Reshape your vision while you sleep.
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) or corneal reshaping contact lenses can improve your vision while you sleep, which may mean eliminating the need for glasses or soft contacts during the day. Ortho-K rigid contact lenses treat myopia (short sightedness) primarily in children and in some adults. They are not worn during the day like traditional contact lenses. Ortho-K has been in use in around the world, particularly in Asia, and for some patients in Australia for over 25 years.
In order to treat your myopia, Ortho-K contact lenses are custom designed to your eye and are worn while you sleep, temporarily correcting the shape of your eye. When you wake up, you simply remove the lenses and enjoy clear vision for your waking hours, before inserting the lenses again at bedtime.
It’s similar to having braces on your teeth – the lenses apply gentle pressure to your eyes to correct their shape.
Many Ortho-K users report better vision after the first wear, with full treatment after 1-2 weeks. For best results, Ortho-K lenses should be worn every night, though some users report enjoying two days of clear vision from one night’s treatment.
Ortho-K treatment is completely reversible. Simply stop wearing the lenses and your eyes will return to their natural shape within 1-2 weeks.
You may have heard of special corrective myopia spectacle lenses and other soft contact lenses which can be used for myopia control. Prescription Atropine drops are also often used as co-treatment with these other options. They are all effective treatments, and results will vary as not all treatments suit everyone. The current evidence suggests that Ortho-K is currently considered one of the more effective options to slow down the progression of myopia1. Speak with your optometrist to discuss what treatment best suits your situation.
Imagine living without glasses or soft contact lenses during the day. No more glasses fogging up when wearing a mask. No more running out of contact lenses when you least expect. No more frustration when you head out to play sport or go swimming and realise your vision problems could be holding you back.
As well as relieving you of the need for glasses or soft contacts, Ortho-K also works to slow the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) and may help avoid future eye health problems such as glaucoma, retinal detachment and cataracts2. Ortho-K is most beneficial for children and teenagers, as it can reduce the need for ongoing and stronger prescriptions down the track.
These lenses may take some time getting used to, however because they are worn while you sleep, they are well tolerated. Ortho-K lenses are most suited to people who have mild or moderate vision problems.
Not everyone is suitable for Ortho-K lenses. They are best suited to both children and adults with:
Ortho-K lens fittings are now available at our Health Partners Optical Adelaide location.
Ortho-K lenses maybe claimable on your health insurance Extras cover, please check with your health insurer.
There are no age restrictions on who can benefit from wearing Ortho-K lenses. People as young as eight or even six years of age have been successfully fitted for the lenses. Studies indicate that the earlier the myopia is treated, the better the outcome and success will largely depend on the maturity of the patient and the involvement of the parent.
Anyone who is diagnosed with mild or moderate myopia (short-sightedness), some astigmatism (uneven eye surface curvature), or hyperopia (long-sightedness) can benefit from Ortho-K lenses. If you find wearing glasses or soft contacts during the day to be difficult or frustrating, then Ortho-K can help you.
Ortho-K lenses have also been shown to slow myopia progression and prevent the need for ongoing stronger prescriptions. This makes them even more beneficial for children and teenagers.
You may also have heard of atropine eye drops and other soft contact lenses which can be used for myopia control. Ortho-K lenses are currently considered one of the most effective options for myopia management.
Standard contact lenses provide vision correction but are not designed to manage myopia progression. Specially designed myopia soft contact lenses that are worn during the day can also be used for myopia management. Ortho-K lenses, which are worn at night and not during the day are more suitable for people who find day wearing contact lenses to be drying or irritating for their eyes as this is often a result of environmental factors such as dust etc. which are not relevant while you are sleeping. Ortho-K lenses are hard rigid lenses so they will take some time to get used to.
Yes, you can. It is recommended that you insert the lenses around 15 minutes before you go to bed so they can settle before you go to sleep. You can watch TV with them in, and if you need to get up in the middle of the night you will be able to see where you are going.
It is recommended that you wear the lenses each night, although some people report they still have clear vision after a second day without doing so. Over time you will be able to gauge how quickly your vision regresses.
It is recommended you wear your lenses for around 6-8 hours while you sleep.
Even after your first night using Ortho-K lenses you will see an improvement in your vision. After around two weeks of wearing Ortho-K lenses your eye shape will be corrected for clearer vision.
Ortho-K is completely reversible and safe to use. As with any contact lenses, there is a risk of eye infection if poor hygiene or incorrect cleaning is carried out. Ortho-K rigid lenses have a low infection risk of 0.07%3. This is a lower rate than for normal soft contact lenses.
Ortho-K treatment is becoming more common in Australia. The technology has been in use in Asia for many years where myopia is more common, particularly in children.
Ortho-K has been used in Asia for over 25 years. It has been approved for use in the United States since 2002. It is considered the treatment of choice for people with myopia.
At this stage, only some optometrists in Australia have been trained to assess and have the technology to map the eye in order to customise and fit Ortho-K lenses. As the treatment becomes more common in Australia it is expected that more optometrists will provide this service.
Yes, after the first week of wear, most users find Ortho-K lenses to be comfortable to wear. You may feel a slight irritation during the first few nights of wear as your eyes become accustomed to the lenses. This mostly happens as your eyelid moves over the lens when you blink.
Yes, most people with dry eyes can wear Ortho-K lenses, however if you have a moderate to severe dry eye condition, Ortho-K might not be suitable. This will be assessed during your consultation with your optometrist. Dry eye is often caused by:
Ortho-K is a safe form of myopia treatment for children. As with the wearing of any contact lenses, there are risks, with the main one being the possibility of eye infection. Eye infections occur if poor hygiene or incorrect cleaning is carried out. As Ortho-K lenses are worn at night and in a controlled environment (while you are sleeping) the chances of infection are minimised as long as the lenses are professionally fitted by a trained optometrist, and strict hygiene and care for the lenses is followed every time they are worn.
Yes, Ortho-K lenses can be suitable for people who suffer from mild to moderate myopia (short-sightedness) or some astigmatisms (blurred vision). They may not be as effective as for severe vision problems. This will be discussed with you during your consultation.
Most prescriptions are suitable for Ortho-K treatment. They can be used to correct myopia (short-sightedness), some astigmatisms (uneven eye surface curvature), and hyperopia (long-sightedness). Generally, the lenses are most effective for myopia prescriptions between -1.00 and -6.00.
Probably not. Some people find that their vision does become less clear towards the end of the day. However, your prescription for the Ortho-K lenses can be made slightly stronger to allow for clear vision that lasts for a whole day, maybe longer.
There is no limit as to how long you can continue to wear Ortho-K vision lenses. Some people have used them for over 20 years.
Yes. You will receive different rebates depending on your level of cover. Please call us to discuss your individual circumstances.
It is recommended that you wear the lenses each night, though some people will find that they still have clear vision after a second day without doing so. Over time you will be able to gauge how quickly your vision regresses.
Many people find that after just a few nights their vision improves significantly. After 1-2 weeks the lenses will be working optimally.
It is recommended that lenses are replaced every year. Regular contact with your optometrist will help you work out what is best for your situation.
Your optometrist can write a letter to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles explaining your eye condition and the improvements Ortho-K has made. Your license will then be changed to reflect this.
As Ortho-K is largely aimed at children and youth, laser eye surgery is often not an option for these patients as their eyes are still developing. If you are worried about undergoing surgery, can’t afford to have it done, or are uncertain about the results, then Ortho-K treatment may suit you better. Speak with your optometrist to determine the best treatment pathway for you.
A multi-purpose sterilisation solution is recommended for the daily cleaning of your Ortho-K lenses. A protein cleaning step is also recommended once a week to stop any protein build up on the lenses. Your optometrist can provide you with details of the best cleaning regime and how to care for your lenses during your consultation.
Ortho-K treatment is completely reversible, which means that you can consider laser eye surgery down the track if you want to. Once you stop wearing the lenses your eyes will return to their natural shape within 48-72 hours.
Ortho-K is a consultation and contact lens treatment regimen that involves scanning and mapping the eye, custom making lenses to suit the patient and a series of ongoing regular eye consultations with your optometrist to check how the treatment is progressing. The lenses are designed to last up to two years and may be claimable on your health insurance. The Ortho-K treatment service can cost from just over $1,000 to $1,800 depending on your level of cover.
1Wildsoet, C. et al. (2019). “IMI- Interventions for Controlling Myopia Onset and Progression Report”. InvestOphthalmolVis Sci. 60(3).
2Holden B; Fricke T; Wilson D; Jong M; Naidoo K; Sankaridurg P; Wong T; Naduvilath T; Resnikoff S. Global prevalence of myopia and high myopia and temporal trends from 2000 through 2050. American Academy of Ophthalmology 2016
3Bullimore, Mark A.*; Sinnott, Loraine T.†; Jones-Jordan, Lisa A.‡, The Risk of Microbial Keratitis With Overnight Corneal Reshaping Lenses, Optometry and Vision Science: September 2013 - Volume 90 - Issue 9 - p 937-944, doi: 10.1097/OPX.0b013e31829cac92, HYPERLINK https://www.researchgate.net/p...
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© Copyright Health Partners. 2022 All Rights Reserved.