Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

What is ortho-K?

Ortho-K, also known as orthokeratology or CRT (Corneal refractive treatment) is a great option for both children and adults who wish to enjoy unrestricted clear vision during the day without wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Computer assisted and custom designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses are worn overnight to gently remodel and flatten the corneal surface, correcting for myopia and astigmatism once the lenses are removed in the morning.

It uses the same principle as refractive laser surgery to flatten the cornea, but without the risks associated with the surgery. The treatment has the added benefit of slowing down myopia progression in children.

Nafl ortho K

boy with soccer ball

How does it help with myopia progression control?

Various studies have shown Ortho-K treatment to be effective in slowing the axial length growth of the eye (Cho and Edwards, 2005; Davis et al. 2015; Downie and Lowe, 2013; Sun et al. 2015; Tetsuhiko et al. 2011)   .  It offers a reduction in myopia progression by 30%- 50%. For some, there is an almost complete halting of progression (Downie and Lowe, 2013) .   As light enters a myopic eye, it is focused in front of the retina.  Conventional spectacle or contact lenses shift the focus back onto the retina both centrally and peripherally.  However the newly corrected peripheral image may be shifted beyond the retina and this peripheral defocus provides a stimulus for eyeball elongation.  An ortho-K lens is designed to only flatten and correct for the central cornea, allowing images to be focused on the central retina and preventing the peripheral stimulus to eyeball growth.

Video on myopia control

Can I still have refractive surgery in the future?

Yes, the procedure is completely reversible.  You would need to stop wearing the lenses for several weeks before the laser surgery assessment and wear spectacles during that time.  

What are the costs?

The costs may vary depending on your prescription, but are usually $1700 to $2100 for the first year of the program.  It will cost you less than laser surgery and equal or slightly more than some forms of contact lens wear.  The main costs involved will be for the initial contact lens appointments for the initial 12 months, due to the professional time involved.  In subsequent years the costs would be comparable with contact lenses or spectacle wear, about $700 to $1,100 for replacement contact lenses dependant on complexity of lens design.

Request an information pack about Ortho-K