Do you want to:
- Be free of glasses but do not want to commit to laser vision correction?
- Are your contacts uncomfortable during the day?
- Do you want to slow down the progression of your short-sightedness?
Orthok offers a solution to all of these problems. With this technique, you sleep in a specially designed, hard contact lens that gently remoulds the shape of your eye so that when you wake up your vision is clear all day long.
Freeing you from the need to wear glasses or contact lenses during the day. If you love the outdoors/sports this could be for you. Mostly Orthok is used to correct short sightedness, or myopia up to approximately -6.00. However, there are also designs that can correct long sightedness and astigmatism.
What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?
Orthokeratology is the use of contact lenses to mould the shape of the cornea to reduce or correct refractive errors, normally short-sightedness, of the eye.
In some ways it is similar to the use of dental braces by an orthodontist to straighten crooked teeth. The main difference is that if a tooth position is corrected for some months it will usually stay in the new position. The cornea is highly elastic however, and always returns to its original shape. For this reason retainer lenses are worn several nights per week even after the ideal corneal shape has been achieved.
Why Have Ortho-K Done?
Ortho-K is used for two main purposes:
- To be free of both contact lenses and spectacles for all waking hours.
- Slow down the progression of short-sightedness
Ortho-k is mainly used for the control of myopia progression this is especially useful in school age children. It is also ideal for sportsmen, swimmers or those who work in dusty or dirty environments, the freedom from any optical correction is appealing to anyone who wears spectacle and/or contact lenses
Night Therapy – The Most Common Application
For those it is possible to go straight to night therapy. With this modality, you put the lenses on just before closing your eyes and going to sleep. Overnight the lenses gently mould the eye shape so that you wake up with clear vision that is designed to last all day.
Does Ortho-K Have Any Advantages Over Excimer Laser Surgery?
Yes. Ortho-K costs less and is a reversible procedure. As well it is more appropriate for people who are becoming more short sighted.
Lenses are inserted before going to sleep and removed in the morning. As the therapy progresses and the cornea is moulded, the lenses give good unaided vision for longer periods of time. Gradually the lens wearing time may be decreased to a level which gives the desired reduction in myopia.
Is Everyone Suitable for Ortho-K?
Most people who are shortsighted are suitable for Ortho-K. Low to moderate levels of shortsightedness can be corrected (up to about 6.0 dioptres).
It is also possible to also correct up to -2.50 astigmatism. Individual corneal shape and rigidity will determine the results achieved. While the success rate is very high, success cannot be guaranteed.
Your optometrist will examine your eyes and then discuss your personal suitability for this treatment.
Lenses lost during the fitting period are charged at a reduced cost.
Lenses used in the corneal reshaping therapy period must be returned when the change to the new fitting lenses is made.
In the event of a lost lens the cornea will tend to return to its original shape and prescription. In this situation we may be able to loan a lens. Once successful, long term retainer wear is reached you are strongly advised to obtain a spare pair of retainer lenses.
Fees & Charges
These charges are for standard Orthokeratology lens (myopia, up to -6.00) The preliminary examination charge is our standard consultation charge of $110. Part of this can be claimed back from medicare. There is also a $50 charge for corneal topography, a technology that allows us to map the shape of the cornea. This is very important because, in OrthoK, we change the shape of the cornea.
The diagnostic fitting and overnight wear of trial lenses for myopic OrthoK is $450. The subsequent fee if the fitting proceeds is $1,950. This is paid as $800 when your initial lenses are collected and $300 for each of the next three visits. For astigmatic OrthoK, (where the lenses are more specialised and the aftercare is more demanding) the total charges are $2,200. This would be discussed at the consultation.
In the event of unsuccessful therapy or if you decide to withdraw from treatment within the first three months, the subsequent monthly payments are not made and the lenses will need to be returned. There will be a refund of 50% of the lens cost.
As with any contact lens wear it is vital to ensure the health and integrity of the cornea at all stages. Over the first year many visits are involved. After the initial therapy an examination twice a year is considered essential to ensure ongoing safety of the eyes and good vision. These visits will all attract a medicare rebate.