Ortho-k contact lenses for cornea reshaping
It is exciting that a technology named orthokeratology applied to your contact lenses can reshape your cornea at night and offer a clearer vision even without contacts at daytime. Although the magic effect lasts about only one day, it is great for many people.
History of Ortho-k technology
Ortho-k has been practiced to reshape cornea since decades ago, but it got a complete approval from FDA only several years ago. The development of Ortho-k contact lenses has undergone a harsh process. Until now, some new manufacturing methods such as “reverse geometry” and lens designs such as “return zero” have brought a higher success rate to Ortho-k contact lenses. This technology was first developed by eye doctors who noticed that some contact lens users gained improved vision after wearing contacts. And at the beginning, they had only PMMA contact lenses.
How Ortho-k lenses work
By reshaping the cornea, Ortho-k contact lenses can re-focus the light rays, making them focus properly on the retina. In this way, myopia can be corrected. Eyeglasses, traditional contact lenses and LASIK perform in the same way. Before prescribing Ortho-k contact lenses, your doctor will measure your corneal curvatures using a corneal topographer, which is painless and takes a minute. The exact prescription may be achieved after a trial.
Ortho-k contact lenses can reshape two to three diopters of myopia within two weeks, accompanied by side effects such as glare and halos. You should wear these lenses to maintain the reached prescription over sleeping or during part of the day. Ortho-k lenses are always comfortable during sleep because your eyes seldom blink, so that the interaction between the eyelid and lens edge is reduced. For daytime wearing, these RGP Ortho-k lenses may cause discomfort.
Ortho-k treatments approved by FDA
Currently, Paragon Vision Science provides Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) and Bausch & Lomb offers Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) as certifications for Ortho-k practice. Other Ortho-k lenses have no FDA approval for overnight wearing. CRT is approved to treat up to six diopters of myopia and up to -1.75 of astigmatism, while VST has an approval to correct up to five diopters of myopia and up to -1.5 of astigmatism. Ortho-k lenses fit all generations with healthy eyes. But they are more appealing to people who like sports or work in dusty and dirty environments. Ortho-k lenses also perform as a perfect substitute for LASIK so that they are preferred by adolescents who can not accept the surgery. According to researches on patients who use Ortho-k lenses, most of them receive 20/32 or better. Other brands include Accelerated Orthokeratology, Corneal Corrective Contacts, Eccentricity Zero Molding and Gentle Vision Shaping System.
The price of Ortho-k lenses
Ortho-k lenses are not completely covered by vision care service plans, and they may cost $800 to $1500 for both eyes, followed by additional cost of subsequent replacement lenses. The specific fee is determined by different regions, and ECPs. This high price is reasonable because the Ortho-k lenses fitting costs more time and attention.
Ortho-k lenses are perfect for people who want to get rid of eyeglasses and contact lenses during daytime. These lenses act as a better alternative for LASIK since the latter solution may worsen dry eyes. Ortho-k lenses only have temporary effects so that you can receive LASIK at any time as you wish. But you should stop wearing them before taking the surgery, letting the cornea to recover its natural shape. Ortho-k contact lenses can not avoid side effects and complications as regular contact lenses.