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Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

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Home » Myopia Control / Ortho-K

Myopia Control / Ortho-K

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Ortho-K FAQs

What is Ortho-K? Orthokeratology, also known as Ortho-K, and Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT), among other names, is a process of gently redefining the front-most surface of the eye to allow clear vision throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. This is accomplished through the wearing of rigid corneal molds while one sleeps. The effect is temporary. It will not result in permanent correction or change of prescription if the molds are no longer worn.

Is this very new? Why haven’t I heard about it before? Orthokeratology has actually been around for about 50 years. However, due to technological advances involving corneal evaluation, lens design and manufacture, its practice has increased dramatically over the past 10 to 15 years. Even more recently, and what has really piqued our passion, is research demonstrating its ability to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children!

Is Ortho-K safe? Research indicates the same risks and frequency of complications for Ortho-K as other types of overnight contact lens wear. It is a fully reversible procedure, so once wear is ceased, prescription will return to its original level.

Can individuals be too young or too old for Ortho-K? There are no age restrictions, and most children have the dexterity to insert and remove molds independently by 8 years old. Since Ortho-K is an effective tool to slow down childhood myopia, we recommend it as soon as myopia progression is diagnosed and the child and parents are interested. Suction devices are often used for application and removal, making fine motor difficulties in adults rarely an impediment.

What does it feel like? The molds may feel scratchy if they are worn during waking hours. They are designed for closed-eye wear. Initial awareness typically diminishes over the first week.

How long does it take to see results? Most people see a noticeable difference in their vision after just one night with full effect generally achieved in 7-14 days. The higher the initial prescription the longer it will take until stable and maximum effectiveness is reached.

Do I have to wear them every night? Wearing the molds every night maintains the best clarity. Missing a day will likely result in a temporary reduction in clarity, particularly for those with higher initial prescriptions. However, many individuals notice only minor blur with an occasional missed night.

Can I see with the molds on? Absolutely! Although they don’t have “power” in the traditional sense of a contact lens, they allow clear vision when they are worn. Wearing them during the day is not recommended, however, due to issues involving comfort and the difference in fit under open-eye and closed-eye conditions

How often do molds need to be replaced? We recommend mold replacement on an annual basis to avoid problems before they occur, as even subtle warpage can significantly alter mold effectiveness.

How is Ortho-K different from traditional contact lens wear? Ortho-K molds are made from the same highly oxygen permeable materials as rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, and handle similarly. Their design and function are very different, however. Instead of mirroring the shape of the cornea, they create hydrostatic fluid forces to “mold” the cornea. They exert their effect under closed-eye conditions overnight, as opposed to contact lenses which are worn to provide open-eye daytime correction.

Can I still have LASIK in the future? Yes. Ortho-K does not permanently change the eye and the process fully reverses when wear is discontinued. However, LASIK surgeons prefer potential candidates stop wearing contact lenses at least 2 weeks prior to surgery, and often longer in the case of gas permeable lenses or Ortho-K.

Ortho-K can even help a child be a better candidate for LASIK in the future. LASIK is limited in how much nearsightedness it can correct. Wearing Ortho-K as a child can result in a 40-50% reduction in the progression of myopia. A child who is -1.00D at age 8 and progresses -0.75D per year until age 20, would be expected to wind up around -10.00D. Sometimes LASIK can correct prescriptions that high. However, with Ortho-K, if the mature prescription is -5.50, LASIK is more likely to be successful.

What does it cost? Ortho-K fees are based on prescription demands, corneal measurements and other ocular characteristics, as well as age and history. They include all professional services and mold changes during the initial two year period, and a spare pair once a final fit is established. Subsequent year charges are less than 1/4 as much. Fees are eligible expenses for Health and Flexible Savings Accounts. Care Credit, a health care credit service, is a popular choice for those wishing to spread expense over time.

Protecting our Patients from Coronavirus Disease Outbreak

Making sure our patients and staff are safe is our top priority. We know many patients are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus.

Our Promise to Our Patients:

We understand the obvious concern that coronavirus has brought to the area. We want to make you aware of the steps we are taking to protect our patients and team members in this time of uncertainty.

We request the following of patients:

  1. If you have traveled in the last 14 days to a country other than the U.S. where coronavirus has been diagnosed, or to any area in this country that has had a number of cases of concern (eg, Seattle, DC-NY metro area, parts of CA, etc…) please call the office to reschedule your appointment for next month or beyond.
  2. If you have any symptoms that mimic that of the coronavirus, which includes a fever or respiratory symptoms, including a cough, please call and reschedule your appointment at least 14 days from now.
  3. If you suspect that you have had direct contact with people who have been around any of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, please call us to reschedule your visit beyond 14 days from now.
  4. Remember to follow basic hygiene guidelines to avoid the spread of germs, which includes washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Our staff will also follow these guidelines and will not be present at work if they exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms:

  1. Any eye doctor or team member who is sick is staying home
  2. We sanitize every piece of equipment after each use and again at the end of the day (as part of our precautions we always adhere to).
  3. We will sanitize all patient contact surfaces between every patient.
  4. Our team washes their hands often throughout the day
  5. If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.
  1. Please call us with any questions or concerns, and if you feel it best for you or your family member to reschedule your appointment, feel free to do so.
  2. We do expect this to be an ongoing situation in our area for an extended period of time, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this time. We will continue to give recommendations based on the evidence we have on safe delivery of eye care in a time of uncertainty.

For the most up-to-date information on treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov

World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int

Thank you for helping us to protect all of our patients.

Drs. Jacobs, Steckenrider and Staff