Skip to main content

How Ortho-K Lenses Can Help You Better Manage Nearsightedness

Of the different ways your eyesight can be affected, myopia (nearsightedness) is the most common, affecting 42% of all Americans, which comes out to nearly 140 million people.

If you or a loved one is part of this large group of people who can’t see distances all that well, you have several options to help you see more clearly. We want to discuss one in particular here — orthokeratology (ortho-K) lenses.

Here at Vision and Ortho-K Center, Dr. Curtis Frank and the team are pleased to offer specialty contact lenses, such as ortho-K lenses, which can help manage myopia and even slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

What causes myopia?

When you have myopia, the shape of your eye is causing light to be refracted incorrectly — it’s bending light to land in front of your retina instead of directly onto it, which can distort your vision. This typically occurs if your eye is misshapen or too long from front to back. As a result, you struggle to see things at a distance.

This vision issue is not only common, it’s prevalence is on the rise and experts predict that half the world’s population will be nearsighted by 2050.

Ortho-K for adults

One way to think about ortho-K lenses is to compare them to night retainers that gradually guide teeth into a better alignment. With ortho-K lenses, the concept is the same — we gently reshape your eyes so you can focus better and see distances more clearly. And we do so overnight with rigid gas-permeable lenses that reshape your eyes while you sleep.

When you wake up, you remove the lenses and your eyes should hold the improved shape throughout the day, allowing you to see clearly and not rely on glasses. And you repeat this each night, wearing the ortho-K lenses while you sleep so you can wake with 20/20 vision.

This option is great if you dislike wearing glasses or you’re not keen on the idea of LASIK surgery.

Ortho-K for kids

Where ortho-K lenses can really shine is in helping kids with myopia issues. Eyes continue to develop up until the early 20s and then the myopia progression typically stops.

What this means is that kids can’t undergo a refractive surgery like LASIK because their eyes are changing, so you need to find alternatives, such as glasses or contact lenses. 

Another option are ortho-K lenses, which can certainly help your child to see more clearly each day. In addition to boosting their daily eyesight, there’s some evidence that ortho-K lenses may be able to slow the progression of your child’s myopia, especially if they start wearing the lenses as early as 6-8 years old.

So, for kids, ortho-K lenses can perform two roles: 1) improving vision, and 2) preventing or slowing myopia progression.

If you’d like to explore whether ortho-K lenses are a good solution for you or a member of your family, we invite you to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Is Surgery Inevitable With Cataracts?

Is Surgery Inevitable With Cataracts?

Like millions of others, your vision is starting to cloud, thanks to growing cataracts in your eyes. As you contemplate what to do next, surgery should definitely be on the list of possibilities if you want to see clearly again.

How Eye Exams Are Different When You Have Diabetes

Everyone should get their eyes checked regularly, but if you have diabetes, these visits can save your eyesight. Diabetic eye diseases are among the leading causes of blindness, so it pays to stay one step ahead.
6 Tips for Protecting Your Eyes This Spring

6 Tips for Protecting Your Eyes This Spring

Spring is already in the air — quite literally — as pollen flies around, irritating millions of eyes. If your eyes are often irritated during the springtime, here are some great tips.
4 Signs of Keratoconus

4 Signs of Keratoconus

There are many conditions that can affect your vision, and keratoconus isn’t a common one. That said, it’s worth recognizing the signs of this eye condition because early action can make a big difference