How would you like to go to sleep with contact lenses or spectacles and rise the next morning with 20/20 vision? Ortho-k contact lenses, or overnight contact lenses, can make this feasible.
Ortho-k lenses function by applying moderate pressure to the cornea during slumber. The cornea is the dome-shaped, transparent front surface of the eye. It focuses the light entering the eye, allowing for distinct vision. A distorted cornea can result in vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.
The good news is that the cornea is flexible and can temporarily retain a new shape without surgery. This is how ortho-K (also known as orthokeratology) and other corneal refractive therapies function.
You are fitted with your ophthalmologist’s specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses for overnight wear. While you slumber, the ortho-k lenses reshape your corneas by applying moderate pressure. When you awake and remove your contacts, you can see plainly without needing contacts or spectacles.
Since the effect only lasts one or two days, it is advised to wear ortho-k lenses every night.
Do Ortho-k lenses Cause Pain?
You may believe that something that applies pressure to your cornea would be painful to wear, but ortho-k overnight contact lenses are innocuous. However, it may take a few evenings to become accustomed to them.
The contact lenses do not graze the cornea. Instead, they form a fluid vault over the eye so that some areas of the cornea absorb more fluid than others. This fluid movement temporarily reforms the cornea into a round shape, restoring vision.
Who Should Wear Ortho-k Contact Lenses?
Ortho-k contacts are ideally suited for:
- People with myopia (nearsightedness) – When distant objects appear indistinct
- People with hyperopia (farsightedness) – When it is difficult to see distinctly up close.
- Astigmatic individuals – When objects are unclear at all distances
- Individuals with presbyopia – Blurred near vision caused by age-related eye changes
- When athletes do not want to bother about their contact lenses or glasses while practising sports.
- When children require vision correction but refuse to wear spectacles or conventional contact lenses
What are the Advantages of Ortho-k Lenses?
Orthokeratology lenses are advantageous for a variety of factors, including:
- Some individuals can cease wearing their glasses or contacts during the day after only one night of ortho-k treatment.
- They provide clear vision throughout the day – The purpose of overnight contacts is to provide 20/20 vision throughout the day. In certain instances, the effects may last for up to two days.
- They help delay the progression of myopia. Children with moderate to severe myopia are susceptible to developing significant eye diseases as adults.
- They are accommodating – Nightly contact lenses are custom-made to rectify your specific vision issue and to be pleasant to wear.
- Ortho-k contacts are a secure, non-surgical alternative for individuals who do not wish to wear contact lenses or spectacles. When worn overnight, they won’t harm your eyes like conventional contacts could.
If you are unhappy with your ortho-k lenses, you can cease wearing them and return to your spectacles or regular contact lenses.