During our myopia control consultations, parents often have questions about one of the most common methods we offer, orthokeratology (ortho-k, OK lenses). Ortho-k lenses are often used to slow down the progression of nearsightedness in children. Here are the answers to the top 5 questions we get during our consultation appointments:
1: How does ortho-k work?
Orthokeratology lenses are a specially designed rigid lens that acts as a molding retainer on the cornea. It gently molds the cornea overnight while you sleep. When you remove the lens in the morning, you will be able to see without glasses or contact lenses. They have been shown to slow down the progression of myopia in children by 80%.
2: Is ortho-k safe?
Although it is rare, there is a risk of infection while wearing ortho-k lenses. It is important to follow lens wear and disinfection protocols closely to diminish the risk.
3: What are the potential side effects?
Some patient may experience dryness and lubricating drops may be needed for better comfort. In the first weeks, patients may notice more lens awareness and haloes especially at night. The molding from ortho-k is reversible. If a patient stops wearing the lens, their cornea will return to its original shape.
4: What is the difference between the trial ortho-k lens and the custom pair?
The trial ortho-k lens is chosen to best match the curve of the patient’s eye to see if a predicted amount of molding occurs. This helps the doctor ensure they are a good candidate before custom ortho-k lenses are ordered. It also gives the child a chance to try it out to see if ortho-k is something they can continue day to day. Custom ortho-k lenses have a more precise and customized shape and prescription than the trial lenses.
5: How much time does it take for my child to see well in their ortho-k lenses?
We expect most of the vision improvement within the first 1-2 weeks of treatment. Some eyes or higher prescriptions require a longer period of time to complete the process.
If you are interested in a myopia management consultation with one of our optometrists, please call or email us to book your appointment!