(only available at Hornsby and Port Macquarie)

What is Orthokeratology?

Also known as Ortho-K, OK and corneal refractive therapy, Orthokeratology is a non-surgical clinical technique of correcting refractive error (mainly Myopia – short sightedness) using custom made rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses. These lenses are worn at night and removed in the morning. While you sleep, the shape of the front surface of your eye (cornea) is being moulded by the specially designed and fitted lens in a controlled manner such that, upon removal in the morning unaided vision is much clearer. The cornea retains its shape for all or part of the day. This safe and effective technique is advantageous and a good alternative to surgery because it is not permanent and therefore correction can be adjusted at any point in time or should the prescription change. Further, vision correction is achieved without the danger of compromising the integrity of your cornea. This procedure has been likened to the use of retainers by Orthodontists to maintain straightened teeth. The cornea, however, is highly elastic so these lenses must be worn several times a week to retain the moulding effect once the correct corneal shape has been achieved.

Benefits of Ortho-K 1 2 3
Some of the many benefits include:

· alternative to wearing spectacles

· removes “blind spots” caused by frames or lens edges

· beneficial for those who enjoy an active lifestyle, particularly water sports

· useful in occupations where spectacles or contact lenses are inappropriate

· reduced allergic reactions to contact lenses

· an alternative to those who have considered refractive surgery and are concerned about the risks involved

· less “dry eye” problems

Note: Numerous studies have shown that correction of myopia through Ortho-K can also have a large effect in slowing down its progression, especially in children.

What are the risks of Orthokeratology?

The risks involved in this procedure are similar to that of standard contact lens wear. As with regular contact wear, it is important to adhere to practitioner guidelines and instructions on lens wear (replacing the lenses every 24 months) and lens care, hygiene and handling.

The Procedure

Your suitability to this procedure (prescription, eye health, needs and expectations) is assessed. This involves a comprehensive initial consultation with one of our eye care professionals. Thereafter, we will use specialised equipment to measure the curvature of your cornea (non-invasive and painless). Based on your individual eye shape and prescription, a custom made lens will be fitted by the practitioner and prescribed to you. After your first night of wear your vision should be improved as compared to your current eyesight without correction. You will be required to return to our practice after the first night of wear for re-assessment. Changes will be made if necessary. During your first few days or weeks your vision will be better at the start of each day but will fade later in the day. You will experience some side effects such as glare and halo which will reduce with time but may never completely fade away depending on each individual. This is because the cornea is very elastic and it requires some time before the correct shape of your prescription is moulded. Thereafter the shape will be better retained throughout the day however, to ensure this mound is kept, you will need to wear your lenses several times a week. Discontinuing contact lens wear will allow your corneas to gradually regress to its original shape.

You will be required to return to the practice:

1) One (1) week post initial fitting

2) One (1) month

3) Three (3) months

Again, this is to ensure that the most adequate shape is being moulded for vision correction and to allow for any changes to be made, if necessary.

After the 3 month point it is important you return every 18 months for routine replacement of your lenses. This not only gives us a chance to make any changes (because our eye sight often changes, especially with age), but also, regular replacement of lenses is essential for maintaining optimal eye health. Build up on the lenses can lead to infections and can predispose contact lens intolerance. Contact lens fits can also change with time and this can compromise your corneal health.

(Only available in Port Macquarie and Hornsby practices.)

References for article:

1. http://www.osa.net.au/aboutok.php

2. http://www.orthokeratology.com/

3. http://www.optom.unsw.edu.au/research/rokindes.html

4. Title: LORIC – The Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children (in Hong Kong: A Pilot Study on Refractive Changes and Myopic Control) date: July 2004 Pauline Cho, Sin Wan Cheung & Marion Edwards

5. Title COOK1- The Children’s Overnight Orthokeratology Investigation Pilot Study Date: June 2004 Source: http://www.optvissci.com Optometry and Vision Science. Walline, Jeffrey j. OD, Phd, FAAO; RAH, Majorie J. OD, PhD, FAAO; Jones Lisa A. PhD, FAAO Lippincott Williams & Wilkins