How Do Ortho-K Lenses Work?

Eye-correction technology has come a long way in recent years. Long gone are the days when the only options were surgery, glasses, or contact lenses. Ortho-K lenses are a great option for those seeking an alternative to LASIK eye surgery. Ortho-K eliminates the need for corrective eyewear in patients with myopia.


What Is Myopia?


Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a common eye condition where the eyeball is too long. The shape of the eye directly impacts the way the cornea processes light. For people with myopia, light focuses in front of, rather than on, the retina. This causes distant images to appear blurry. It is important to note that myopia is a disorder, not an eye disease. Myopia is often genetic, and children are much more likely to develop myopia if the parents are nearsighted. Traditional methods like contact lenses and glasses can speed up the degradation of the eye because they increase the length of the eye over time, which is the main issue with myopia.


What Is Ortho-K?


Ortho-K is a contact lens system that works by reshaping the eyeball while you sleep. This process is a non-invasive option for those who do not want to have surgery. If a contact lens that reshapes your eye while you sleep sounds scary, know that the cornea is flexible. When you wear your Ortho-K lenses at night, they gradually reshape your cornea. Patients typically notice improved vision within 24 to 72 hours after removing the lenses. The frequency with which you wear your Ortho-K lenses will vary from person to person. Some people will wear them nightly while others will wear them every other night. Talk to your optometrist to develop a plan that works best for you.


Please note that Ortho-K is not a cure for myopia. LASIK eye surgery is currently the only permanent fix for myopia. Ortho-K is reversible, and if you forget to wear your lenses, your vision will return to normal within a couple of days. This process is low-risk and can be a great option for patients who have myopia.


How Does Ortho-K work?


Ortho-K lenses produce a gentle water-based pressure on the cornea or epithelium. The cornea is the clear top layer of the eye, and it determines how light will reflect off the eye. Ortho-K lenses bend the soft tissue of the cornea. They float on top of the eye and displace cells from the center to the periphery of the cornea.


Is Ortho-K Right for You?


Ortho-K can be ideal for patients who do not want to wear contact lenses daily. Only an eye doctor can prescribe Ortho-K, so make an appointment to discuss options. Ortho-K is also safe for kids who are too young for LASIK, and it can be great for kids who play sports. It is also non-invasive and less expensive than surgery.


To discuss Ortho-K further, call Ridgeview Eye Care or visit our offices in De Soto and Olathe, Kansas. We will help you develop an eye care plan that’s right for you.

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