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What Is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) is a treatment that prevents the progression of myopia (also known as nearsightedness) in children. Prepare to leave behind any worries about your child’s worsening vision, as this tried-and-trusted treatment is a simple solution for preventing the progression of your child’s worsening vision.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a vision condition in which people can see well when up close, but can’t see clearly when looking at something from a distance. It occurs if the eyeball is too long or the cornea (the clear, frontmost layer of the eye) is too curved. This can cause the light entering a myopic eye to focus incorrectly, making distant objects look blurry. High levels of myopia can double the risk of serious ocular health problems, like retinal detachment, cataracts, and glaucoma, which can lead to vision loss and blindness later in life. 

Due to the potentially serious consequences of progressive myopia, it is imperative to step in early, slowing the progression of myopia and reducing its severity during childhood and early adolescence.

Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), also called orthokeratology or ortho-k, is the therapeutic process of wearing oxygen-permeable hard contact lenses that gently reshape the cornea overnight to temporarily correct myopia (typically effective up to -6.00 diopter). Studies have shown that corneal reshaping may slow the progression of childhood myopia.

New York Laser Vision provides Paragon CRT® Contact Lenses for the ortho-k treatment, which were the first lenses of corneal reshaping design approved for overnight wear by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Ortho-K?

Currently, a good candidate for orthokeratology in Manhattan & Brooklyn at New York Laser Vision is someone who fits the following categories:

  • Any child up to the age of 18.
  • A patient with myopia (nearsightedness) of up to -6.00 diopters.
  • A patient with astigmatism of up to -1.75 diopters.
  • A patient who is concerned about their nearsightedness getting worse.
  • A patient who currently wears glasses or contact lenses that interfere with their daily activities.
  • A patient who is too young for, or is not a good candidate for, LASIK/LASEK/PRK.
  • A patient who can be comfortable with daily insertion and removal of overnight contact lenses.
Child getting vision test

Why Do You Use Paragon CRT Lenses?

New York Laser Vision has decided to provide Paragon CRT lenses as part of our commitment to using the most state-of-the-art equipment and procedures. The Paragon CRT lenses have the most outstanding record for safety and science, allowing us to provide our patients with the highest level of care and the clearest possible vision:

  • 87% of Paragon CRT contact lens wearers report that their experience meets or exceeds their expectations.
  • Over 1.5 million lenses have been prescribed in over 50 countries worldwide.
  • These lenses have been the first to receive FDA approval for orthokeratology treatments.
  • Paragon CRT lenses are a non-surgical and reversible treatment option that provides an improved lifestyle and reduced discomfort associated with glasses or daytime contact lenses.
  • Paragon CRT lenses not only correct vision but clinical studies suggest they may slow the progression of myopia.

What Are the Steps?

The initial step to beginning vision correction therapy is booking your consultation.

  • During this free consultation, your eye doctor will ask you and your child several questions and run some quick and painless preliminary scans of the eye. We’ll also talk you through everything you might want to know about the procedure, answering any of your questions and helping you set realistic expectations.
  • After determining whether your child will be a good candidate for orthokeratology and Paragon CRT lenses, your eye doctor will go over the treatment procedure, answer any questions, and order the individualized contact lenses based on your child’s specific measurements.
  • Once the lenses have been received, your eye doctor will determine proper fit and treatment may begin that following night. Simply have your child wear the individualized contact lens overnight, and allow the lens to gently and painlessly reshape your child’s cornea as they sleep.
  • After this first initial night, upon waking, visit your eye doctor first thing in the morning so that they may observe the fit of the lenses and make any necessary sizing adjustments.
  • Once the fit is settled, every subsequent morning after wearing the overnight lenses, simply remove the lens and witness your child’s first moment of clear sight without the need for glasses.
  • Follow up visits will be required to observe treatment and comfort.

Orthokeratology Patient Testimonial

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) Treatment

What Is the Treatment Plan Like?

We anticipate an initial treatment period of three months. Most patients will be able to see comfortably within the first 72 hours of treatment without additional correction, however, full treatment may not be achieved for 1-2 weeks.

Typical follow-up schedule will be as follows:

  • 1st-day fit and training- Training and initial fit will be performed. Lenses will be worn for the first time the night prior to your 1 day follow-up visit.
  • 1-day follow-up- This appointment will be set at the conclusion of your 1st-day fit and training. You will wear your lenses for the first time the night prior to this visit. The morning of your visit you will come in prior to removing the lenses (if possible). You will remove your lenses for the first time in the office.
  • 1-week, 1-month & 3-month follow-up visit
New York Laser Vision

Is the Orthokeratology Treatment Painful?

Thankfully, no! There is no pain associated with wearing the Paragon CRT lenses overnight. There may be some discomfort or slight foreign body sensation as the eye gets used to the hard contact lens, but it is a painless treatment overall.'

The actual treatment length and number of appointments required may vary depending on your ability to adhere to the wear schedule and the flexibility of your cornea. Following all wear schedules and care instructions will be crucial in completing the process in the allotted time frame.

How Long Will Vision Correction Last?

Vision correction with orthokeratology lasts throughout the daytime as long as the Paragon CRT lenses were worn the previous night. Blurry or variable vision, especially late in the day, may occur. 

The blurry vision and its daily duration should decrease with time as the eye gets used to the treatment therapy.

Is Orthokeratology Covered By Insurance?

Like most elective vision correction procedures, orthokeratology is not typically covered by insurance plans. The cost of this corneal refractive therapy will vary based on the complexity of your prescription and the shape of your cornea. We offer financing options for orthokeratology in Manhattan & Brooklyn at New York Laser Vision because we believe all children should have an opportunity for a clear, stabilized vision.

Is Orthokeratology Safe, What Are the Risks and Side Effects?

While no harmful health risks to your eyes are anticipated from wearing the retainer lenses, as with any extended wear contact lenses, there are potential risks of irritation to the eye, infections, or corneal ulcers. 

To minimize these risks, please be sure to always wash your hands prior to inserting or removing your old lenses and follow all proper care instructions for the lenses. Should you develop any unusual symptoms or prolonged discomfort, remove your lenses immediately and contact our office to schedule a follow-up appointment.

Paragon CRT Contact Lenses also carry risks that are not typically associated with other types of contact lenses, such as blurry or variable vision, especially late in the day. The blurry vision and how long it lasts each day should decrease with time. All risks are minimized if you follow the correct contact lens wearing schedule and care procedures, remove your contact lenses if problems occur, and report to your primary eye care practitioner as soon as possible. As with any procedure, there may be unforeseeable risks.

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