What is Ortho K?
Ortho K. What is it?
Ortho K is the process of making a controlled change in your eye’s strength to allow clear vision. Think of something we routinely do with teeth – Orthodontics. applying the same principles, we can gently reshape your prescription. This is achieved by the wearing of special night time retainer lenses that allow you to wake to clear, comfortable all day vision.
Although not widely known about, it has been around since the 1960s. At that time lenses were not slept in and success was not predictable. Results were very mixed and generally not satisfactory.
Measurement of the eye improved greatly allowing practitioners to see exactly what changes were happening to the eye to neutralise the prescription.
Manufacturing process improved allowing the creation of more complex designs and, importantly, the ability to reproduce them in a consistent manner.
Material science was also creating new highly permeable lenses that would allow more oxygen to the eye.
Lastly, it was discovered that by sleeping in the lenses, the process accelerated producing much quicker results. This was when it became ‘accelerated ortho k’ revitalising interest from eye care practitioners who saw a modality that offered significant benefits to traditional contact lens wear or glasses.
So why isn’t it better known?
In the 1990s when it became accelerated Ortho K, there were only a small number of practitioners promoting it. Substantial investment was required in the measuring technology needed to monitor changes in eye power. Training to become proficient and acquiring costly banks of fitting lenses, meant the process was not going to become an overnight success. Since 2000, more training programmes have become available. Better lens designs that improved wearer success helped create wider interest in practitioner prescribing.
Successful Ortho K requires an experienced eye care practitioner. In the initial stages, 4-5 appointments are required in the first month and that assumes all goes exactly to plan. Prospective wearers should understand the initial time commitment needed to give you the desired outcome …. all day long, clear vision and comfortable eyes without glasses, contact lenses or surgery.