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Our Columbia Optometrist Answers FAQs About Ortho-K

If you'd love to see clearly from day to day without bothering with glasses, daytime contact lenses, or refractive surgery procedures such as LASIK, you may have been told that ortho-k could be just what you're looking for. But what is this state-of-the-art form of vision correction? Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about ortho-k at Andrew Stone Optometry.

Man holding his Ortho-K contact lenses

1. What does "ortho-k" mean? 

"Ortho-k" is an abbreviation of "orthokeratology," which is a type of vision correction also known as corneal refractive therapy. Orth-k lenses are specialized contacts that are worn, not during your everyday activities, but as you sleep.

2. How are ortho-k lenses different from ordinary contacts? 

Ortho-k lenses are actually "molds," in the sense that they temporarily reshape irregular corneas. This reshaping alters the corneas to our eye doctor's specific prescription for you, giving you clear daytime vision without any need for corrective lenses.

3. How long will I continue to see clearly? 

The corrective effect of orthokeratology can last for several days in some individuals; the exact duration varies from person to person. You can sustain the correction indefinitely by wearing your ortho-k lenses on an as-needed basis.

4. Who is a good candidate for this type of vision correction? 

Orthokeratology does an excellent job of correcting mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness). It can also correct some cases of hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and even presbyopia. If you suffer from any of these conditions, ask our eye doctor whether ortho-k can help you.

5. What are benefits of orthokeratology for kids? 

Orthokeratology can intervene to slow the progression of myopia during childhood, which is when the condition is most active. It does this by discouraging the elongation of the eye that makes children nearsighted. Myopic kids who wear ortho-k lenses may end up with significantly less myopia later in life.

6. How effective is ortho-k at controlling myopia development? 

Studies have shown that kids who wore ortho-k lenses had their myopia progression slowed by up to 43 percent compared to kids who didn't use these specialized lenses. Younger kids benefited even more than older kids.

7. Why might I choose ortho-k over LASIK? 

The most obvious reason is that ortho-k requires no surgery, which means you can avoid potential side effects such as dry eye. But its temporary nature also offers an advantage, because you always have the option of dropping it in favor of another vision correction technique.

Learn More from Our Columbia Optometrist

Whether you're seeking freedom from eyeglasses or a lifetime of better vision for your kids, you owe it to yourself to learn more about ortho-k. Call 573-445-7750 today for a consultation with our Columbia optometrist, Dr. Stone

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