OrthoK or orthokeratology can be thought of as the optical equivalent of dental braces. Treatment involves overnight wear of rigid contact lenses that gently reshape the surface of the eye while sleeping. This treatment has been used for decades as an alternative to wearing glasses or contacts and for adults wanting a non-surgical alternative to laser eye surgery. Modern versions of these lenses are now used for myopia control.
Like Soft Multifocal Lenses, the idea is to create peripheral defocus and thereby reduce eye elongation. Upon waking in the morning, the contact lenses are removed and the corneal reshaping lasts all day, eliminating the need for daytime glasses! This is ideal for active kids who may otherwise be limited by eyeglasses during sports and other activities.
Unlike braces, this reshaping is not permanent. The custom retainer lenses must be worn every night to maintain the effect. Studies show that axial elongation is slowed an average of 43% with this method but more recent data suggests it is much higher. Newer lens designs have demonstrated up to 90% reduction in progression in some cases.
For best results, it is recommended to start when the prescription is lower than -4.00D of myopia, and ideally as young as 7-10 years of age. The efficacy and safety of these lenses is well documented. Our residency trained optometrists at Mission Eye Care are skilled in all methods of myopia control, including Orthokeratology Calgary care.