Ortho-K Lenses in Hobart: A New Approach in Vision Correction
Ortho-K is a groundbreaking vision correction method that’s changing lives. Imagine wearing contact lenses overnight and waking up to clear, sharp vision without needing glasses or daytime contacts. That’s the benefit of Ortho-K. Its non-surgical approach is gaining immense popularity with those seeking convenience and flexibility, and is especially suited for active lifestyles.
I’m Martin Robinson, the proud owner and principal optometrist at Martin’s Eyecare, a cornerstone of optometry in Hobart and Glenorchy since 2009. In this article, I’ll dive deeper into what makes Ortho-K an exceptional choice for vision correction.
What is Ortho-K?
Ortho-K refers to orthokeratology, a process designed to correct vision without surgery. This technique serves as a non-surgical alternative to procedures like LASIK, offering a safe and reversible option for those seeking freedom from glasses or daytime contact lenses. Ortho-k lenses are also called “corneal reshaping contact lenses” or “overnight contact lenses.”
The magic of Ortho-K lies in its ability to reshape the cornea while you sleep. These specially designed lenses gently mold the cornea’s surface, correcting refractive errors. By morning, when the lenses are removed, users are ready to enjoy improved vision throughout the day.
Who Can Benefit from Ortho-K?
Ortho-K (orthokeratology) is a versatile vision correction method suitable for a wide range of ages.
- Children and Teenagers: Ortho-K is particularly popular for managing myopia (nearsightedness). It can be started in children as young as six or seven years old. The ability to slow the progression of myopia in children is one of the major benefits of Ortho-K for this age group.
- Adults: There is no upper age limit for using Ortho-K lenses. Adults with myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia can use Ortho-K as long as their eyes are healthy and suitable for the treatment. Effectiveness and suitability may vary based on individual eye conditions and overall eye health.
The primary consideration for Ortho-K use is not age but rather the specific condition of the eyes. Factors like the health of the cornea, the degree of refractive error, and the stability of the prescription are crucial in determining whether Ortho-K is appropriate for an individual, regardless of their age.
The Benefits of Choosing Ortho-K
Choosing Ortho-K lenses as a vision correction method offers numerous benefits, making them an increasingly popular choice for people with varying lifestyles and needs:
- Glasses-Free Clarity: One of the most appealing advantages of Ortho-K lenses is the freedom they offer from daytime use of glasses. This is particularly advantageous for individuals who engage in sports, swimming, or any form of physical activity where glasses might be a hindrance. Without the worry of glasses getting in the way, breaking, or fogging up, people can enjoy their activities with clear vision and more ease.
- Convenience Over Traditional Contact Lenses: Since these lenses are worn overnight, there’s no need to deal with the discomfort that can sometimes come with prolonged wear of daytime contacts.
- Suitability for Dry Eyes: For individuals who experience dry eyes with regular contact lenses, Ortho-K can be a suitable alternative. Since the lenses are worn during sleep when the eyes are closed, they can often be more comfortable for those with sensitive or dry eyes.
- Reversible: Depending on your hobbies and lifestyle, at some point in life there might actually be advantages in being nearsighted. With Ortho-K your cornea rebounds to its natural shape if you discontinue wearing them. The same “reversibility” cannot be said for laser eye surgery.
How Long Does It Take to Work?
In some cases, significant improvement in vision can be experienced after just one night of wearing Ortho-K lenses. However, it typically takes about one to two weeks for the full effect to stabilize and for vision to reach optimal correction. The speed of improvement depends on factors like the degree of refractive error being corrected and the individual’s corneal thickness and rigidity.Typically we see faster results in adults because their cornea is more malleable than in children.
It’s important to follow the wearing schedule prescribed by your optometrist and attend follow-up appointments, as these will ensure the lenses are working effectively and your vision is improving as expected. Your optometrist will want to monitor progress and make necessary adjustments to the lenses in order to optimize the vision correction process.
Ortho-K, or orthokeratology, does not cure myopia (nearsightedness); rather, it temporarily corrects it. When you use Ortho-K lenses, they reshape the cornea overnight, which improves vision during the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. While Ortho-K is excellent for managing myopia and can even slow its progression in children and teenagers, it’s important to understand that it is a treatment, not a cure. Regular use of the lenses is necessary to maintain the vision improvement they provide.
The Ortho-K Fitting Process at Martin’s Eyecare
At Martin’s Eyecare, we prioritize a tailored approach to Ortho-K lens fitting, ensuring each patient receives care that is specifically suited to their individual vision needs:
- Comprehensive Eye Examination: The journey towards Ortho-K begins with a detailed eye examination. This step is crucial in determining whether Ortho-K is the right option for you. We assess various factors, including the health of your cornea, the extent of your refractive error, and overall eye health. This thorough evaluation helps us understand your unique vision correction needs and ensures that Ortho-K is a safe and effective choice for you.
- Customization of Lenses: After determining your suitability for Ortho-K, the next step is the customization of the lenses. We use precise measurements of your eyes to design lenses that fit perfectly and correct your specific refractive error, be it myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, or presbyopia. This customization is key to providing optimal vision correction while maintaining the highest level of comfort. The lenses are designed to gently reshape your cornea as you sleep, allowing you to enjoy clear vision during the day.
Using Your Lenses Safely
Ensuring the safety and effectiveness of Ortho-K lenses is a top priority, and much of it hinges on correct usage and care. At Martin’s Eyecare, we emphasize the importance of proper handling and maintenance of Ortho-K lenses to all our patients:
- Adhering to Lens Care Protocols: Proper care of Ortho-K lenses is essential for maintaining eye health and the effectiveness of the treatment. This includes routine cleaning and disinfecting of the lenses, handling them with clean hands, and storing them in a clean, dry case. We provide detailed instructions on how to care for your lenses, including the types of cleaning solutions to use and the frequency of cleaning. Following these guidelines reduces the risk of eye infections and ensures the lenses remain in good condition.
- Importance of Regular Check-Ups: Consistent follow-up appointments are an integral part of the Ortho-K process. These appointments allow us to monitor your eye health, assess how well the lenses are fitting and functioning, and make any necessary adjustments to the lens design or care routine. Regular check-ups also provide an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns or issues you may be experiencing with your lenses.
- Addressing Eye Health Changes: The health of your eyes can change over time, and these changes can affect how your Ortho-K lenses fit and function. By keeping up with your scheduled visits to Martin’s Eyecare, we can promptly address any changes in your eye health and modify your Ortho-K treatment as needed. This proactive approach helps to maintain optimal vision correction and eye health.
At Martin’s Eyecare, our goal is to ensure that your experience with Ortho-K lenses is not only effective in improving your vision but also safe and comfortable. By following our guidance on lens care and maintenance and keeping up with regular appointments, you can enjoy the many benefits of Ortho-K with peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ortho-K Lenses
We understand you might have questions about Ortho-K, and we’re here to answer them:
What is the Success Rate for Orthokeratology?
Studies typically find at least an 80% success rate for adult patients who try orthokeratology.
Can I wear Ortho-K all day?
Yes. Wearing them as daytime contacts is completely safe. Nevertheless, given that orthokeratology lenses are meant to reshape the eye, they might not be the most comfortable for daytime wear and are generally more suitable for overnight use.
What happens if I stop wearing Ortho-K lenses?
If you stop wearing Ortho-K Lenses regularly while you sleep, your vision will return to its original state in as little as 72 hours.
Can you watch TV while wearing Ortho-K?
Yes. The lenses function similarly to standard contact lenses, allowing clear vision. You can use your Ortho-K lenses for usual evening activities like watching TV or reading in bed before going to sleep.
Are Ortho-K lenses soft or hard?
Orthokeratology relies on hard lenses to alter the shape of your cornea.
Are Ortho-K lenses the same as Toric lenses?
No. Toric lenses are not the same type of contact lens. Ortho-K lenses are designed for overnight wear to reshape the cornea and temporarily correct refractive errors, while toric lenses are specifically made to correct astigmatism during daytime wear.
Are Ortho-K lenses comfortable to wear while sleeping?
The majority of users find that ortho-k lenses are comfortable to wear and do not interrupt their sleep routines.
Can Ortho-K Lenses Cure My Myopia?
No. Orthokeratology provides a treatment for myopic vision only for as long as you continue the routine of wearing the lenses each night. It should not been seen as a permanent solution.
Ortho-K lenses offer an exciting opportunity to experience clear vision without daytime eyewear. They’re a safe, non-invasive approach to achieving vision clarity and slowing the progression of myopia. This innovative approach to eye care is changing lives in Hobart, and here at Martin’s Eyecare, we hope to introduce it more of our valued patients.