Orthokeratology sounds exciting, but will it work for you? Orthokeratology works best for people who are short-sighted (myopic), have prescriptions between -0.50 to -4.00 (take note of the minus symbol) and have no more than 1.50 Dioptres of astigmatism. Excellent visual acuity is often seen with people who have a spectacle prescription which lies within this range. Whilst orthokeratology may still work for people with higher degrees of myopia, and we have successfully fit people with higher degrees, the end result is a little more unpredictable.
Our optometrists will examine your suitibility for orthokeratology and discuss your expected results. They will examine your prescription, shape, and health of your eye. To be suitable for ortho-k you must have a healthy cornea. This will be examined prior to any orthokeratology fitting. Fitting the lenses requires several scheduled visits. Patients who have higher degrees of myopia may require more visits as more adjustments may be made to the lenses.
Is it uncomfortable?
People are often concerned whether wearing a hard contact lens is painful. If you have not worn contact lenses before, you can expect some irritation upon insertion of the ortho-k lenses. The irritation feels similar to that of having an eyelash in your eye, however after time, your eyes will adapt to the sensation. With traditional hard contact lenses, people had problems with comfort because of the irritation they felt with the lens during day time wear. The irritation is caused by the hard lens rubbing up against the eyelids. This is not a problem when using ortho-k lenses because the larger diameter ortho-k lens is tucked underneath the eyelids and is worn with the eyelids closed. Orthokeratology lenses feel more comfortable compared to traditional hard contact lenses. Most people do not have any problems adapting to the lenses.
Which is better, Orthokeratology or LASIK?
If you are looking to reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, and don't mind wearing lenses to sleep at night, orthokeratology is an excellent option. If you want to completely eliminate use of contacts and glasses altogether, refractive surgery is the only way of permanently correcting your vision. Both options have pros and cons. Orthokeratology is non-invasive and the effects are temporary and reversible. Whereas refractive surgery is invasive but permanent. Generally speaking, if you are anxious about having surgery on your eyes and want an alternative to contact lenses, ortho-k is a great way of correcting your vision. You can still have refractive surgery at a later stage, simply cease wearing the orthokeratology lenses and your eyes will revert back to their original state. If you unstable vision and have an increasing prescription, we generally recommend waiting until your vision stabilises before performing refractive surgery. Whilst there is no guarantee at what age your eyesight will stabilise, a majority of people have myopic changes up to around ages of 26 to 28.