Orthokeratology is a procedure of gently reshaping the cornea in order to temporarily modify or totally eliminate a refractive error. This non-invasive clinical technique is also known by the following names:
• Vision Shaping Treatment or VST
• Corneal Refractive Therapy or CRT.
Orthokeratology involves the use of a rigid custom-made contact lens to mold the shape of the cornea to reduce or correct myopia. Continuous use of the lens is necessary as the cornea is highly elastic and will always return to its original shape. The effect will wear off after a few days if use is discontinued. The contact lenses are permanent and can last for up to three years.
Ideal Candidates for Orthokeratology
This procedure is recommended for the following persons:
• Those with mild to moderate myopia or short sightedness of -0.75 to -5.00D.
• Those with presbyopes for monovision corrections.
• Those with hyperopes or long sightedness of up to +3.00D.
• Those with contact lens allergies.
• Those who easily misplace contact lenses.
• Those whose work or lifestyles are not suited for use disposable contact lenses.
• Those who are afraid of undergoing refractive surgery due to the risks they provide.
• Those who suffer from dry eye syndrome due to prolonged computer use or exposure to air conditioning and dusty environments.
The following steps will be undertaken should you be found qualified to undergo this procedure:
• Your eye doctor will check the prescription and health of your eyes.
• Your cornea will be measured for customization of the lens using an instrument called a corneal topographer.
• Once your contact lens is completed, you will be required to wear it overnight to temporarily alter the shape of your cornea.
• You will remove the contact lens first thing in the morning and you will have clear vision throughout the day without the help of eye glasses or contact lenses.
• You need to visit your doctor for follow-up consultations to monitor the effect of the lens on your vision.
• Expect lens changes or adjustments for clearer vision.
A key issue to remember is that orthokeratology is a specialised procedure. Few practitioners are experienced in its implementation. If you make a random request it is likely that you will be talked out of following up further. Make sure you see an optometrist that has ample experience in this unique procedure.
As with any medical procedure, there will also be concomitant risks when you undergo orthokeratology. Though these complications rarely happen, it would be beneficial for you to know some risks that accompany this procedure:
• Cornea infections
• Scarring of the cornea
• Degradation of vision.
To avoid these complications, make sure to strictly follow the instructions of your eye doctor especially with regard to the schedule, handling, hygiene, wearing and caring for your contact lenses.
Indeed, this procedure is an innovative, convenient and comfortable way of correcting refractive errors. While it may sound like a serious and expensive procedure, its benefits definitely outweigh the costs. In the long run, it can even end up cheaper considering how long it lasts. So go ahead and explore the awesome gift of orthokeratology.