Orthokeratology (Wavefront Corneal Molding), Myopia and the Case for Overnight Vision Correction
Let’s begin with “Myopia.” Exactly what is it? Myopia is the medical term for “nearsightedness,” a condition affecting nearly three million Americans a year, where a refractive error of the cornea hinders light to bend properly, making objects far away appear blurry. While this condition is technically chronic, recent advancements have made it possible for people with low to moderate Myopia to temporarily correct their vision through a process called Orthokeratology, or “Ortho-k.” Our office uses a specific process for orthokeratology called Wavefront Corneal Molding.
Orthokeratology—What is It?
Orthokeratology is a form of reversible, refractive correction involving the overnight use of gas-permeable contact lenses to reshape the contour of the cornea while you sleep. These oxygen-intense, “breathable” lenses work to temporarily reverse the effects of Myopia during the night so the wearer can experience clear vision through the following day—without the use of glasses or contacts. Ortho-k is used primarily to slow or stop the progression of mild to moderate Myopia in children and adults.
The Wavefront Corneal Molding Process for Orhtokeratology
The Wavefront Corneal Molding process uses a precision corneal mapping instrument known as the Keratron/Scout topographer and a highly sophisticated computer program. With this data we are able to precisely measure over 14,000 curves from each cornea to custom design your Orthokeratology lenses. Typically the vision this molding process produces will last from 24 to 72 hours depending on the patient’s individual corneal shape and nearsighted parameters. Some patients wear lenses every night and some wear them only every other night, each time for 6-8 consecutive hours. Many patients get their clear vision back after the first night of wear while it sometimes takes 2-3 nights for this to occur. It takes 14-30 days of treatment to get the full stabilization of corneal changes that we are trying to achieve.
Why Choose Orthokeratology?
For those with mild to moderate Myopia, Ortho-k is a great option, especially for sports-related activities or when working in environments containing debris or dust. Ortho-k can also be an effective pre-LASIK treatment that can temporarily stall the need for corrective eye surgery. In addition, this fast, painless and safe process makes Ortho-k a practical solution for children who have Myopia and often slows or stops its progression.
Am I a Candidate for Ortho-k?
The best candidates for Orthokeratology are children between the ages of eight and 12 who have progressive Myopia. The procedure can often slow or even stop this progression. Ortho-k also works well with adolescents and young adults who have mild to moderate Myopia, or for adults under the age of 40 who aren’t interested in LASIK or other eye corrective surgery.
Ask the Doctor
If you have questions or concerns about Ortho-k, schedule an appointment. Our doctor will be able to help you determine your candidacy, costs, benefits, and risks of the process.