Who Can Benefit from Ortho-K Lenses?

There are lots of different types of contact lenses, but they aren’t all created equal. One of the varieties of contact lenses that you may not be familiar with is ortho-k lenses. Here’s what you need to know about what they are and who might need them.


What are ortho-k lenses?


Ortho-k lenses are a type of bespoke contact lens, created specifically for the individual that will be wearing them. They are made from rigid-gas permeable material that holds its shape but still enables oxygen to pass through them and reach the surface of the eyes. Unlike other contact lenses, ortho-k lenses are worn overnight, where they gently reshape the eyes so that the cornea can refract light correctly. The next morning, the lenses are removed and placed into cleaning – and you can go about your day with clear vision, without the need for prescription lenses. How long your eyes will retain this shape will depend on how consistently you wear your lenses, but with regular use, you could enjoy clear vision for a full day.



By reshaping your eyes while you sleep, ortho-k lenses also help to prevent your myopia from getting any worse. This can help to keep your prescription stable for longer and reduce the risk of issues related to high myopia in the future.


Who can benefit from ortho-k lenses?


There are a few different people who are particularly good candidates for ortho-k lenses.



People with refractive eye errors


The good news is that ortho-k lenses can be used by most people who have a refractive eye error. Refractive eye errors occur as a result of problems with the way that light is refracted as it enters and passes through the eye. They include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia.



Your eye doctor will be able to tell you if you are a suitable candidate for this treatment, which will be based on your eye health and the extent of your prescription.



If you want to enjoy eyewear-free vision


If you meet the prescription requirements needed for ortho-k, you’ll be an especially good candidate if you want to enjoy the freedoms of living life without wearing glasses or contact lenses in the day. This is because, with consistent use, your eyes should be able to retain their corrected shape for an entire day or longer.



Children and ortho-k


A very common misconception is that children and contact lenses don’t mix. While it definitely takes some skill, patience and practice for a child to get the hang of wearing contact lenses, it’s certainly not impossible, especially with adult supervision. You may also be very surprised to hear that ortho-k lenses are ideal for children.



Myopia often develops during the childhood years. This is thought to be a result of rapid growth, causing the eye to grow too long in relation to the focusing power of the lens. The trouble is that if myopia does start in childhood, without treatment this progressive condition will continue to get worse as they get older, meaning that they are likely to develop high myopia by the time they reach adulthood. This puts them at increased risk of many complications, including macular degeneration, cataracts and retinal detachment.



Children are especially good candidates for ortho-k. Not only will the treatment help control their myopia, but it will also enable them to see clearly during the day with little to no reliance on prescription eyewear. This gives them greater freedom and flexibility, which is important since they aren’t able to have LASIK or other refractive surgery.



If you’d like to learn more about ortho-k, call Custom Eyes at (631) 230-6230 to reach our office in Selden, NY.

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