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Caring for Your Orthokeratology Contact lenses

Orthokeratology is an advanced and convenient way of improving your vision that involves the use of shaping lenses overnight. In order to maximize the benefits of this procedure and to avoid complications like eye irritations or infections, you must know how to properly handle, wear and care for your orthokeratology shaping lenses. Here are some tips on how to do these:

•    Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before handling the lenses. Do not use soaps that have lotions, oily cosmetics or cold cream as these can stick to the surface of the lenses and make them difficult to remove.

•    Hold the lens with your fingertips and not your fingernails as this can scratch or chip the lens.

•    Rinse the orthokeratology shaping lens with a fresh conditioning solution.

•    Before placing the lens on your eyes, check it first to make sure that it is clean, moist and free from cracks, scratches or other debris.

•    Put several drops of the solution on the surface of the lens. Place two to three drops of the recommended rewetting solution in each eye.

•    Place the orthokeratology shaping lens on the top of the index finger of your dominant hand. Open the eyes widely by holding down the lower lid and lifting the upper lid. Place the lens on the center of your eye gently. You need not press it on the eye.

•    Release the lids gently and blink. The lens should center automatically.

•    Before removing your orthokeratology shaping lens, check first if the lens is moving. If it is not moving, put five drops of the rewetting solution in the eye and blink for a few minutes to allow the lens to move spontaneously. Remove once the lens moves freely.

•    You can remove the lens manually the way you remove ordinary contact lenses. You can use the customary blink or scissor method. However, if you are wearing a large diameter shaping lens, you may need to use a soft silicone rubber removal device.

•    Clean your orthokeratology shaping lens by rubbing it gently with the cleaner recommended by your doctor. Do this for 20 seconds. Afterwards, rinse it thoroughly using the recommended solution.

•    Make sure not to press or squeeze your lens excessively as it is prone to breakage and distortion.

•    Keep the lenses in their proper cases and submerged in the recommended storage solution. Make sure that the case is covered completely and tightly.

•    Remember that each eye might have a different prescription so make sure not to mix up the lens that goes to your right eye with the one that goes to your left. The procedure would be ineffective if you wear the wrong prescription on your eye.

•    Soak your orthokeratology shaping lenses in the recommended solution for at least four hours or as may be prescribed in the solution’s label.

•    For this treatment to be effective, make sure to strictly follow your optometrist’s instructions.

•    Orthokeratology is a medical procedure using medical devices on your eyes.  Hygiene and immediate consultation at the first sign of red painful eye/s is essential to make sure that you achieve ongoing success.

About the Author

Dr Jim Kokkinakis (Optometrist) graduated in 1983 from the Optometry School University of NSW. He is currently a Senior Lecturer there and regular speaker to both Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Australia and Internationally. He has a specialist clinical practice in the Sydney CBD with interests in Eye Strain, Computer Vision problems, Treatment of Eye Diseases and complex Contact lens Fittings.

Comments (4)

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  1. chantal Patel says:

    I have been using Ortho-K for 2 years now but night time isa nightmare as car lights look like a star burst which makes driving conditions difficult.. anyone has a solution or nay advice as to how to cope with this.. during daylight I have no problems at all.. Many thanks

    • Jim (http://www NULL.optometrist says:

      There are many reasons this can occur:
      1. the procedure starts to lose effect later in the day, when it gets darker
      2. The procedure is not being done properly, which means the lens is sitting off centre overnight. As your pupils enlarge at night time all sorts of distortions can occur.
      3. You have very large pupils naturally which become even bigger at night time – this in turn creates night vision problems.
      The best way to attend to this is a comprehensive examination by an orthok specialist.
      Jim Kokkinakis

  2. Alice says:

    I have recently noticed that my left lens has been moving when I sleep because when I wake up my left lens is about a millimeter out from the right edge of my eye. Why is it doing this and is there a way to prevent this from happening?

    • admin says:

      Hi Alice
      There are a number of reason this can happen. If you sleep on that side of your face it is possible. Depending on how old the lenses are and what your cleaning system is, it is possible that the lens has warped and now needs replacing. Either way a visit to an orthokeratologist specialist is what is required.

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