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Non-Surgical Alternative to LASIK: Ortho-K

Patients who are not candidates for laser vision correction or who would rather not undergo a surgical procedure to correct their vision, may want to consider ortho-keratology, or Ortho-K. This innovative, non-surgical vision correction treatment uses a revolutionary nighttime corrective gas-permeable lens to gently reshape the cornea. This allows light entering the eye to properly focus on the retina for clearer vision. The lenses are removed in the morning and patients are able to see clearly for the rest of the day. There is no surgery involved.

Who Are the Best Candidates for Ortho-K?

The best candidates for Ortho-K are individuals who have myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism and want to reduce their dependence on prescription glasses and contact lenses. In some cases, Ortho-K can be used to treat presbyopia (farsightedness). Ortho-K is especially advantageous for individuals who regularly participate in contact sports or work in dusty environments that can make daily contact lens wear difficult or dangerous.

Ortho-K is also very effective for children, as it allows them to play sports and attend afterschool activities without the hassle of prescription eyewear. Since LASIK eye surgery cannot be performed on children, many patients begin Ortho-k as kids and consider laser eye surgery when they are old enough to be candidates for LASIK.

What to Expect During the Ortho-K Consultation

During the initial consultation, the eye doctor will conduct a thorough eye exam to determine the patient’s eligibility for Ortho-K. Measurements of the cornea’s curvature will be taken using topography, a painless scan that takes a minute to complete and produces a map of the eye’s surface. This map that details the irregularities in the cornea, will be used to determine the specially designed gas permeable lenses.

Once the lenses are selected, the patient will receive instructions on how to insert the lenses into the eyes and care for them.

What Are the Advantages of Ortho-K Over LASIK?

The biggest advantage of Ortho-K is that it is minimally invasive. Unlike LASIK, Ortho-K does not require surgery.

A second advantage of Ortho-K is that if patients are unhappy with the treatment or results, they can simply stop using the lenses and vision will return to its pre-treatment state.

Is Treatment Comfortable?

Treatment with Ortho-K is virtually painless. At first, a patient will likely have some awareness of the lenses on their eyes until they fall asleep. With time, the lenses typically become more comfortable immediately upon insertion.

How Long Does It Take to Start Working?

Most patients are able to see well without prescription eyewear within a week, with complete vision correction within two weeks. For best results, our eye doctors recommend wearing the lenses every night.

What Happens If You Lose Or Damage a Lens?

Successful results with Ortho-K depend on regular usage of the lenses. Therefore, if a lens is lost or damaged, it should be replaced immediately. Our doctors strongly recommends always having a spare pair of lenses as a backup, especially if the patient is a young child who is more likely to lose or misplace the lenses.

What Type of Ortho-K Lenses Do You Recommend?

Linda Vision recommends Paragon CRT® lenses. They are a specially designed FDA-approved therapeutic contact lens worn while sleeping that reshapes the cornea without permanently altering its physiology — which is important as the eyes of children and teens are still maturing.

Will Paragon CRT® Lenses Improve My Vision Better Than Traditional Glasses or Contacts?

The treatment results should equal the vision correction provided by traditional glasses or contacts. CRT is designed to temporarily treat nearsightedness (myopia), however 1studies suggest the possibility that wearing lenses such as CRT helps to slow or even stop the progression of nearsightedness. CRT may provide a solution that may not be available through the use of traditional glasses or daytime contacts.

Is CRT Safe?

Yes. Part of the safety profile lies in the fact if you stop wearing CRT lenses, your vision will return to its previous level.

What Are My Financing Options?

Linda Vision offers interest-free financing through CareCredit® and Wells Fargo Health Advantage® to help make Ortho-K more affordable to our patients.

Call to schedule your free Ortho-K consultation today with Dr. Linda Vu, Dr. Brenda Nuyen or Dr. Jenny Soo Hoo, well-recognized eye surgeons and optometrist who can help you start seeing life clearly.

  1. Waline OD, Jeffrey J. “Slowing Myopia Progression” Contact Lens Spectrum. June 2007. Cho OD, Pauline. “The Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children in Hong Kong: A Pilot Study on Refractive Changes and Myopic Control” Current Eye Research. 2005.

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