Can I Improve My Vision Without Surgery?
If you’re like most people, you are fascinated by the idea of Ortho-K lenses since they actually correct your vision overnight. Imagine how freeing it would be not to need eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day! Although Ortho-K lenses have been around for a while, recent advances in technology have made them even better. A visit to a comprehensive ophthalmologist will advise you if Ortho-K is a good option for your visual needs.
How Do Ortho-K Lenses Work?
The name Ortho-K is derived from the word Orthokeratology which refers to contact lenses that temporarily reshape your cornea while you sleep. This reshaping of your cornea actually improves your vision during the day. Wearing Ortho-K lenses overnight is somewhat like wearing dental retainers to correct the position of your teeth while you sleep. While dental retainers have been in use for many decades, Ortho-K lenses are a relatively recent innovation. New technology has given them a high rate of success.
In order to fit you for Ortho-K lenses, the ophthalmologist has to measure the refraction of your eye to see what degree of correction you need. Then the doctor will map the shape of your cornea using an instrument known as a corneal topographer. With this knowledge he/she can determine what the ideal shape of your cornea should be and order individualized contacts made to fit your personal specifications.
How Long Does It Take Before You See Results?
Generally speaking, the better your vision is at the start, the shorter the time before you see more clearly. Some lucky people experience full clarity after only a night or two of wearing the lenses. For others, it may take 2 weeks or more for maximum correction. In either case, you must keep wearing the lenses at night for the improvement to continue, but it may become possible to wear the Ortho-K lenses less frequently.
Advantages Of Ortho-K Lenses
There are many benefits to Ortho-K lenses. The lenses provide:
- Nonsurgical visual correction
- Freedom from constant corrective lens wear
- Better vision improvement
- Gas permeable lenses
- FDA-approved correction
- Safe correction for patients of all ages
Ortho-K lenses are safe for people of all ages. The visual improvement experienced by those in clinical trials of Ortho-K lenses was substantial. Seventy-three percent of those with refractive problems had 20/20 daytime vision by the end of 9 months. Ninety-five percent reached 20/40 during the same period. Not only do these statistics demonstrate a fine track record, but the modern lens construction permits excellent transmission of oxygen to the cornea, greatly reducing the risk of complications. The safety level of Ortho-K lenses is reinforced by the FDA-approval the product received in 2002.
More And More Options
Over the course of centuries, individuals in need of visual corrections have been given a wider and wider range of options, now including: eyeglasses, bifocals, progressive lenses, contact lenses, and Lasik surgery. Now, those who require vision correction have another remarkable choice to add to the list: Ortho-K lenses.
While Ortho-K lenses, unlike Lasik surgery, are temporary for adults, usually requiring that they be worn every night or every other night for daytime clarity, for some individuals they are the perfect solution. As a matter of fact, being temporary can be an advantage if you decide Ortho-K lenses are not for you. You can simply stop wearing them at any time and go back to your eyeglasses or contacts.
As with other eye vision prescriptions, Ortho-K lenses are not for everyone. Some people find them uncomfortable or annoying and people with some eye diseases are unable to wear them. Still, they offer a fine nonsurgical alternative for many patients who delight in waking up able to see the world clearly all day long just by wearing contact lenses while they sleep.
Ortho-K Lenses For Kids
For young children who need vision correction, Ortho-K lenses can be just wonderful. Not only can they keep kids from having to wear glasses or contact lenses which they can easily damage or lose, but Ortho-Ks can have permanent positive effects on children’s vision. It has been proven that Ortho-K lenses slow down myopia progression and, in some cases, stop it altogether. This means that children who start the process of reshaping their eyes at young age, may not ever need any prescription as they grow older.
Seeking The Best Option
As with all medical decisions, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable, experienced professional before coming to a conclusion. If you are considering Ortho-K lenses, it is important that you speak with a well-respected ophthalmologist with expertise in the field, like Dr. George Tung of Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts. We have four convenient office locations on Long Island — in Bellmore, Great Neck, Huntington, and now a new one in Little Neck where we can be reached at 516.428.939