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Orthokeratology

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often do I need to have my eyes checked with Ortho K?

 

When being treatment with orthokeratology, your eyes will be examined every 6 months once the desired mould and vision is achieved.

 

This will ensure good vision, good eye health and optimal condition of the corneal retainers.

 

How often do I need to change my Ortho K retainers?

 

Ortho K retainers are recommended to be replaced every 12 months. This ensures uncompromised eye health and uncompromised vision. After using the same retainers for 12 months and with daily chemical cleaning, the moulds will begin to deteriorate losing its effectiveness and cleanliness.

 

What happens if I skip wearing the corneal retainers for a night?

 

When skipping wear of corneal retainers for a night due to inconvenience, people often find their vision to be acceptable the 2nd day. They report reduced distance vision in clarity, however are able to function normally such as driving, watching TV and reading. The vision is usually dropped down to about 70 - 80% correction, so there may be some strain while reading any smaller print.

 

What happens if I need to travel overseas?

 

When travelling overseas, our vision may start to deteriorate after 24 hours without wearing our corneal retainers. Often our vision is still clear enough as described in the previous FAQ. It is recommended that when we arrive at our destination that we resume normal wear of our corneal moulds on the first night. Our vision will be restored the next day.

 

What happens if I play sports?

 

When playing sports throughout the day, you will simply have natural clear vision without your glasses sliding down your nose, or your soft contact lenses drying out causing blurry vision, falling out or moving around on the eye’s surface. If you are an active person engaged in a lot of activities, then we orthokeratology is highly recommended. It is recommended for physical sports including marathon runners, triathletes, rock climbers, sailors and rugby players.

 

What happens if I go swimming?

 

Whether swimming at a resort pool, your home pool or your local pool, you will enjoy natural clear vision in and out of the water.

You can wear normal swimming goggles or go without. Your vision will be a little blurry underwater, like everyone else who doesn’t wear glasses. This is normal.

 

What happens if I lose an Ortho K corneal mould?

 

Replacements of orthokeratology moulds often take 1 - 2 weeks to be manufactured from our labs. Your up to date prescription glasses are recommended in these occassions, or you can continue wearing one mould while you wait for the other. It may be disorientating if the difference between your corrected eye and uncorrected eye is too great. This can be discussed with our optometrist eye doctors.

 

What happens if my vision changes after wearing Ortho K?

 

If after a few years of wearing your orthokeratology corneal moulds, we find in a routine 6 monthly review that your vision has deteriorated, we can alter the corneal moulds accordingly to improve your vision so that you may see 6/6 again. This will be discussed by our optometrist eye doctors and is normal in the course of our eyes natural development.

 

Although we don’t expect your prescription to change much while being treated with orthokeratology, rest assured knowing that studies have shown that the changes are much lower than if you were wearing glasses over the same period.

How does Ortho-k lenses work?

 

Ortho K lenses are designed to progressively reshape the central corneal surface, similar to the Lasik procedure when treating short-sightedness or myopia. However, unlike Lasik eye surgery, the effect of Ortho K is temporary and reversible.

 

Is everyone a candidate for ortho-k?

 

No. While orthokeratology can help most individuals including those with moderate to high astigmatism, myopia and even hyperopia to improve their vision, the procedure is most effective within a certain prescription range. Additional factors may influence individual results including corneal rigidity and elasticity and corneal contours. A thorough consultation and examination using advanced computerised diagnostic equipment can easily determine if orthokeratology is right for an individual.

 

Who is not a candidate for Ortho K?

 

While Ortho K can be performed on most individuals with healthy eyes who are able to follow lens care instructions. People with irregular corneal astigmatism or corneal disorders such as dystrophies or keratoconus are not candidates.

 

How safe is Ortho K?

 

Ortho K is believed to be safe when appropriately fitted and managed properly. Many people are able to eliminate their dependence on glasses and day time contact lenses with no adverse effects. Unlike photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or Lasik, the corneal tissue is not invised or lasered. As with all contact lenses, proper lens care and handling must be performed to maintain eye health. The state of the art, high oxygen permeability materials now provide adequate amounts of oxygen to the tissues of the eye to minimise any corneal oedema.

 

Is Ortho K Permanent?

 

After treatment, maximum results are achieved and a retainer shaping lenses are worn to stabilise and maintain the new corneal shape. Upon cessation of the reshaping lenses, the eyes will return to the pre-treatment prescription.

 

What are the risks of wearing an Ortho K lens overnight?

 

The complications of lenses being worn overnight include corneal growth of blood vessels, ulcers and abrasions. Contact lenses cannot become lost behind the eye, and it is rare for a reshaping lens to become decentered from the cornea.

 

How long does it take for the process to stabilise and provide functional vision for the whole day?

 

On average Ortho K moulds must be worn for 10 - 14 days to achieve the desired vision. With higher degrees of corneal rigidity or reduced elasticity, it may take up to 4 - 6 weeks to achieve the desired result and visual correction.

 

Are Ortho K Lenses uncomfortable to wear?

 

Wearing Ortho K lenses are actually quite comfortable. Most patients are unaware of the lenses within their eyes afte 5 - 10mins of wear. As the corneal moulds are worn mostly during sleep, the adaptation process is very short.

 

 

Will I still have to wear glasses or contacts?

 

Once the desired myopic reduction is obtained, regular contact lenses and glasses are generally not needed. There are times where during extended periods of reading and near work, your optometrist may recommend reading glasses.

 

Once the treatment phase if completed, how frequently will I need to wear the corneal retainer lenses?

 

Most poeple need to wear the Ortho K lenses for 6 - 7 days per week to enjoy good vision. On occassion, those that have less than 2.50 degrees of prescription may be able to wear their moulds every 2nd night to have satisfactory vision.

How much myopia can a person realistically expect to reduce with orthokeratology?

 

Orthokeratology can correct up to 12.00 diopters of short-sightedness. Factors influencing individual outcomes relate to corneal rigidity and elasticity, and the flatness of the untreated cornea. In the treatment of myopia, orthokeratology is designed to create flattening of the cornea, therefore more convex corneal curvatures will achieve better results.

 

How much astigmatism can one expect to correct with orthokeratology?

 

With the evolving understanding of corneal manipulation and correction of orthokeratology lenses, orthokeratology can now correct for astigmatism upto 5.00 diopters. These cases are on the more difficult end of the spectrum and require someone more experienced in orthokeratology, tailored lens design and may require upto 8 - 12 weeks and 2 - 3 changes to the design to obtain the desired effect. This may seem like a long time, but when compared to a lifetime of clear vision without the need for thick glasses or day time contact lenses, it is a small investment in time.

 

How long does it take to be able to see well without glasses?

 

Most vision improvement usually occurs in the first week, where we can expect 85% of vision correction. This means that usually after 3 - 4 days of wear, one can expect functional vision for driving, reading and computer work. Night driving may be a challenge initially and needs to be exercises with caution. This usually becomes improved within 3 - 4 weeks of treatment.

 

If the patient decided to return to wearing glasses, when is vision restored to pre-treatment levels?

 

The wearers eyes will return to needing their glasses within 3 -4 days of cessation and their prescription usually returns within 2 - 4 weeks.