Refractive errors are among the most common causes of visual acuity problems in the United States. Half of all American adults don’t have 20/20 vision due to their eyes not refracting light correctly as it enters the eye. Treatments for refractive errors generally include prescription eyewear and refractive surgery. Fortunately, there’s a revolutionary non-surgical procedure that eliminates the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. This safe and effective treatment is known as orthokeratology or ortho-k. Do you want to know which vision problems can ortho-k correct? Read on to learn more about this technique and how it might apply to you.
Eye Disorders That Ortho-K Can Treat
Ortho-k, sometimes referred to as corneal reshaping, is a process that generally involves the use of rigid gas permeable contact lenses at night for a week or two during the treatment phase. These special contacts are designed to push against the cornea, temporarily adjusting its contour to improve vision.
Ortho-k was initially introduced to target patients who struggle with nearsightedness. Today, new ortho-k lens designs are available to treat other types of refractive errors, such as farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.
Also known as myopia, this condition occurs when objects up close seem clear but appear blurry from afar. It’s when your eyeball grows too long. This causes the light rays that enter the eye not to come to a clear focus. Ortho-k is effective in correcting nearsightedness. Research shows that it can even slow its progression.
Also known as hyperopia, this is a condition that is somewhat the opposite of nearsightedness. A farsighted person will see distant objects clearly, while near objects appear blurred. The condition occurs when the eyeball is too short. As a result, the light comes to a focus behind the retina instead of directly on it. Ortho-k can work just as effectively for farsighted patients as it does for those with nearsightedness.
This is another common refractive error caused by the irregular curvature of the eye’s cornea (corneal astigmatism) or lens (lenticular astigmatism). Uneven curvature causes the light rays not to bend properly. As a result, your vision for both near and distant objects becomes blurry or distorted. Ortho-k can correct certain cases of astigmatism. For example, the clinical technique can treat only the corneal astigmatism component. Spherical ortho-k lenses only reshape the anterior surface of the cornea. It cannot change the profile of the refractive surfaces inside your eyes. This means that ortho-k can only apply if your astigmatism is mostly corneal instead of lenticular.
This eye condition refers to the gradual loss of your lenses’ ability to focus due to aging. This blurred near vision is usually noticeable as you enter 40 years old and continues to progress until you are 65. Ortho-k can treat presbyopic patients in several ways. One of which was the use of monovision correction. This can be achieved by inducing the central steepening as well as the paracentral flattening with ortho-k lenses.
For those who are not ready for refractive surgery or don’t want the risks associated with it, ortho-k would be an excellent alternative.
Learn more about Ortho-k lenses, contact The Eye Center at Jackson - 732-730-3937. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
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