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Home » Eye Care Services » Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology

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Are you looking for a way to get rid of your need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but are unwilling or unable to have LASIK or other types of vision corrective surgery? Come see Dr. Eric White, at Complete Family Vision Care in San Diego, CA, about Ortho-k contact lenses.

How ortho-k works

Orthokeratology San Diego CAThe GP lenses for ortho-k are applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you're awake. The effect is temporary - generally enough to get you through a day or two - so you must wear the reshaping lenses each night to maintain good vision during the day.
Currently, there are two brands of orthokeratology approved by the FDA: Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) from Paragon Vision Sciences and Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) from Bausch & Lomb.

Who is a candidate for ortho-k in San Diego?

Orthokeratology is frequently a good option for nearsighted individuals who are too young for LASIK surgery or for some other reason are not good candidates for vision correction surgery. Because it can be discontinued at any time without permanent change to the eye, people of any age can try the procedure, as long as their eyes are healthy.

Ortho-k is particularly appealing for people who participate in sports, or who work in dusty, dirty environments that can make contact lens wear difficult.

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What results can you expect from ortho-k?

The goal for ortho-k is to correct your vision to 20/20 without eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials of both CRT and VST lenses, conducted in San Diego and elsewhere, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).
Success rates for ortho-k tend to be higher for mild prescriptions. Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with ortho-k.

How long does ortho-k take?

Though you may see some improvement in your vision after a day or two of overnight ortho-k, it can take several weeks for the full effect to be apparent. During this time, your vision will not be as clear as it was with glasses or contacts, and you are likely to notice some glare and halos around lights. It's possible you may need a temporary pair of eyeglasses for certain tasks, like driving at night, until your vision is fully corrected by the ortho-k lenses.

Sleeping Woman 1280X853Is ortho-k comfortable?

Some people have comfort issues when attempting to wear gas permeable contact lenses during the day. But since ortho-k GP lenses are worn during sleep, comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.

Cost of orthokeratology

Ortho-k is a significantly longer process than a regular contact lens fitting. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple pairs of lenses. Also, GP lenses used for ortho-k are more costly than most regular contact lenses. Therefore, fees for orthokeratology are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings.

Can Ortho-k be a solution for myopia control?

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is the most common ocular diseases facing Americans today. Many of our children are getting glasses and we are simply accepting this, including the need to change their prescription every year. However, the worse the prescription, the greater the risk for eye disease later on in life. What if there was a way to control myopia and slow things down?

The research has shown that Ortho-K can do just that. The need for glasses is due to a misshaped cornea. In recent years, with the development of tablets and smartphones, where our children are getting more up close screentime, myopia is becoming even more of a problem  While your child sleeping wearing Ortho-K lenses, their cornea is being reshaped. Ortho-K can reduce myopia up to 80%.

Can I have LASIK after ortho-k?

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Yes, it's possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology. But because ortho-k lenses reshape your cornea, you must stop wearing the lenses for a period of time (usually several months) so your eyes can return to their original shape and stabilize. Be sure to tell your LASIK surgeon that you've worn ortho-k lenses, so they can advise you how long you should wait before having the surgery.

Can Orthokeratology be instead of Lasik?

Both Ortho-K and Lasik are solutions to not having to wear contact lenses or glasses anymore. While Lasik can be a "quick fix" solution, many are looking to avoid it. That is because Lasik is a surgery and people are often scared to go under the knife. In addition, Lasik can be very cost prohibitive, often not covered by insurance. We have heard a lot of these issues when speaking to patients across San Diego who are looking to avoid wearing glasses or contacts. Contacts can become a pain to put in every day and often leave the patient with dryness or irritation as the day goes on.

Ortho-K is often half the cost of Lasik. Many times, patients who have had Lasik complain of blurry vision, dry eyes, and will even need to wear bifocals later in life. This is why we consider Ortho-K a great alternative to Lasik.

Our newest eye doctor, Dr. Joe Mannen, specializes in Orthokeratology fittings. Book an appointment with him to speak about the many benefits of Ortho-K including how it can slow myopia for your child!

 

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