If You Don't Like the Idea of Glasses, Lenses or Laser Surgery, What Options Do You Have?

If you're relatively young and suffer from myopia, you may be getting used to a life of wearing glasses or contact lenses or may even be thinking about laser surgery down the road. Yet recent advances in technology may be able to give you another solution due to a process known as orthokeratology. What is this mouthful, and why could it be a good solution for you?

Gradual Reshaping

Many optometrists will refer to this procedure as "Ortho-K." It involves using special contact lenses that temporarily reshape the eye's surface, thereby correcting vision. As part of the process, rigid, gas permeable lenses are only worn during the night while you sleep and will gradually reshape the front of the cornea to improve uncorrected vision.

A Great Compromise

Young people who have myopia are perfectly suited to this approach. After all, their vision may still be developing, and they're not yet ready for any permanent solution such as photorefractive keratectomy or another laser operation. Using this solution, they may be able to leave their glasses behind during the daytime and won't need to resort to contact lenses.

How It's Done

If your consultant reckons that you are a good candidate for Ortho-K, you may need a multistep approach. To begin the process, the optometrist will use a special mapping tool that measures the eye's surface. It simply reflects light onto the surface, and this data is gathered and interpreted by a software program. You will then be prescribed a pair of lenses that you should wear when asleep, which will gently alter the cornea's surface. After a couple of weeks, you may need to try a different pair to move a step further along the line and maybe a third pair to achieve the best outcome.

Bear in Mind

Remember that if you decide to stop wearing those lenses overnight, your vision will probably return to its original condition. However, if you have reached your desired prescription, then you should only need to use one pair of lenses each night to maintain the position in the future.

Exploring Your Options

Talk with your optometrist and see if they recommend Ortho-K lenses in your situation. If so, they will arrange for the initial mapping session and schedule a course of treatment accordingly. While you may notice the lenses during the first night or two, many people get used to them and find that this is a minor inconvenience in return for days that are free from glasses or contact lenses.