With Orthokeratology Refractive Therapy, vision can be improved to 20/20 without the need to rely on glasses during the daytime.
The treatment is generally applied at night using a pair of retainer contact lenses. This allows the eyes to be reshaped non-surgically when they sleep. IGARD provides a ONE month trial to both children and adults who are keen on this intervention modality. That gives ample time before they commit on their journey in maintaining clear vision without glasses and in myopia control.
Myopia Control with Orthokeratology is not new. Clinicians worldwide have long noticed that many adolescent children need not change their lenses during orthokeratology refractive therapy. But it is only until 2002 when researchers confirmed that this therapy reduces Peripheral Retinal Hyperopic Defocus and hence the retardation of the progression of Myopia. In general, the myopic prolate-shaped eye is reshaped until the cornea becomes more oblate in shape.
A two-year longitudinal pilot study (Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children / LORIC) in 2005 concluded that Orthokeratology Refractive Therapy could both correct and control childhood myopia, and a further two-year study confirmed that the eye growth has slowed down at least after one and two years of treatment (Corneal Reshaping and Yearly Observation of Myopia / CRAYON).
What about ordinary contact lenses?
Ordinary contact lenses do not offer myopia control. However, multifocal contact lenses may be used. They are available in ‘soft’ material to children who suffers from progressive myopia. This strategy is most suited to a select group of children who have co-existing conditions that contribute to their eyestrain, such as increased levels of accommodative lag, high ocular accommodative convergence and near esophoria.
It is also understood that there is a possibility that multifocal contact lenses can reduce Peripheral Retinal Hyperopic Defocus. Research involving identical twins showed myopia progression reducing in the twin wearing multifocal contact lenses compared to the twin who is only wearing ordinary soft contact lenses.
Many patients with vision problems heartily embrace the idea of enjoying vision correction without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. Not all of these patients, however, are good candidates for PRK or Lasik surgery, the two standard surgeries used to alter the way the cornea of the eye refracts light. If that describes you, don’t fret — because here at IGARD, we offer an advanced corneal reshaping technique known as orthokeratology, or Ortho-K. This non-surgical technique can produce changes to the way your cornea refracts light.
To understand the benefits of Ortho-K, let us first consider how the cornea works. The cornea is a transparent, spherical bulge that sits over the lens of your eye. In addition to protecting the inner parts of the eye, the cornea also performs some lens-like tasks of its own. The shape of cornea causes incoming light rays to be refracted, or bent, in such a way that the lens can focus them into a clear, sharp image before they pass on to the retina and optic nerve. Ultimately, the optic nerve transmits the image to your brain.
Deformations in the shape of the cornea cause refraction to go wrong in various ways, producing the fuzzy images characteristic of nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Glasses and contact lens are curved to “pre-refract” incoming light to compensate for your personal degree of corneal deformation. Laser surgery actually corrects the shape of cornea itself, eliminating most of all of the visual errors that might otherwise call for corrective lenses.
Corneal Reshaping While You Sleep
While you might leap at the thought of permanently correcting vision problems, laser surgery isn’t always the best eye care option. For instance, if you suffer from thin corneas, untreated cataracts, diabetes, certain autoimmune diseases, or a corneal disease called keratoconus, you should avoid laser eye surgery.
Some of our patients simply don’t like the idea of any kind of surgery, or they want a reversible procedure. Orthokeratology may be an ideal choice for these individuals. The team in Singapore will map the shape of your corneas precisely and then fabricate special contact lenses. Unlike standard contacts, you’ll wear these lenses at night. The lenses perform a subtle corneal reshaping as you sleep, meaning that you can take them out the next morning and enjoy perfect or near-perfect vision.
Ortho-K can help you see clearly for one or two days at a time, or possibly even longer. By wearing them regularly at night, you can maintain your clarity of vision for as long as you decide to continue using them. If you decide to use another form of vision correction, simply stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses and your corneas will assume their previous shape once again. Talk to our knowledgeable staff to see whether Ortho-K makes sense for you.
Efficacy of OrthoK Treatment
Since receiving FDA indication for temporarily correcting refractive error in 2002, OrthoK has been prescribed for children and adults as an alternative to glasses, daytime contact lenses, and refractive surgery. Over time, clinicians observed that myopic children using OrthoK were not progressing in myopia like those wearing other types of correction. Extensive study of this effect has shown myopic children undergoing OrthoK have 37-63% less axial elongation than those wearing spectacles or daytime contact lenses.
Some frequently asked questions:
Paediatric Optometry Pte Ltd (“IGARD”) is an Approved Institution under the Singapore Government’s Baby Bonus Scheme – Learn More.