Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) is a non-surgical reversible process that changes the surface shape of the main focussing clear lens at the front of our eyes. This clear lens is called the cornea, and Ortho-K treatment can deliver quite significant immediate changes lasting the whole day or even several days.

The idea of Ortho-K began in the 1960s but only took off in the last 20 years when it was practiced as an overnight technique using lens materials that allow more oxygen to reach the cornea.

The biggest benefit of Ortho-K comes with its ability as a myopia control therapy. By slowing down, and in some cases stopping the progression of short-sightedness (myopia), Ortho-K reduces the incidence of serious, sight threatening eye diseases associated with worsening myopia.

As it is a nighttime lens, a major extra benefit from Ortho-K is good clear vision during waking hours without the need for eye glasses or contact lenses. There are many other benefits depending on individual situations and needs.

Anyone who can benefit from Orthokeratology is eligible (book an appointment for an eye test and to discuss your eligibility).

By far the most important group are patients (usually children) who are losing their distance clear vision (myopia).

There has been a great deal of research in recent years and this suggests that the gentle fluid forces created by the Ortho-K lens are beneficial in a number of ways. The lens quite quickly encourages the central surface cells on the front of the eye to “pack” down and create the new shape for correction of distance blur.

It is also possible to design forces to create correction for near blur, by making the central cells thicker. Research suggests that this thickening occurs in “normal” Ortho-K and may be why it prevents the unhealthy lengthening of eyes. To find out more make an appointment.