Please describe what Ortho-Keratology is and give a basic sense of how it works.
Ortho K is a corneal reshaping technique which allows patients to see clearly throughout the day without the need for contacts or glasses. This is achieved by having the patient wear a contact lens mold to sleep at night to allow reshaping of the cornea. Ortho K can be worn by children and adults.
How does Ortho-K assist in treating nearsightedness, and astigmatism?
A contact lens mold is used to create a specific shape on the cornea to and this allows the cornea to focus light properly to the macula (center of the retina). The new shape of the cornea focuses light properly to the macula just the same way contacts and glasses do; thus, providing clear vision without the need for glasses or contacts. The contact lens molds must be worn nightly for ortho K to be effective.
How does Ortho-K slow the progression of childhood myopia?
The specific shape ortho K creates on the cornea also helps focus light properly to the peripheral retina. The peripheral retina has been shown to be a significant factor in the progression of myopia (nearsightedness).
What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting, or the component that made you feel you need to use in this for your practice?
I think the ability of ortho K to effectively slow down or even stop myopia progression in children is the most exciting aspect of this lens technology. As an added plus, patients can have clear vision throughout the day without the need for glasses.
What results can a patient expect from being treated with Ortho-k?
Young patients who are good candidates for ortho K can expect clear vision throughout the day. Patients who need bifcoals can expect to at least have clear distance vision throughout the day but may also have adequate near vision also.
Can you describe the patient experience when being treated with Ortho-K?
On the day of evaluation, patients can expect to spend 1-2 hours at the office for testing. After the first night of treatment, patients can expect about 50-70% correction and they will still have blurry vision. They will generally be given some temporary contacts to wear throughout the week. After 1 week of wear, patients can expect about 90-95% of correction and they may not need to wear any contact lenses at this time. The doctor may need to make additional tweaks to the lens molds after 1-2 weeks of wear to fine tune the alignment of the lens to to cornea. A good lens-cornea alignment is necessary for effective correction of the refraction power.
Who is a good candidate for Ortho-k? Are there specific patients for whom the use of Ortho-K is particularly helpful or useful? Why?
Most children over 10 years or older or most adults are good candidates for ortho K. Patients must be able to sleep for 7-10 hours a night and be able to remove the contact lens molds in the morning. Ortho K is particularly useful for children who are starting to be nearsighted because of the myopia control effect of Ortho-K.
Can you share a particular patient success story, in which by treating with Ortho-K, you were able to provide a patient with a solution which you would otherwise not have been able to provide?
I had a 11 year old girl who was active with cheerleading but had trouble with her contact lenses occasionally falling out of her eyes during practice. She, her mom, and I decided ortho K would be a good solution for her because of her active lifestyle and the myopia control effects of ortho K. I was able to successfully evaluate her in ortho K and now she has clear vision without the need of glasses or contacts throughout the day. She is happily cheerleading without having to worry if her contacts might fall out!