As we have mentioned in other articles, orthokeratology is a reversible clinical treatment that uses specially designed contact lenses to temporarily mold the shape of the cornea’s surface at night in order to improve vision during the day.
Some time ago, this treatment was used mainly for the correction and control of myopia, but today, thanks to new contact lens designs, it is possible to correct other refractive problems such as hyperopia, simple astigmatism and even cases of presbyopia.
In the case of myopia, it is especially valuable for children or young people as this treatment allows better control of the progression of the disease. Let us remember that the most critical problem of myopia is not necessarily the correction of vision but to control the excessive growth of the eyeball, since myopia that is not controlled can reach up to 6 diopters, thus increasing the chances of suffering from glaucoma, detachment of retina and other more severe diseases.
How does orthokeratology work?
With the use of rigid lenses of specialized designs, the curvature and shape of the cornea is modified at night (while you sleep), thus changing the way light focuses on the retina when entering the eye. These rigid lenses are made of gas-permeable materials and their characteristics make them resistant enough to mold the cornea, allowing the passage of oxygen to the eye to keep it in good condition.
The lenses are worn at night while you sleep and removed during the day; but for the treatment to be successful, a good adaptation is not enough. Continuous use of the lenses is required as it is a “progressive” and totally “reversible” treatment; that is, the effects can be noticed as the days and weeks of treatment go by and if you stop using them, the cornea returns to its original shape.
A good adaptation will require the use of a corneal topographer that allows the specialist to observe the changes in the surface of the cornea and thus determine if the lenses are complying with the expected molding or if it is necessary to make any adjustments in the parameters of the lenses to achieve the desired vision.
Cesar Garcia Gonzalez
Optivisa: Center for Visual Specialties