Ortho-K is short for orthokeratology - which in plain english translates to re-shaping of the eye (specifically the cornea within the eye.) It is a hard lens that the patient wears overnight so they can enjoy clear vision during the day. It works with the body to reshape the cornea, like a retainer does to keep teeth straight. Only in this case it keeps the eyeball a particular shape so that the image that gets to the brain is in focus.
This treatment can be used for a variety of eye issues (like myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism). It is usually most effective for younger patients as their eyes are more responsive to treatment. In some cases this treatment can prevent the patient from needing glasses at all - which for a young person can be a big deal. And it can slow the progression of myopia (needing glasses to see at a distance) in children.
In the past many years with screens becoming more prevalent we have seen an increase in people, and young people especially, needing eyewear to see at a distance. As screens are not going anywhere this treatment is only becoming more popular to help the eyes adjust to our current lives.
The treatment is not painful at all and has become one of the gold standard of care for myopia. By simply wearing the lens each night the cornea is re-shaped and the body keeps it that way as long as the lens continues to be worn regularly. Just like the way a retainer keeps teeth in place the ortho-k lens keeps the cornea in place working with the body.
Most insurance plans do not cover ortho-k but once the lens is fitted for the patient the results can be significant. Can you imagine not needing glasses or contacts to see clearly? The savings from not purchasing new eyewear can pay for itself.
Think you might be a candidate? Or are you interested in ortho-k? Contact our office to see if you’d be a good candidate. Text or call (206) 467-1006 today!