children and teenagers, which in turn can help prevent eye diseases in adulthood.
Moreover, ortho-k is a great option for athletes of any age who don’t want to deal with contact lenses or glasses while playing sports. The lenses may also allow many adults with presbyopia — a normal part of the ageing process — to forgo reading glasses. The lenses enable professionals like pilots and people in law enforcement to meet their jobs’ unaided vision requirements.
What Is Orthokeratology/Ortho-K?
Orthokeratology (also called ortho-k), is specially fitted and designed gas permeable contact lenses that temporarily and gently reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. By wearing ortho-k lenses every night, anyone can enjoy clear, sharp vision during the day, without relying on eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Research shows that ortho-k lenses not only effectively removes the need to wear glasses or daytime contact lenses; they can also slow and sometimes stop the progression of myopia. That’s important because children with moderate to severe myopia are at risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.
This explains why many optometrists prescribe ortho-k for myopia management.
The Other Names For Ortho-K
Over the years you may have heard different terms and names for orthokeratology. While there are different orthokeratology lens fitting systems and designs, the principles behind them in reshaping the cornea are similar. These names include:
- Accelerated Ortho-K (AOK)
- Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
- Dream Lenses
- Global Orthokeratology Vision (GOV)
- Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS)
- Molding Lenses
- Natural Vision Improvement
- Night Lenses
- Overnight Lenses
- Overnight Corneal Reshaping (OCR)
- Vision Shaping Treatment (VST)
What Are the Benefits of Ortho-K?
- Slows the progression of myopia – Having moderate to high myopia is a risk factor for developing serious eye conditions in adulthood.
- Correct refractive errors – The lenses can correct myopia, presbyopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.
- Provide fast correction – Ortho-k provides fast results. Some people are able to get rid of their corrective lenses after a single night of treatment. However, if you or your child has a strong prescription, it may take a few days or two to three weeks for optimal results.
- Clear vision all day long – The gentle corneal reshaping that corrects vision overnight lasts all day and at times even two days.
- They’re comfortable – Created with precise mapping technology, ortho-k lenses are custom-fit to the eyes, thus ensuring optimal comfort.
- Have an excellent safety record – Orthokeratology lenses provide safe vision correction when used properly and according to hygiene protocols. CRT by Paragon is also FDA approved for how effective it is!
- Reshape the cornea temporarily – The changes to the corneal shape aren’t permanent, so if patients eventually opt for laser refractive surgery, they can stop using the lenses and the cornea will naturally revert to its original shape. This allows for better laser results.
Are Overnight Ortho-K Lenses Safe?
Yes. Ortho-k is a safe, non-surgical, and reversible alternative to LASIK. It is ideal for any adult who is active during the day and doesn’t want to wear contact lenses or glasses.
Unlike standard contact lenses, which can damage your eyes if you wear them overnight, ortho-k lenses are specially designed to be worn while you sleep!
As with any contact lenses, make sure to always follow your eye doctor‘s instructions regarding how to properly handle and care for your overnight lenses.
For more information on ortho-k lenses, contact The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry today. We’ll be happy to schedule an eye exam and answer any questions you may have.
The Myopia Management Center at Pacific Rims Optometry serves patients from San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Mateo, all throughout California.