In the 1940’s it was discovered that contact lenses could be designed to temporarily reduce a patient’s nearsightedness. Since then, imaging technology and oxygen-permeable lenses have made this a reality for millions. Today, this process is generally called orthokeratology or Ortho-K for short, though it is also known by other names (CRT, VST, etc.)
In Ortho-K, the patient puts on lenses at bedtime and removes them upon awakening. While the patient sleeps, the fluids underneath the lens gently reshape the cornea. When the lenses are removed, the patient can see all day long without lenses. These lenses are sometimes called retainer lenses because they have an analogous effect to a retainer that you wear for teeth straightening.
Ortho-K has undergone rigorous study and has been FDA-approved for both adults and children. You can now swim, run, play football, soccer, or any activity without having to mess with contact lenses or glasses during the day. The effects of Ortho-K are reversible (unlike refractive surgery), so if you no longer wish to do it, just stop wearing the lenses and your vision will go back to normal.
A common off-label use of Ortho-K is for the control of myopia progression (see the topic Myopia Control on the previous page). So by using Ortho-K on your kids, you might be helping prevent future disorders, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts and maculopathy.
When you come in for an appointment, ask the doctor if you are a candidate for Ortho-K. It could literally be a game-changer!