Argus Opticians have been successfully fitting Orthokeratology lenses for a number of years now and are the only practice in Donegal fitting them.

What is Ortho-k?

Ortho-k, or Orthokeratology, is a revolutionary vision correction therapy that uses specially designed contact lenses to comfortably reshape the curvature of the eye WHILE YOU ARE ASLEEP. The lenses are removed in the morning on waking providing the client with clear vision throughout the day. The lenses are re-inserted nightly to provide optimum daytime vision.

The safe and effective treatment is mainly used to correct myopia (short sightedness) but can also be used to correct astigmatism, presbyopia (near vision problems over 40) and even some hyperopia (long sightedness).

Who would benefit from Ortho-k?

Ortho-k can be of benefit to most people with Myopia. It is particularly useful for those for whom the wearing of glasses or contact lenses during the day can be an encumbrance. For example, those who are in professions where they may need to work in small, confined spaces, such as engineers, mechanics, plumbers, carpenters etc. Sports people also benefit greatly from wearing Ortho-k lenses, a great example would be swimmers and boy do we have more of those this past year! The greatest potential beneficiaries of Ortho-k lenses are kids.

Why are Ortho-k lenses good for kids?

Ortho-k lenses have been shown to slow down the progression of myopia (and axial length elongation) in kids. Kids between the ages of 8 – 16 are most at risk of myopia progression. If myopia progresses to the point where the child’s axial length exceeds 26mm they are at increased risk of a range of associated complications in later life. For more details on myopia progression see our earlier blog on myopia management. (link)

Ortho-k has been shown to slow the progression of myopia by up to 50% by inhibiting this axial elongation. These lenses can easily be fitted by a parent if the child is not yet dexterous enough to manage the process of application and removal.

Are there any risks with Ortho-k lenses?

Ortho-k lenses are extremely safe. A recent study into contact lens safety in children showed that over 10 years of Ortho-k wear there was only a 1 in 67 chance of a microbial inflammatory event whereas the risks of vision impairment over a lifetime with low degrees of myopia (-0.50 to -3.00) are 1 in 33 rising to 1 in 5 for -6.00 to -10.00D of myopia.

The key message here is that keeping myopia below -3.00 and axial length below 26mm will reduce lifelong risk of visual impairment and Ortho-k lenses will safely aid us in achieving these goals.

Ortho-k VS Dry Eye

Ortho-k lenses are also a great option for those myopic people for whom dry eye has prohibited them from wearing soft contact lenses with comfort. They do not eliminate the need for management of the dry eye but they offer freedom from daily lens wear.

How do I get fitted for Ortho-k lenses?

To determine whether you are suitable candidate for Ortho-k lenses we first must carry out a comprehensive eye exam which will include using the latest technology to create a topographic map of the cornea (front of your eye). We then send the maps to our lab and they will create a bespoke lens for your eye. We then fit the lens and show you how to apply and remove it, give you lens care instructions and review you following 1 night, 1 week, 1 month and again after 6 months of wear, making any fine adjustments that are necessary until we are 100% satisfied with the outcome.

If you are interested in finding out more about Ortho-k or would like to attend for an assessment, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 074 972 5725.

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