Orthokeratology, also known as OK lenses or Ortho-K in Singapore, is a form of vision correction that is safe, reversible, non-invasive, and non-surgical and available to adults and children.
Ortho-K are special contact lenses worn at night to restore clear vision without the need for spectacles. You may have seen them advertised as “Dream Lenses”, “Good Night Lenses”, or “Eye Braces” by some practises.
What Exactly is Ortho-K?
Ortho-K is a precise technology for corneal reshaping. Think of orthokeratology as “eye braces” to better visualise it. Ortho-K’s custom rigid contact lenses reshape the front surface of the eye slowly and gently, similar to how Invisalign and braces reshape teeth.
As orthokeratology requires specialised equipment, expertise, and training, not all optometrists in Singapore are able to prescribe or install these lenses. An optometrist with expertise and experience in evaluating and fitting Ortho-K lenses is sometimes referred to as an orthokeratologist, similar to how an orthodontist fits dental braces.
Numerous clinics today are outfitted with the most advanced digital corneal topography, ocular biometry, and 3D lens design technologies to provide their clients with the best possible Ortho-K vision treatment outcomes.
What are Ortho-K’s Advantages?
Ortho-K lenses can correct mild to moderate degrees of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism, allowing for excellent functional vision during the day without the need for spectacles or contact lenses. Clinics routinely install Ortho-K lenses for prescriptions up to -7.00, and occasionally for higher prescriptions if the patient qualifies.
Orthokeratology lenses allow adults to enjoy clear vision without spectacles or daytime contacts. Those who are longtime soft contact lens wearers often search for an alternative because their eyes become too dry when wearing conventional contacts. Some have contemplated laser surgery but prefer a non-invasive alternative, or their prescription has not yet stabilised sufficiently for permanent surgical correction.
Ortho-K lenses for infants and adolescents offer two benefits:
- Restoring their vision so they can participate in school, sports, and other activities without spectacles.
- Minimising abnormal elongation of the eye, slowing the progression of their nearsightedness (myopia) and preventing their prescription from growing stronger. This results in improved vision and eye health.
How does Ortho-K Function?
Ortho-K contact lenses are a singular form of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. It is precisely designed and shaped so that, when worn while sleeping, the lens and tear layer of the eye exert a mild pressure on the cornea, thereby reshaping it. Each completely customised lens has a pre-programmed treatment effect based on the wearer’s prescription, eye shape, and visual requirements. Wearing Ortho K lenses is comfortable.
It is a harmless and fully reversible procedure. After 48 to 72 hours without the lens, the cornea progressively returns to its original shape. Ortho-K is a non-invasive, non-permanent alternative to laser corrective surgery for many patients. It has the added benefit of substantially slowing myopia progression in children, something that regular spectacles and contact lenses cannot do.