What is Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)?
This is a revolutionary non-surgical procedure that eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. It improves vision by gently reshaping your eyes WHILE YOU SLEEP using specially designed therapeutic contact lenses. You just put the specially fitted lenses in at bedtime, and when you awake, you will have clear, sharp, natural vision for your waking hours.
This safe and effective treatment can correct near-sightedness (including high prescription), farsightedness, and astigmatism. It is a great alernative to LASIK for those who don’t want the risk or are not qualified for surgery.
Ortho-K is first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over 10 years ago.
How does it work?
When a person cannot see clearly, it is because their eye is too long, too short or the surface is misshaped. Images fail to reach or focus on the retina. This produces blurred or distorted vision.
In order to create a therapeutic lens, the surface of your eyes is mapped using a high tech instument called a topographer. This allows Dr. Saavedra to create a custom lens specifically designed for your eye and its unique visual problems. This Ortho-K lens is manufactured using high-speed computer assisted lathes and made from an advanced highly oxygen permeable material which allows your eye to breathe overnight and maintain excellent health.
This corneal reshaping lens has several specialized curves that reshape your cornea (the front surface of your eye). The tear film beneath this therapeutic lens continuously flows across the corneal surface, resculpting the shape. This improved shape focuses images directly on the retina. The result is crisp, clear vision upon waking and removing your lenses.
How quickly will I see results from Ortho-K?
It can take from one to four weeks to achieve excellent vision. However, some people achieve this in as little as one day. The speed depends in part on your initial prescription.
During the first few days of the Ortho-K process while your cornea is being resculpted, Dr. Saavedra may fit you with a temporary soft contact until excellent vision is achieved.
Is it Safe?
Ortho-K is a very safe and reversible procedure. It was approved by the FDA in 2002. However, as with any contact lens wear, there is a small risk, most typically a minor infection asily addressed by antibiotic drops. This risk is greatly minimized by adopting a regime of very careful cleaning and disinfecting, by wearing the lenses as prescribed by Dr. Saavedra and by maintaining the necessary progress visits.
What does the Wave Corneal Molding procedure involve
A comprehensive eye health and vision examination is performed first. Then, several measurements of the front and back of your eyes, including a corneal topography and retina evaluation will be taken. The Keratron Scout corneal topographer is used to obtain a very precise computerized map of the curvature and shape of the cornea. The Wave computerized software program then uses this information to assist Dr. Saavedra in the design of your Wave corneal Molding contact lens.
The corneal molds design will then be sent to Wave laboratory to manufacture the lenses. Once we receive the molds, we will contact the patient to return to office verified the fit of the lenses. You will be instructed on the insertion and removal of the molds, the care and maintenance of the molds and given instruction on wearing. Pediatric patients will need to have a parent responsible for assuring that the lenses are well cared for and inserted and removed properly.
You will be sent home with wearing instructions after successfully being able to insert and remove the lenses. Generally this will involve wearing the lenses over night the first night. You will be checked by Dr. Saavedra’s assistant the following day in our office.
Most of the visual changes will occur rapidly over the first few days or weeks. We will need to see you in the office several times during this period. As the cornea gently changes shape and vision improves, we will monitor your progress and make adjustments in the fit of your molds as needed.
If you require the use of a temporary vision correction while your vision is changing, we will be happy to provide you with one day soft contact lenses to be worn during the day, or for various activities or tasks. This is generally needed only for a few days.
The majority of patients achieve excellent vision in a few days. Even after you are seeing well, we will need to see you to monitor the health of your eyes. Most patients are done with their office visits in two months. Corneal Molds should be inspected every 6 months and polished or replaced every 2 to 3 years. Depending on various factors.
If you stop wearing your contact lens molds, your vision will gradually return to its original level.
The number of children that are becoming myopic (nearsighted) has been growing rapidly over the last 25 years and is expected to impair 50% of the world’s population by the year 2020. This rapid increase is due in part to children spending more time studying, reading, and using the computer rather than playing outdoors.The Center for Disease Control (CDC) now views progressive myopia as an epidemic.
Increasing myopia causes poor vision. But more importantly, it can lead to sight threatening conditions like retinal detachments and glaucoma. The earlier a child exhibits myopia, the more likely they will progress to dangerously high levels.
Studies have shown that Ortho-K lenses can slow myopia. Numerous published studies have documented that children wearing Ortho-K lenses experience little to NO MYOPIC PROGRESSION during treatment.
Children make great Ortho-K wearers. They are highly motivated and learn how to care for their lenses quickly, even children as young as EIGHT. The lenses are placed on the eyes right before bed. The mild lens sensation disappears as soon as the eyes close for sleep, so children aren’t afraid to wear their lenses. And you have the security of knowing that you are protecting their future sight.