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 Ravine Eye Center and Eyegroup, 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.Our doctors 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.
Controlling Myopia (nearsightedness) Progression with Corneal Shaping Therapy
Otherwise known as nearsightedness or shortsightedness, myopia is a condition in which your near vision is clear but distant objects appear blurred. This is due to the eyeball elongating as we grow. The longer distance causes light entering the eye to focus in front of the retina,(the screen of the eye) rather than directly on it.
Corneal shaping retainers gently reshape the cornea (the front of the eye) as the patient sleeps. The retainers re-align the light allowing patients to see clearly all day without any contacts or glasses. Although the use of Corneal shaping lenses is not yet FDA approved for myopia progression control, many studies suggest that these specialized lenses may reduce the progression of myopia(nearsightedness) for many children.
Research Studies of Corneal Shaping Therapy Lenses and Controlling Myopia Progression
Myopia treatment progression studies involving Corneal Shaping Therapy (Ortho-K)
REIM Study (2003). Tom Reim OD,FOAA and colleagues initially published the potential of Ortho-K myopia control in 2003. This study reported that corneal reshaping patients experienced about a sixty percent reduction in the progression of myopia.
LORIC Study (2005). The Longitudinal Orthokeratology Research in Children(LORIC) the Hong Kong pilot study found a much slower rate of childhood myopia progression and eye length elongation (47%) among young progressive myopes who underwent Ortho-K corneal shaping compared to those who wore eyeglasses.
CRAYON Study (2007). The Corneal Reshaping and Yearly Observation of nearsightedness(CRAYON) study, conducted by Jeff Walline OD,FAAO at Ohio State University, confirmed previous studies that Ortho-K corneal reshaping contact lenses lower rates of myopia progression and eye elongation (57%) (Walline, 2008).
SMART Study in progress. Both the LORIC and CRAYON studies were small in scale. The Stabilization of Myopia by Accelerated Reshaping Technique (SMART) study began in 2009 as large scale five year study. Interim results have continued to demonstrate the benefits of wearing Ortho-k corneal shaping to control the progression of myopia in children and teenagers.
CRIMP Study (2010) . Corneal reshaping inhibits myopia progression(CRIMP) is an Australian ten year retrospective study demonstrated control of myopia progression over a ten year time frame. Again the majority of Ortho-k corneal reshaping contact lens control group patients had a significant reduction in their myopic progression versus the group of patient not using Ortho-k corneal reshaping therapy.
Multifocal contact lens myopia control.
Previous studies on soft multifocal contact lens myopia control published in the peer-reviewed literature reported findings of noncommercial contact lenses worn for 1 year or less. This study sought to determine the progression of myopia and axial elongation of children fitted with commercially available distance center soft multifocal contact lenses for 2 years.