What is orthokeratology?

correcting vision for adults & kids overnight

Orthokeratology — often called Ortho-K or OK lens for short — is a form of safe, reversible, non-invasive and non-surgical vision correction available to both adults and children.

​Ortho-K are special night-time contact lenses worn during sleep to restore clear vision ​without glasses. You may have heard of them advertised as "Dream Lenses", "Good Night Lenses", "Eye Braces" by some practices.

4 steps to clear vision using Ortho-k lenses

  1. Insert Ortho-K lenses before you sleep.

  2. Sleep well.

  3. Remove Ortho-K lenses when you wake up.

  4. Store Ortho-K lenses in solution to clean.

What is ortho-k?

Ortho-K is precise corneal reshaping technology. A good way to imagine orthokeratology is to think "eye braces" — Ortho-K customised rigid contact lenses slowly and gently reshape the front surface of the eye, like how Invisalign and braces shape teeth.

As orthokeratology requires specific instruments, skills and training, not all optometrists can prescribed or fit these lenses. An optometrist with expertise and experience in assessing and fitting Ortho-K lenses is sometimes called an orthokeratologist, analogous to how dental braces are fitted by an orthodontist.

Our experienced orthokeratology practitioner is a member of the American Academy of Orthokeratology & Myopia Control, and participates in continuing professional development and training in Ortho-K to stay at the forefront of this treatment technology.

This clinic is equipped with the latest in digital corneal topography and 3D lens design technologies, all to ensure that our clients can enjoy the best results possible with their Ortho-K vision treatment. 

Benefits of ortho-k

Ortho-K lenses can correct mild to moderate degrees of short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and even astigmatism, so that good functional vision can be achieved during the waking hours without the aid of glasses or daytime contact lenses. We routinely fit Ortho-K lenses for prescriptions up to -7.00, and sometimes high prescriptions are possible subject to patient suitability. The highest prescription we have fitted is -10.00 dioptres of myopia.

For adults, Ortho-K gives you the freedom to enjoy clear vision without wearing glasses or daytime contacts. ​Some of our clients are long-time soft contact lens wearers seeking an alternative as their eyes get too dry with regular contacts. Some have considered laser surgery but wish to try a non-invasive option, or their prescription hasn't stabilise enough yet for permanent surgical correction.

For children and teenagers, Ortho-K lenses have two benefits:

  1. Restoring their vision to be glasses-free for school, sport and all their activities

  2. Slowing down the progression of their short-sightedness (myopia) and helping to prevent their prescription from getting stronger, by reducing abnormal elongation of the eye. That means better vision and better eye health.

Ortho-K is currently the most effective optical treatment for myopia control and commonly regarded as the 'gold standard'. Many clinical studies published over time have demonstrated Ortho-K to be effective in reducing the rate of myopia progression by around 50% in suitable children, and in our clinical experience some children have achieved even better results.

Orthokeratology is one of the treatment options available in our MyopiaControl program.

How does ortho-k work?

Ortho-K are a unique type of rigid gas-permeable contact lens. It is precision-designed and shaped that when the lens is worn during sleep the lens and tear layer of the eye together produce a gentle pressure on the cornea, moulding its shape. Each fully customised lens has a treatment effect pre-programmed for each individual's prescription, eye shape and vision needs. Ortho K lenses are comfortable to wear.

When fitted successfully, an individual can enjoy clear vision after removing the lenses in the morning, with the effect lasting all of the waking hours. For best effect, the lenses are worn every night during regular sleep. Most Ortho-K wearers notice an immediate improvement in their vision after just one night of Ortho-K wear. Most treatments take 1-2 weeks to fully stabilize.

It is a safe and completely reversible process. If the lens is not worn for 48-72 hours, the effect wears off and the cornea gradually returns to its natural shape. For many individuals, Ortho-K is a safe, non-surgical and non-permanent alternative to laser corrective surgery. In children, it has the added benefit of significantly slowing down myopia progression that regular glasses and contact lenses simply cannot achieve. 

Is ortho-k new?

Orthokeratology is not an entirely new concept. The idea of contact-lens induced corneal reshaping for vision correction has been around for about 40 years, and South-East Asian countries such as Hong Kong, China and Singapore have been fitting Ortho-K for well over 20 years. Ortho-K is a well-proven method of vision correction around the world.

What's new are the technologies that make Ortho-K correction better than ever before. Advances in high-oxygen breathable lens materials, computer-aided lens design software and precision lens shaping technologies, Ortho-K night lenses are now safer, more comfortable, corrects a wider range of prescriptions and give more predictable results than was previously possible. Here at EMME Visioncare, we design and fit the latest-generation 3D custom Ortho-K lens technology.

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