Orthokeratology Treatment from Your Eye Doctor
Eyeglasses or contact lenses aren’t always the right choice when you need vision correction. Traditional refractive surgeries aren’t appropriate for some individuals. Our eye doctor in Lumberton, NC explains that there is another option for our EyeWorks Vision Center patients: orthokeratology, or Ortho-K. This technique uses corneal reshaping lenses to correct vision.
How Corneal Reshaping Lenses Work
A patient might require vision correction because the eye is too short or too long or has a misshapen surface. Ortho-K is a non-surgical therapy that eliminates the need for daytime glasses or contact lenses. Custom-designed therapeutic contact lenses known as corneal reshaping lenses change the shape or the curvature of the cornea. This alters how light focuses on the retina, which lies at the back of the eye.
Several evaluations are necessary for patients who express interest in Ortho-K. The most important is determining that the individual has healthy eyes. This requires assessing both the retina and the outside portion of an eye. Our optometrist notes that patients also require corneal mapping with an instrument known as a topographer to create the special lenses required.
One effective technique is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). It refers to using a particular brand of overnight contact lenses known as Paragon CRT from Paragon Vision Sciences. The methodology for lens design and fitting is proprietary. While the technique differs somewhat from orthokeratology, both produces similar results.
Unlike traditional contact lenses, Ortho-K or CRT lenses reshape the cornea while the patient sleeps. The next morning, the individual removes the overnight lenses and enjoys corrected vision that usually lasts for a day or two, sometimes longer.
Patients maintain visual clarity as long as they continue wearing their special lenses at night. If they eventually choose another method to correct their vision, they can opt to discontinue wearing their Ortho-K lenses. This allows their corneas to return to their original shape.
When patients arrive to pick up their special lenses, our optometrist provides instruction on inserting, removing, and caring for them. If our practice has the correct lenses in stock, fitting can occur the same day as topographical measurements. Otherwise, we will do the fitting once the custom lenses we order have arrived.
Some patients need a progression of temporary lenses to reach their optimal prescription. Most individuals initially have some sense of the lenses in place until they actually fall asleep. The comfort level upon insertion usually increases over time. The amount of time it takes to achieve maximum vision correction varies with each patient.
Who is a Good Candidate?
One of the most frequent uses of Ortho-K is correction of nearsightedness, or myopia. The technique is generally useful for correcting myopia measurements upwards of -6.00 diopters. It is also useful for correcting farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Most individuals who suffer from mild to moderate nearsightedness are good candidates, even with mild astigmatism. Patients who foresee eventually using another type of vision correction such as laser surgery can be good candidates if they're willing to temporarily wear eyeglasses or contacts after they stop using their overnight lenses.
Youngsters not yet old enough for laser surgery are often good Ortho-K candidates. So are other patients with conditions such as dry eyes that preclude refractive surgery and those who play contact sports or work in dusty areas that bother contact lens wearers.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Eye Doctors in Lumberton and Benson
Our EyeWorks Vision Center has three optometrists to serve you, whether you wish to explore overnight contact lenses or have other vision needs. Call our Lumberton office today at 910-738-6464 or our Benson office at 919-894-2001 to schedule an appointment with our eye doctors. We want to help make your future become a lot clearer.