Seeing better during the day without glasses and contact lensesBy Dr. Geoffrey N. Co |Philippine Daily Inquirer
WOULDN’T it be great if you could correct your nearsightedness and reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses without having to undergo eye surgery?
It may sound improbable, but it’s a reality for many people. It’s called Orthokeratology or Ortho K. In fact, more than 200,000 people in Asia are benefiting from it.
What is Ortho K?
Orthokeratology or Ortho K is a nonsurgical procedure using specially designed gas-permeable lenses that are worn overnight to gently reshape one’s cornea to temporarily reduce or eliminate one’s refractive error. This unique process thus frees a person from glasses or contact lenses during the daytime. Ortho K was discovered in 1960 and has been practiced around the world for more than 15 years now.
What are the benefits of Ortho K?
• Freedom from wearing glasses and/or contact lens during the day
• Nonsurgical/Low risk/ Reversible
• Painless. Since you wear your contact lenses at night, you will hardly notice wearing them.
• Myopia control. As the prevalence of myopia in East Asia appears to be increasing at an alarming rate and have shown to be that as much as 80 to 90 percent of school leavers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore suffer from myopia or nearsightedness, a lot of concentration in treatments and procedure now focus on myopia control rather than just myopia correction. Studies have shown that Ortho K actually slowed down the rate of myopia progression and axial elongation of the eye, thereby reducing myopia.
Who is a candidate?
Ortho K is for people of any age who are nearsighted up to -6.00D and astigmatism of up to -1.50D. Because of the benefits mentioned above, Ortho K has been shown to be most popular and beneficial for children aged 7 to 17 years, especially those with a strong family history of nearsightedness and whose parents wish to significantly slow or stop the progression of their child’s nearsightedness. More so, freedom from wearing glasses and/or contact lenses during the day allows children to play, swim and participate in sports and other healthy activities.
How do I get started with Ortho K?
Ortho K starts with a visit to your licensed optometrist who has been specifically trained to practice Ortho K. Your optometrist will do a comprehensive eye examination and measure the curvature of your corneas to ensure that you are a good candidate for Ortho K. You will normally see well in about 1 to 2 weeks (depending on the amount of your nearsightedness) after you start wearing your contact lenses overnight.
(The practice of Ortho K is now available at George Optical. The author is the president and professional services manager of George Optical. He was chosen by Professional Regulation Commission as the Outstanding Professional of the Year in the field of Optometry in 2012. You may send in your comments and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org).