Want clear, 20/20 vision but apprehensive about LASIK? A new technology on the market allows you to enjoy the benefits of clear vision throughout the day without contact lenses or eyewear!
Orthokeratology is referred to as “Ortho K” or “CRT” which stands for “Corneal Refractive Therapy”, and is a great option for patients with nearsightedness (myopia). Clear vision is achieved by gently reshaping the front surface of the cornea. This is accomplished using special oxygen permeable contact lenses, which are worn while you sleep. Each morning you remove the contact lenses and have clear vision throughout the day, without the hassle of contacts or glasses. Each night the contact lenses are inserted prior to going to bed. Do not worry, vision is also clear with the lenses in. With the eyes open, Ortho-K lenses are typically less comfortable than soft contact lenses, but this is not as noticeable when the eyes are closed.
Once your eye doctor determines the correct lenses for your eyes, it can take up to 2 weeks to reach the full effect of the lenses. However, this is maintained as long as the patient continues to wear the lenses on a nightly basis. The visual acuity goal is 20/20, and a majority of patients reach 20/20 by the 2-week mark.
This technology provides an excellent non-surgical alternative to LASIK. A patient’s prescription tends to vary year to year until around age 21. LASIK is usually not performed until patients are out of their “teens”, because LASIK is a permanent procedure. However, young children can be fit with Ortho-K lenses assuming they are responsible to handle the lenses properly. Although, Ortho-K has been shown to slow myopia progression in children, if progression does occur, a simple lens change is all that is needed to correct the change in vision. Upon discontinuing overnight wear, the cornea will return to its original shape within a few days. This makes Ortho-K a great option for young teenagers not wanting to worry with contacts or glasses during the day. Because of the reversibility of Ortho-K, LASIK is still an option for these patients later in life.
Another group of patients who should consider Ortho-K include people working in dusty or dirty environments. Bacteria and dust particles can attach to soft contact lenses and cause infections and/or discomfort while at work. Ortho-K eliminates this risk because the lenses are only worn while sleeping.
If you are frustrated with your current contact lenses or apprehensive about LASIK, contact your eye doctor at Johnson Optometric for further information about Ortho-K.
Dr. Barrett Martin,
Optometrist, Johnson Optometric Associates
Serving Fuquay-Varina, NC and Garner, NC