What is Ortho-K?
Orthokeratology, Cornea Refractive Therapy or Corneal Molding, is a non-surgical, reversible process using a unique therapeutic mold to reshape the cornea while you sleep. The best analogy for Ortho-K is “orthodontics for the eye”. The corneal shape is altered by gentle pressure from custom-designed corneal molds. The result is clear crisp vision without daytime contact lenses or glasses. It is an excellent mode of treatment for myopia control for children and an alternative to refractive surgery (LASIK) for adults.
How does it work?
This state-of-the-art therapeutic mold re-sculpts the corneal cells using the many unique curvatures of the mold. This creates a push/pull force beneath the mold’s surface. Thin layer sheer forces, created by the tear film beneath this therapeutic lens, flow across the corneal surface. This continuous action moves the cells from the center of the cornea to the periphery thereby changing the overall shape of the eye. This resculpted shape can easily focus light directly on the retina.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. As a child with myopia grows, the length of the eye also grows. This causes the myopia to increase. Their glasses get thicker and thicker. This also increases their risk of a detached retina. Ortho-K acts like a brake and retards myopia progression. There is sufficient evidence in the literature that concludes that Orthokeratology indeed retards myopia progression significantly and more importantly, better than other treatment methods available. For more information on related articles, click (Articles). Children are thrilled with Ortho-K treatment. But imagine how they will thank you when they get older and learn how you were able to preserve their sight and lower their risk of eye disease.
This therapy is effective on nearsighted (myopic), astigmatic and farsighted patients. If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you are also a great candidate because this lens is so easy to use and is worn while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while using conventional contact lenses. You are also a great candidate if you need excellent vision without the use of contacts or glasses. Orthokeratology benefits pilots, police officers, military personnel and those with safety concerns such as, professional athletes, parents of small children, lifeguards and many others. Your child is a candidate if they have a tendency to lose or abuse their contact lenses/glasses, or if wearing them interferes with their active life. Finally, if you just don’t want to be bothered with wearing glasses or contact lenses during a variety of activities such as hiking, playing sports, swimming, skiing, camping, off-road driving, biking, snorkelling, scuba and more, Ortho-K is for you.
Good vision without specs or contacts for most of the day. Non- surgical procedure. It is reversible. It is modifiable. It does not hurt. It will retard myopia progression for children.
You must be prepared for 4-6 visits over a 3-6 month period depending on the complexity of the case. Continued lens wear is essential or the cornea will revert to its original shape. The degree of success to achieve 20/20 vision is high but cannot always be guaranteed, especially for complex cases. You must follow instructions implicitly for the best results.
You have Presbyopia and this can be corrected with monovision therapy. This involves correcting one eye for great distance vision and the other eye for near vision. Your brain automatically chooses the appropriate eye for the task. Another alternative is to have both eyes corrected for distance vision and wear reading glasses whenever you want to do near work.
In addition, we have the technology to do multifocal corneal molding to manage both your distance and near problems.
Dry eyes are usually not a problem while you sleep as there is little tear evaporation in a closed eye, and Ortho-K lenses are only worn while you sleep. If your dry eyes are a problem while you sleep, supplementing your natural tears is a simple option. Orthokeratology provides a dry-eyed person with excellent vision with no compromise to their eye health or comfort. If you have dry eye disease due to severe arthritis or a collagen-vascular disease, you may not be a candidate. However, a comprehensive exam will give us a better idea of your chances for success
Conditions that are contraindicated for Ortho-K treatment are rare. More importantly during the consultation, establishing the expectations of the patient in terms of lifestyle, comfort, vision, safety and more will be discussed in detail to ensure we will achieve the result that is deliverable. If there are any underlying conditions that may prevent us from achieving the best result, we will treat the condition first prior to Ortho-K treatment.
Whether you are a good candidate depends on other factors such as the health of your eyes, your age, your pupil size and your expectations. High astigmatism is normally more complex in the design and fit. This is because conventional molds will not sit well with perfect centration on the cornea. When we custom design a mold for your cornea, we will be able to achieve perfect centration on the cornea however, we would like take a step further and reduce almost all of your cornea astigmatism. We have had fantastic results from our patients with high astigmatism but as mentioned, it will depend on the individual case and a consultation will allow us to give you a more accurate gauge on what to expect.
No. We can fit children as young as six. And, there is no upper limit on age either.
Definitely! These therapeutic molds are worn at night while you sleep. This greatly reduces any discomfort you may have experienced while wearing contact lenses during the day.
Yes, it is possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology. But because Ortho-K lenses reshape your cornea, you must stop wearing the lenses for a period of time (usually several months) so your eyes can return to their original shape and stabilize. Be sure to tell your LASIK surgeon that you have worn Ortho-K lenses, so they can advise you how long you should wait before having the surgery.
No. Ortho-K molds are not normal contact lenses and cannot be classified as one. These molds require a great deal of knowledge in the designing, fitting and review process. It is therefore very important to go to the right Orthokeratologist who has the proper certification and accreditation by the Orthokeratology academy. This is the list of members and fellows of the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control in Singapore. http://www.orthokacademy.com/singapore
Ortho-K is a significantly longer process than a regular contact lens fitting. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple pairs of lenses. Also, GP molds used for Ortho-K are more costly than most contact lenses. Therefore, fees for Ortho-K are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. Ortho-K prices are based on the Orthokeratologist’s skill, training, patient’s refractive error and complexity of individual cases. A preliminary comprehensive eye examination including corneal topography is necessary to determine if you are a suitable candidate for treatment and an experienced orthokeratologist will be able to answer specific questions pertaining to you individual case.
The practice of Ortho-K requires a great deal of technical skill, specialised equipment and considerably more office time and is therefore more costly to the patient. Many Optometrists do not consider myopia control worth the time and effort. Some believe myopia progression is no big deal or that nothing can be done. If an Optometrist is not trained in Ortho-K, or did not look into the current research on myopia treatment, he or she will not recommend it as an option during an eye exam. It is easier to offer contact lenses, glasses or refractive surgery to correct vision.