History of Ortho-K
Ortho-K has come a long way since its early days! We can now correct nearly any eye, nearly any prescription.
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The History of Ortho-K (Orthokeratology)
It was noticed many years ago that when a rigit or soft contact lens was worn on the eye, the curvature on the back of the lens could influence the shape of the corneal surface. This was mainly a nuisance and required that a doctor make allowances in the glass that he prescribed based on whether the patient wanted the glasses to work best in the morning or in the evening after contact lens removal. In the 1980s, we saw reverse geometry lenses which were designed specifically to improve your uncorrected vision. My father still wears one of these early designs that I prescribed him over 20 years ago, even though he is now in his 70s. These lenses worked well only on specific corneal shapes and were limited to about -2.50 correction.
Today, we have the latest in custom designed digital systems that allow us to fit most corneal shapes and extend our correction ranges to include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and may who need near correction. While there are several good systems such as Contex, CRT, and VIPok, I prefer a CAD/CAM topography driven system which allows me to correct patients that I only dreamed about helping a decade ago.
Orthokeratology is not surgery. It is not intended to be permanent. Some patients do not have to sleep in their lenses every night, but many do to maintain their desired result. Its lack of permanence is both its strong suit and its weakness. Personally, I prefer eye corrections that are adjustable as your future needs require. Both laser surgery and Ortho-K occasionally create unwanted night vision effects. With Ortho-K, instead of living with a lifetime mistake, you simply discontinue wearing the retainers and your old eyes are back. Most nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and near vision problems can be corrected by a skilled Orthokeratologist. Call or email me with your questions!