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Orthokeratology (also referred to as Corneal Refractive Therapy, or Corneal Reshaping) is a sophisticated non-surgical process using specially designed contact lenses to gently reshape the cornea (the front layer of the eye), while you sleep. Upon waking, the lenses are removed and patients are able to go through the day without the use of glasses or conventional contact lenses.
The orthokeratology rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens redistributes the superficial cells of the corneal epithelium to flatten or reshape the cornea. This allows light that once focused in the front orbehind the retina, to focus directly on the retina, thus improving vision.
Unlike laser surgery, orthokeratology is not permanent and is completely reversible. If you stop wearing the lenses, your vision will return to its original state in as little as 72 hours.
Another way in which orthokeratology differs from laser surgery, is that there are no age restrictions for orthokeratology. This makes it a great option for adolescents and teenagers who want to see well, and have the freedom of not wearing glasses or contact lenses during the day. It is also ideal for people who live an active lifestyle, or play sports.
Orthokeratology is best for people with low to moderate amounts of nearsightedness. It is FDA approved for patients with refractive errors up to -6.00 diopters, and with regular astigmatism up to -1.75 diopters. Patients who have corneal diseases, irregular corneal shape, amblyopia, lazy eye, or vision only in one eye, may not be good candidates.
How Long Does The Ortho-K Effect Last?
You should be able to see acceptably well without glasses or contact lenses for a day or two, sometimes longer. For best results, you should wear the ortho-k lenses every night.