It is not unusual to wear glasses or contact lenses. In fact, according to the Vision Council of America, as many as 75% of adults rely on some sort of vision correction with the vast majority of preferring glasses. Nevertheless, people who wear prescription eyewear do find that there are some compromises and considerations that they need to make as a result of this choice. For example, people who wear glasses may find that they cannot wear them when participating in certain activities such as sports or swimming, may find it inconvenient to remember to take them wherever they go and may be unhappy with the maintenance costs of keeping their glasses in good condition. Meanwhile, people who wear contacts may struggle to wear them if they have allergies or find them hard to handle. They are generally also more expensive than glasses.
We understand the frustrations and limitations that can be experienced by patients who are reliant on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly. To help overcome these issues, we are able to offer an innovative new solution known as Ortho-K.
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, is a form of non-surgical therapy that can be used to treat refractive eye problems that usually require patients to rely on prescription eyewear. The process involves using specially-designed contact lenses that are worn overnight with the purpose of reshaping the lens of the eye while you sleep. When you wake up, your eyes will remain in this shape for some time, enabling you to see up to 80% clearer throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Refractive eye problems such as near-sightedness and astigmatism occur because the light that passes through the eye isn’t refracted perfectly onto the retina. This is because of irregularities in the shape of the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye. These could be that the cornea is flatter or steeper than is ideal, or in the case of astigmatism, that the cornea is shaped more like a football than a soccer ball.
It is possible to correct refractive errors by reshaping the corneal tissue – which is something that occurs during LASIK and other laser eye corrections. However, if you aren’t a good candidate for laser vision surgery, or you don’t like the idea of undergoing surgery, Ortho-K offers a great alternative.
Ortho-K lenses have been created so that they are safe to wear overnight. This is because they are made from gas-permeable lenses that allow sufficient oxygen to reach your eyes while you sleep. Each Ortho-K lens is custom designed for your individual refractive error and this is done using the latest imaging technique known as topography. While you wear your lenses, they apply light but painless pressure in order to reshape the curvature of the cornea. Tear film continues to flow to help sculpt the shape so that light can be refracted properly, and your vision is much clearer when you wake the next day.
You should notice an improvement in your vision the very first day after sleeping with Ortho-K lenses in. However, the effects of the therapy are cumulative, and it can take a number of weeks of continued wear for patients to be able to see clearly without glasses or contact lenses for an entire day. Eventually, many patients go on to be able to enjoy the maximum benefit of the treatment for as long as two consecutive days at a time. The regular use of Ortho-K is recommended to maintain the best possible results.
If you are interested in finding out more about Ortho-K lenses, our highly experienced team of eye care experts would be delighted to assist you. Please contact University Optometric Center in Irvine, CA today (949) 216-8900.