Ortho K or Orthokerathology – is it safe ?

Are Ortho K lenses safe?

Ortho K lenses (such as ACUVUE Abiliti Overnight Therapeutic Lenses) are approved by FDA to be safe to use. In the beginning, your child might experience discomfort upon insertion of the lens. However, no pain will be experienced during the process of of the Ortho K lenses reshaping the cornea. For any type of lens wear, there will be risk of infection. Hence, it is important to maintain a good lens cleaning regimen, use proper solution and have good hygiene. Also, it is important to have regular follow-up sessions (every 3-6 months) with your optometrists to assess your child’s eye health.

Cleaning Regimen

What is Ortho K

Ortho K, also known as Orthokeratology, is a process using special hard contact lenses to temporarily gently reshape the cornea (transparent front part of the eye). The process of reshaping the cornea (front part of the eye) will take place overnight when asleep. During the day after removal of lenses, patient will experience clear vision without wearing spectacle or contact lenses. Orthokeratology is a reversible process, hence, the vision might be slightly reduced at the end of the day.

Ortho K

As compared to normal soft contact lenses, Ortho K is smaller and more rigid. The image below shows a soft contact lens (Left) and a Ortho K lens (Right):

SCL Vs Ortho K

Can Orthokerathology help control myopia progression

For myopic patient, the most common method to correct their vision is by wearing spectacles or contact lenses. For Ortho K lenses, your child will only need to wear the lens during his sleep (up to 8 hours) and he will have clear vision without any form of correction during the day.

Yes, Ortho K can help to control myopia progression. It’s effectiveness of controlling myopia progression is from 30% to 60%. As compared to myopia control spectacle lenses and contact lenses, it has the highest effectiveness of controlling myopia progression. The table below shows the effectiveness of some other myopia control management:

Myopia Control ManagementEffectiveness in controlling myopia progression
Zeiss MyoVision Pro30%
Zeiss Myokids30%
Hoya MiyoSmart59%
Essilor Myopilux Plus20%
Essilor Myopilux Max51%
Coopervision Misight30% – 50%
Orthokeratology30% – 60%
(HOYA, 2020)

To understand more about other myopia control management, click here.

Benefits of Orthokerathology

Your child gets to have a correction free vision during the day. Your child will not need to wear eyewear during the day, hence it will be more comfortable and convenient for your child.

Ideal for those who are active in sports such as water activities, high impact sports, or for those who do not like wearing spectacles. With Ortho K lenses, you will not need to worry that your child’s spectacle getting lost or damage during sports and the possibility of injuries due to damaged frames or lenses.

There are always risk of infection when wearing contact lenses. However, with good lens maintenance and good hygiene practiced, the risk of infection is lower. If there are signs of redness or pain, remove the lens immediately and seek help from either an eye specialist or your optometrists.

When to start and stop Ortho K?

Ortho K Kids

Myopic children can start Ortho K as early as 6 years old to control myopia progression. Your child can continue Ortho K even after he / she reaches young adulthood when the myopia has stabilized. 

Orthokeratology is a reversible process, hence Ortho K treatment can be stopped at any period of time.After ceasing the wear of Ortho K lenses, it will take a few days for the cornea to return to its original state and power.  

Can your child see perfectly after a night’s wear of Ortho K?

Correction of the curvature of the eye takes time. In addition, it also depends on the severity of your child’s myopia. 

  • For low myopia, after a night wear of Ortho K, your child will most likely have clear vision the next morning after removal. 
  • For moderate to high myopia, it will take more than a night wear for your child to have clear vision. 

Is your child suitable for Ortho K?

To determine if your child is suitable for Orthokerathology, we will need to learn more about your child’s lifestyles, daily activities and a thorough eye examination will need to be conducted. At Evershine Optical, these examinations will be conducted by our optometrists. The eye examination includes:

  • Subjective and Objective Refraction
    • Examine eye power
  • Binocular Test
    • Check the alignment of the eye, focusing power and flexibility of the eye
  • Topography
    • Assess the curvature of the eye using advance computer software
  • Eye health examination
    • Assess front and back part of the eye
    • Asses if your child have dry eyes
  • Intraocular pressure
    • Examine the eye pressure of the eye

After the eye examination, we will determine whether your child is suitable for Orthokerathology treatment. If unfortunately he/she is not suitable due to eye conditions such as severe dry eyes, degree of astigmatism or myopia is too high, we will advise accordingly and whether or not your child is suitable for other myopia control management.

Eye Check

In our next article, we will talk more about Orthokerathology treatment process your child will undergo if he / she is suitable.

Book an appointment with us or WhatsApp us at +6588461234 to find out if your child is suitable for Ortho k lenses.

References

  1. Daniels K. (2012). Consider Ortho-K For Myopia Control. Review of Optometry.