Orthokeratology (Orthok)

The myopia control clinic Western Australians rely on, Abernethy Owens Orthok service helps people with short sightedness/myopia to see clearly in the daytime without the use of prescription.

What is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology (Orthok) is the use of contact lenses overnight to remould the shape of the eye to reduce or correct refractive errors of the eye. In some ways it is similar to the use of braces by an orthodontist to straighten crooked teeth. The main difference is that if a tooth is corrected for some months it will stay in the new position. The cornea is highly elastic, however, and always returns to its original shape. For this reason, the lenses are worn typically every night as a retainer. Established wearers can often miss a night without any loss of optimal treatment. 

Why have Orthok done?

The original purpose of Orthok was to be free of both contact lenses and spectacles for all waking hours. This is ideal for sportspeople, swimmers, dry eye sufferers, or those who work in dusty or dirty environments and may be appealing to other spectacle or contact lens wearers who wish to be free of their optical appliances.

Long term studies have now demonstrated that Orthok can significantly slow the progression of myopia (short-sightedness) in children. This has the added advantage of reducing the risks later in life associated with higher levels of myopia, such as retinal detachment. For more information on myopia control in adults and children please visit My Kids Vision

Orthokeratology - Pros and Cons

The advantages include:

  • Orthok is a fraction of the cost of laser surgery
  • The procedure is REVERSIBLE
  • It is more appropriate for people whose eyes are still changing as the treatment can be adjusted as required by redesigning the custom retainers
  • There is no loss of Bowman’s membrane (the tough protective layer just under the corneal surface)
  • Issues with dry eye often following with LASIK are avoided
  •  Myopia control 

What are the disadvantages?

  • You must be prepared to allow for 3-8 visits over 2-4 months
  • Regular lens wear is essential or the cornea will revert to its original shape
  • The degree of success is high but cannot be guaranteed
  • The rate of improvement varies from one person to the next
  • Side effects associated with contact lens wear as pain, redness, tearing,irritation and risk of infection.

Is There an Orthokeratology Age Limit?

Orthokeratology contact lenses are a great non-surgical solution for people of all ages who experience the struggles of myopia/short sightedness. Known as a gentle approach to shaping the cornea, Orthok contact lenses are an ideal option for short-sighted children of most ages, especially for those who are too young to be treated by invasive vision correction procedures like laser surgery. 

What Does the Procedure Involve?

First an initial eye examination appointment is required to assess the general condition and health of the eyes, take measurements and discuss the likely effectivity of the procedure in your own case

After taking detailed corneal measurements your Orthokeratologist will then design your custom retainer lenses. Very rarely an overnight trial with a generic lens may be needed to assess the corneas response and individual tolerability, however this can often be misleading as the custom moulds are much more comfortable.

Once the lenses are manufactured an appointment is scheduled to teach you how to insert, remove and care for the lenses. Overnight wear is commenced and a follow-up visit is scheduled in the morning after a few nights of wear. Another morning appointment is scheduled following 2 weeks of wear. At this point full correction is expected to be achieved. A further check is then scheduled late in the day after a month to ensure the correction is lasting a full day. The lens design may be adjusted accordingly at any of these visits if optimal correction has not been achieved. 

Is Orthokeratology Covered by Insurance?

If you have private health insurance, your optical benefits may cover part of the lens cost. The amount covered depends on your optical cover policy.

Orthok in Perth

With an intense passion for improving vision in our local and surrounding communities, Abernethy Owens has expanded to five locations around the city including Fremantle, Rockingham, Kardinya, Woodvale and Floreat. Our extensively experienced Optometrists provide numerous eye care services including myopia control, orthokeratology, comprehensive eye examinations, contact lens fitting, and more. If you are looking for a reputable myopia control clinic in Kardinya, an Ortho k optometrist in Fremantle or comprehensive eye tests in Rockingham, make an appointment with Perth’s trusted independent optometrists online now.