Nearsightedness may be common, but it does not make it convenient. Glasses wearers must deal with fogging, waking up with blurry vision, balancing their lenses on their face during active times, and more. Even those who can wear regular contacts during the day have their own set of issues, like dry eyes and extra irritation do various pollutants they come across during the day.
While all these inconveniences are usually a small price to pay for being able to see clearly, and for many it is preferred to undergoing surgery such as LASIK or PRK. But what if there were something that was somehow "in-between"? There is, and that is called orthokeratology.
What Is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology, or Ortho-k, is a type of vision technology that changes the shape of the corneas in a way that is more lasting than what traditional contact lenses do. Traditional contact lenses improve vision if they are on the eyes. Ortho-K lenses continue to improve eyesight even when lenses are not being worn. If it is determined that you are a candidate for orthokeratology, Ortho-K lenses will be fitted for you to wear at night, while you sleep.
You will wake up with quality vision and take the lenses out. For the full day you will be able to go about your business as if you were a person who does not need glasses. At the end of the day the contacts go back in while you sleep again.
At Macias Eye Medical Centers in Riverside and Fontana, CA our eye doctors include both optometrists and an ophthalmologist, so you can get a full understanding of the technology before you decide about your eyes.
The Ortho-K lenses are designed specifically for your eyes using a corneal topographer and creates a map of your corneas. While you are wearing them, the gas-permeable lenses flatten the cornea, while still letting the proper amount of oxygen in your eye. Sometimes, it may take a couple of weeks to get maximum benefit from Ortho-K right away, but after the first couple of weeks most achieve vision correction to 20/40 or better.
Kids and Ortho-K
Some may be surprised, but sometimes a child's optometrist recommends Ortho-K. Because of the potential for bacterial infection, there is more risk than simply wearing glasses, but there is also the potential for a greater reward. While corneas are overall extremely flexible for anyone, this is especially true when it comes to a child's eyes. Since their eyes are still growing and their vision is still developing into what it is going to be when they are adults, there are some cases where a child's nearsightedness is lessened because of the influence of orthokeratology.
Whether the patient is a child or an adult, there is an expense to Ortho-K that is more than maintaining regular eyeglasses or contacts in most cases, but less than undergoing surgery. There are also people that are candidates for Ortho-K, that may not be able to have eye surgery. At Macias Eye Medical Centers, we can discuss whether this might be an option for you or your child. To learn more, contact Macias Eye Medical Centers in Riverside, CA at 951-359-0500 or in Fontana, CA at 909-427-8900 to schedule an appointment.