FAQ

GENERAL ORTHO-K QUESTIONS

Orthokeratology (also known as Ortho-K) is a non-surgical corneal reshaping of the eye using night-time custom contact lenses; this process allows individual to enjoy an active lifestyle without the need to wear glasses or contact lenses in the day.  There is no cutting and it is reversible. To many parents, they find that it is one of the most effective way for myopia control. For many people, it’s an attractive alternative to Lasik 
NO RISKs associated with Surgery

  • Wearing Ortho-K lenses is a non-surgical vision correction therapy 

Vision Freedom 

  • Ortho-K eliminates the need for glasses or contact lenses during the day, children may participate more actively at school and in sports 
  • Removes the worry and complications of losing/ damaging glasses/contact lenses in the day when out/ or at school. 

Eliminates or Retards Myopia Progression 

  • Several Research indicates that Ortho-K can help to slow down or stop myopia progression. 

Reversible Therapy 

  • Good news! When you stop wearing your Ortho-K lenses regularly, your eye can revert back to its original status gradually. 

Suitable for Many 

  • Anyone with low to high myopia can be assessed for suitability of wear
  • Children who are active and with myopia 
  • Teenagers whose myopia continues to increase 
  • Adults whose occupations do not encourage or allow eyewear 

Long Term Benefit for Growing Children 

  • With myopia controlled, the risk of eye health problems related to myopia such as retinal detachment, floater etc. is significantly reduced. 

You will experience clear vision without wearing contact lenses or glasses during the day when you wear ortho-k lenses during sleep! Traditional contacts or glasses, once removed, don’t provide any vision correction.

The lens-free vision is less restrictive so children may be more active at school or in sports.

Ortho-k removes the worry and complications of your child wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day. There is no risk to your child losing them or breaking them while at school.

In a study comparing the quality of life in ortho-k lens wearers versus soft contact lens wearers*, 68% preferred to wear ortho-k lenses, whereas 32% preferred soft lenses worn during the day. The primary differences favouring ortho-k lenses were fewer activity limitations, less trouble with symptoms, and less dependence on refractive correction.

*Lipson MJ, Sugar A, Musch DC. Overnight corneal reshaping versus soft disposable contact lenses: vision-related quality-of-life differences from a randomized clinical trial. Optom Vis Sci. 2005 Oct;82:886-891

The amount of time it takes for the daytime vision to achieve optimal results varies. In general, the higher the initial nearsightedness, the longer it takes to achieve optimal treatment. Many patients see a significant vision change after the first night of wear! However, it may take up to 7-14 nights* to see the complete effect with consistent vision during waking hours. With a consistent wear schedule, your child should be able to wear the lenses at night and see clearly during the day.

*individual results may vary

As more research has been undertaken and eye care professionals have learned of the significant benefits of Ortho-K, more practitioners are making Ortho-K a frequent choice for their nearsighted patients. Its use has grown dramatically as a result of consumers sharing their own success stories and the positive impact it has had on their vision or the vision of their children.
When worn overnight, ortho-k contact lenses gently reshape the curvature of the cornea (eye), the moulded cornea focuses light on the fovea of the retina (point in the eye responsible for clear vision). Therefore, when  the ortho-k contact lenses are removed in the morning, patients can see clearly without the use of glasses or daytime contacts. The process is reversible, if you stop wearing the ortho-k contact lenses continuously for approximately 2-3 weeks, the corneal curvature begins to return back to its original shape.
When you first begin to wear ortho-k lenses, there may be an initial awareness under the eyelid that is experienced. After a few nights of wearing the lenses, most patients become more accustomed to that sensation and less aware of the feeling. If you experience pain with this lens or any type of contact lens, discontinue use and contact your eye care professional.
Unlike Lasik, the treatment with ortho-k contact lenses is temporary and completely reversible. When lens wear is discontinued, the corneal shape and myopia will return. 

HANDLING AND CARE QUESTIONS

Once diagnosed with nearsightedness, or myopia, you will have to choose some form of correction that may include eyeglasses, traditional contact lenses or ortho-k. Every year you will choose the method of correction that best suits your needs. or your child’s need. Many children that begin with ortho-k lenses prefer to be free from the hassle of daytime eyewear and continue ortho-k into adulthood.
Your eye care professional will provide advanced training for your child and for you as a parent. You will not take the contact lenses home with you until you are confident in their ability to apply and remove the contacts. You can be trained in assisting the process if necessary. You will be very proud to see your child handling the lenses and caring for them as trained by your eye care professional.
Ortho-k is a flexible mode of myopia treatment. If your child forgets or skips a night of contact lens use, they will maintain most (sometimes all) of the vision correction they have. The more nights without wearing the lenses, the more unclear the vision will be until they return to their fully uncorrected state. Many children can skip a night without experiencing much decline in clarity. Keep in mind, the lenses are prescribed to be worn every night to maintain optimal clarity. 
The recommended replacement schedule is one year; however, your eye care professional may suggest a different replacement schedule. 

COST

Your certified eye care professional will discuss the cost with you. They will include fees for ortho-k treatment and the contact lens devices designed with your prescription needs in mind. Some practitioners charge based on the number of office visits and the cost of lenses and others bundle the visits and lenses into one treatment plan. 
It depend on where you are located and the vision plan or insurance you have. Some vision plans are defined benefit plans and may allow you to apply a defined benefit towards an eye exam or the purchase of eyewear or contact lenses. This may cover a small portion of the costs. Ortho-k is considered a cosmetic program by most medical insurers and they do not provide payment for myopia treatment. Check with your insurance plan for more details about your benefits.
There are no age limitations with ortho-k lenses and it depends on your child and the recommendation of your eye care professional.

Children may get the most benefit from choosing ortho-k when they begin treatment at a young age. Parents are able to assist in every aspect of contact lens wear. The insertion and removal of the contact lenses take place at bedtime and upon awakening. This allows your child to leave the house without taking any eyeglasses or supplies with them when they leave the house. It can be the most convenient option for busy families. No more misplaced eyeglasses or lost contact lenses!

The sooner ortho-k is started after the onset of nearsightedness, the more positive of an influence it may have.

Ortho-k requires some follow up though out the year and it is especially more at the start of the program. You must be prepared for 5-9 visit in the first 3-6 months of the ortho-k program. These visits are required to monitor the success of the ortho-k lens journey. Once you or your child are successfully wearing the lenses and enjoying the clear vision, most find the occasional follow up visit to be quick and not inconvenient.

Ortho-k questions for Adults

You should be aware of all the choices available to you and what the benefits of each are. Ask your eye care professional what is right for you.

Though the eye continues to change until 20 to 24 years of age, LASIK is FDA-approved for those over 18 years of age. Many doctors suggest waiting until a person’s eyesight has stabilised for two years before undergoing refractive surgery. Ask your eye care professional what is right for you.

Ortho-k is a non-surgical option with no age limitation. Many patients also enjoy the flexibility of being able to adjust the prescription from year to year.

If your prescription changes (if it increases or decreases) your eye care practitioner can adjust the corrective power of the ortho-k treatment immediately.

The recommended wearing time for ortho-k lenses are 6-8 hours a night. This varies from person to person. If you sleep less than that, then the change in corneal shape will not be as great and the clear vision may fade during the day.