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If you have myopia (nearsightedness), you may think you have to resign yourself to a lifetime of wearing glasses or contact lenses or undergo a costly refractive surgery treatment like LASIK. But there is another alternative to correct myopia and some other refractive vision issues including hyperopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism that doesn’t require surgery. It’s called orthokeratology (Ortho-k for short), and for the right candidates, it can provide clear vision without the need for corrective lenses. Seeing an optometrist in Somerset NJ is the first step in determining if Ortho-k is right for you.
Ortho-k is a treatment program that uses a special type of "breathable" contact lens to correct your corneal shape. The lenses are worn at night while you're sleeping. Refractive vision problems like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism are caused by abnormalities in the shape of the cornea, the clear covering over your pupil and iris. In myopia and hyperopia, the cornea may be steeper, thicker, flatter or thinner than “normal,” while in astigmatism the cornea is more elongated than round. All of these issues affect the way light enters your eyes, and specifically, how that light “hits” the retina at the back of your eye. In refractive surgery, the cornea is reshaped to correct for these problems. In ortho-k, the special contact lenses are used for the same effect but with temporary results. The lenses used during therapy are approved by the FDA for overnight wear, and they’re very “breathable,” which means they allow oxygen to reach your corneas for better eye health.
Yes; in fact, Ortho-k is often used to help slow the progression of myopia during childhood.
Therapy begins with a complete eye exam by your Somerset eye doctor. During the exam, the eye doctor will assess your vision and evaluate your corneas to determine if ortho-k lenses are right for your needs. Then your corneas will be very carefully measured and “mapped” using state-of-the-art technology to ensure your new lenses fit correctly. When you receive your Ortho-k lenses, you’ll wear them at night while you sleep. The lenses will subtly reshape your corneas so you can see clearly (without lenses) during the day.
Some patients will see results after just one or two days of lens wear, while for others, it can take one or more weeks of therapy to achieve maximum results. It depends on your level of myopia (or another vision issue) when you begin your therapy. Once results take effect, most patients can see well without their glasses for a day or two after treatment. For maximum benefits, you should wear your Ortho-k lenses every night when you sleep.
Not every eye doctor can perform Ortho-k fittings and ongoing therapy, so selecting the right doctor is a critical part of getting the best results. If you're wondering, "How can I find an eye doctor near me who's qualified to perform Ortho-k?” we can help. As a top-ranked optometrist in Somerset NJ, Franklin Family Eyecare is a leading provider of Ortho-k therapy for patients throughout the region. If you're interested in learning more about Ortho-k and whether it could be a good choice for you, contact Franklin Family Eyecare at 732-412-7328 and schedule an appointment today.