Ortho-k: The Revolutionary Contact Lens Treatment for Myopia Management

Ortho-k: The Revolutionary Contact Lens Treatment for Myopia Management

Ortho-k: The Revolutionary Contact Lens Treatment for Myopia Management

Ortho-k: The Revolutionary Contact Lens Treatment for Myopia Management

Myopia management is a key aspect of treating children with myopia to protect them from the dangers of the condition in the future. While it is easily correctable with prescriptive eyewear, myopia involves the difficult issue of progression—it gets worse until early adulthood. 

A major side effect of progression is that it predisposes patients to more complex eye conditions later. For this reason, ortho-k has become a leading choice for many eye doctors regarding myopia control. 



What Is Myopia Progression?



Myopia is a vision condition that occurs when the eyeball changes structure, affecting how light refracts into the eye. The reason the structure of the eyeball changes is still unknown. But certain risk factors raise the likelihood of that happening. 


Once they start in early childhood, the changes continue even after vision stabilizes in early adulthood. This means the eyeball elongates and the corneal bulge intensifies, worsening the condition. These continual changes are what eye doctors describe as myopia progression.



What Is Myopia Management?



Myopia management describes the strategies that eye doctors use to slow down or control the progression of myopia. These strategies are fundamental to children because myopia can be controlled only at this early stage. 


Even when the condition progresses into adulthood, the strategy can still be helpful. One of the most effective management strategies for children and adults is orthokeratology or ortho-k.



What Is Ortho-k?



This unique type of rigid gas-permeable lens works by gently reshaping the cornea. The patient usually wears it at night while sleeping and then takes it off in the morning. They will not need any glasses or contacts during the day because they will have near-perfect vision, one of the best perks of this treatment. 


When the treatment was introduced in the 1960s, it was predominantly used for adults. With its observed impact on myopia progression, it has since found more application in children and adolescents than adults. Studies reveal that ortho-k can reduce the final prescription at vision stabilization by almost 50%. 


These results may vary with a few factors, like:


  • Time of intervention.
  • Corneal rigidity.
  • The form of myopia.



Who Is Ortho-k for?



  • Young adults and children who have just developed myopia would enjoy slowing down the progression.
  • People who work in dry and dusty environments find it difficult to use contacts or glasses.
  • People who take part in water sports and use contacts could prevent the risk of eye infection. 
  • Patients who experience dry eye from using soft contact lenses could also benefit from ortho-k. 



Fitting Ortho-k



Fitting these lenses differs from normal contact lenses, but many initial tests are the same. First, after taking measurements, the eye doctor will determine which prescription to start with and which should be the retainer.


You will use several lenses over a few weeks, reshaping your cornea until you can have clear vision. Then, you will get retainer lenses that maintain that ideal corneal shape and quality of vision. 


For more on ortho-k, visit Optikos Optometry at our office in Los Angeles, California. Call (213) 386-0001​​​​​​​ to book an appointment today.

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