Orthokeratology (OrthoK)

Are you tired of wearing contact lenses or glasses every day?  Would you enjoy the freedom of having clear vision all day without corrective lenses or eye surgery?  Are you concerned that your child’s eyes keep getting worse year after year?  If so, OrthoK may be a great option for you or your child.

Myopia Control

If your child is nearsighted (also known as myopia), their schoolwork, sports and other recreational activities can be affected.  Also, children’s nearsightedness tends to progress over time (progressive myopia).  Of all the options that have been studied in controlled clinical trials, OrthoK has been shown to be most effective at slowing and even stopping progressive myopia.

How OrthoK Works

OrthoK lenses are only worn at night during sleep and are available to people of all ages.  They allow you to see clearly all day long with nothing in your eyes!  It is a fitting procedure that temporarily reduces nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  The customized gas permeable (GP) lenses are designed to gently change the shape of the cornea.  The corneal shape change is not permanent and it is safe.  The effect lasts for about a day or two which is why the lenses must be worn each night to maintain the effect.  The vast majority of patients maintain clear and comfortable vision for all of their waking hours.

The lenses are applied each night before bed.  The effect happens while you are sleeping.  When you wake up in the morning, simply remove and clean the lenses and enjoy clear vision all day with nothing in your eyes!

Alternative to LASIK Surgery

OrthoK offers similar results as LASIK, but it is non-surgical, non-permanent (you can change the result if you need to), comfortable, available to patients of all ages and FDA approved as a safe procedure.  The following slide shows 2 corneal topographies (maps describing the shape of the cornea).  The top map shows a patient who underwent LASIK surgery, while the bottom is a Vision Care Specialists OrthoK patient.

(click image to enlarge)

orthok and lasik

OrthoK: An Old Idea with New Advancements

Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses to improve vision is not a new idea. OrthoK has been practiced for decades. In the past OrthoK produced mixed results because the technology to create the proper lens was not as advanced as it is today and the process wasn’t FDA approved, so the procedure had limited appeal.

Today, new lens design and manufacturing technology has enabled Orthokeratologists to achieve much higher success rates than experienced in the past. OrthoK is not eye surgery and is a completely reversible process.

OrthoK is an FDA approved therapy for patients of all ages.

Current Research:

→Jeffrey J. Walline. (2012) Myopia Control with Corneal Reshaping Contact Lenses. (FULL TEXT) Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. VOL 53 no. 11 PG 7086 doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10996

Conclusions: “Myopia affects a significant proportion of the world population, and corneal reshaping contact lenses were shown to slow the progression of the disease significantly. Thus, the findings of the randomized clinical trial reported by Cho and Cheung (see below) potentially could affect millions of people almost immediately.”

→Pauline Cho and Sin-Wan Cheung. (2012) Retardation of Myopia in Orthokeratology (ROMIO) Study: a 2-year randomized clinical trial. (FULL TEXT) Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. Oct 11, 2012 Vol. 53 no. 11, doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-10565

Conclusions: “On average, subjects wearing ortho-k lenses had a slower increase in axial elongation by 43% compared with that of subjects wearing single-vision glasses. Younger children tended to have faster axial elongation and may benefit from early ortho-k treatment.”

→Takahiro Hiraoka, Tetsuhiko Kakita, Fumiki Okamoto1, Hideto Takahashi and Tetsuro Oshika. (2012) Long-Term Effect of Overnight Orthokeratology on Axial Length Elongation in Childhood Myopia: A 5-Year Follow-Up Study. (ABSTRACT) Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 25, 2012 vol. 53 no. 7 3913-3919 doi 10.1167/iovs.11-8453

Conclusions: “The current 5-year follow-up study indicated that OK can suppress axial length elongation in childhood myopia.”

→Jacinto Santodomingo-Rubido, Cesar Villa-Collar, Bernard Gilmartin and Ramon Gutierrez-Ortega. (2012) Myopia Control with Orthokeratology Contact Lenses in Spain (MCOS): Refractive and Biometric Changes. (ABSTRACT) Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science Published online before print June 22, 2012 doi 10.1167/iovs.11-8005

Conclusions: “Orthokeratology contact lens wear reduces axial elongation in comparison to distance single-vision spectacles in children.”

→Peter E. Wilcox, David P. Bartels.(2010) Orthokeratology for Controlling Myopia: Clinical Experiences. (FULL TEXT) Contact Lens Spectrum May 2010 39-42

Conclusions: “Many clinicians are familiar with the benefits of orthokeratology for adults. A significant added value of orthokeratology for young patients, which is supported by a growing number of initial studies, is the possible reduced rate of myopic progression. A recent study (Vitale et al, 2009) reported a 66 percent increase in myopia prevalence over a recent 30-year period. These facts address one of the oldest concerns that parents have held for their children: how to keep their eyes from getting worse every year. We may now have an answer. Learn it, promote it, and provide it.”

→Bruce H. Koffler. (2012) The Case for Myopia Control Now. (FULL TEXT) Refractive Eyecare November 2012

Conclusions: “Myopia prevalence is increasing rapidly around the world. East Asia is the most affected region, but rapidly rising rates of myopia can be found throughout the developed world. Research in animal models has shown that axial elongation can be triggered by hyperopic blur in the peripheral retina. The explosion of near-vision tasks to which children have been subjected in developed countries is thought to be behind the rising rates of myopia. Both drugs and overnight orthokeratology have been shown effective in slowing myopia progression in children. Among the demonstrated safety and efficacy, there are many good reasons for ophthalmologists to consider adopting orthokeratology in their practices.”