Orthokeratology is a procedure that describes reshaping of the cornea (front optical surface of the eye) with a contact lenses. The purpose of corneal reshaping the is to improve vision when the lens is taken out. Similar with orthodontics that move teeth into a more desirable appearance. Orthokeratology reshapes the front of the eye into a more desirable shape. The procedure has been around for decades, but recent designs are much improved. The manufacturing process has allowed for lenses that only worn at night and taken out in the morning with the ability to see throughout the day. Orthokeratology has been known under a variety of names over the years including CRT (corneal refractive therapy), VST (vision shaping technology), AOK (accelerated orthokeratology), GVSS (gentle vision shaping System), Gentle Molding and OCR (overnight corneal reshaping). There may be subtle technology differences that are associated with these names but all fall under the general umbrella of orthokeratology.
In 2002 orthokeratology received FDA approval for correction of nearsightedness. We have been offering this type of vision correction since the early 1990s. There are also some off label (non FDA approved) treatments now for farsightedness and presbyopia (loss of near vision with aging). The lenses offer the freedom from vision correction similar to LASIK surgery. You can can do water activities, sports and social events without the issues associated with glasses or day time contact lenses. Orthokeratology is proven safe with a similar risk profile to wearing other types of contact lenses. It is important with all contact lenses to clean your lenses properly, and follow good hygiene to prevent sight threatening eye complications.
In addition popular use of orthokeratology is in the management of myopia (nearsightedness). Myopia increases in children as they grow. Wearing orthokeratology lenses at night has been shown in several studies to slow down or stop the progression of nearsightedness. This not only can reduce how severely blurred your vision is, but also may offer some preventive health benefits. Nearsightedness is associated with two causes of sight loss, glaucoma and retinal detachment. In theory, reducing nearsightedness should also reduce the tendencies for these sight threatening issues.
We are excited to offer this advanced technology to our patients. If you would like to know if you are a good candidate please call our office @ (805) 482-1136 to setup a free consultation.