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Orthokeratology: The Next Big Thing in Vision Care

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

Wearing glasses or contacts is necessary for some people to have clear enough eyesight to function in daily life, but they can also be a nuisance. Glasses can fall off your face or even break if you play sports or have a physical job, and contacts often lead to dry eyes or are uncomfortable to put in place. The trusted optometrist in La Mesa, CA, aims to fix these problems with the help of orthokeratology.

What Is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology, commonly referred to as Ortho-k, is the use of specially designed contact lenses that are rigid and made of durable, oxygen-transmitting plastic. The lenses work to reshape your cornea while you sleep, allowing you to remove them during the day and still be able to see more clearly. These lenses are sometimes referred to as corneal reshaping lenses or overnight lenses. The Food and Drug Administration only approves lenses that are breathable.

Reasons to Use Ortho-K

Ortho-k is prescribed for one of two reasons: to correct a refractive error or to slow the progression of myopia in children. Overnight lenses can treat up to -6.00 diopters of myopia. Refractive errors include astigmatisms, hyperopia and nearsightedness, although Ortho-k is most often used for nearsightedness. In some cases, an optometrist may also prescribe them to treat presbyopia. Orthokeratology is a temporary fix, but many patients say that wearing the lenses each night does improve their eyesight for most of the next day.

Is Orthokeratology Right for You?

Ortho-k is an option for most people who suffer from mild to moderate myopia.  It is also not a good option for people who are not a good candidate for LASIK either because they are too young or because they suffer from dry eyes or another condition that prevents LASIK. If you play a lot of contact sports, work in a dusty environment or work in entertainment and need to change your look often, Ortho-k may be a good fit for you.

There is little risk involved with Ortho-k and you can stop wearing the contacts at any time. The trusted optometrists at Vision Solutions can provide more information and a consultation during your next eye exam in La Mesa.


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