Ortho-K Specialist In Clio – Orthokeratology (CRT & VST)
Ortho-k gently reshapes the cornea while you sleep.
What is Orthokeratology?
Orthokeratology, more widely known as Ortho-k, is another tool in our arsenal of treatment for myopia.
Ortho-k refers to rigid gas permeable contact lenses that gently reshape the cornea while you sleep. In the morning, simply take the lenses out and go about your day. Since the Ortho-k lenses have reshaped your cornea during the previous night, many patients experience improved vision the following day. Some even find that they don’t need to wear glasses or contacts, but can see clearly without them.
To ensure the most effective treatment, Ortho-k lenses must be custom-fitted for each patient. Our doctor will take measurements of the size and curvature of your cornea and create a tailor-made set of lenses to fit your eye’s unique shape. They fit perfectly over the cornea and allow air to pass through, so they won’t dry out. This keeps the Ortho-k lenses moist and comfortable.
Ortho-k for Children
Kids have a high incidence of myopia, with 1 in 10 American children (9.2%) aged 5 – 17 showing signs of the condition. It is often inherited, so a child can develop nearsightedness if one or both of their parents have it.
When worn consistently, Ortho-k can stop myopia from deteriorating further. This is crucial to maintaining healthy eyes because if left untreated, as children grow older, myopia can eventually lead to more severe eye diseases like glaucoma, early onset cataracts, macular degeneration, or retinal detachment. That’s why the doctor recommends earlier treatment. The sooner we can treat your child’s myopia, the lower the risk of more serious vision problems.
If you or your child are experiencing blurry vision, eyestrain, persistent headaches, or other signs of myopia, contact . Our years of expertise and access to the latest technologies can help you achieve better vision today.
What is Myopia?
Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is one of the most common refractive errors. It affects your ability to see things at a distance, while objects or images that are closer to you remain clear.
Myopia is prevalent in both adults and children and its numbers are rising worldwide. Nearly 11% of the global population has it, and studies predict that by 2050, myopia will affect half of the entire world!
This condition is generally treated with the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses, which correct vision by refracting light properly. It’s worth noting that while these solutions improve your vision, they only work so long as you wear them, and they do not cure the condition itself.
According to FDA trials conducted on both CRT and VST lenses, more than 65% of patients achieved 20/20 visual acuity. An impressive 90% achieved 20/40 vision or better, which is an important achievement since this is the legal requirement for driving without vision correction in most states.
How Effective is Ortho-k?
Ortho-k lenses gently flatten your cornea, allowing light to enter and refract properly. This ultimately gives you better, clearer vision. Ortho-k has even been shown to slow down the progression of myopia by an average of 50%, an important benefit that prevents the condition from worsening.
There are currently 3 brands of Ortho-k lenses that are FDA approved for overnight wear. Euclid Emerald, Paragon Vision Sciences, which produces “Corneal Refractive Therapy” (CRT), and Bausch and Lomb, which manufactures “Vision Shaping Treatment” (VST).
Is Ortho-k Better Than Eye Surgery?
While vision correction surgeries like LASIK can reshape the cornea surgically in myopia patients, these types of procedures are permanent and cannot be reversed. Ortho-k lenses offer the same advantages as LASIK, but with less risk than invasive surgery. That is because you can simply stop wearing them and your cornea will revert back to its previous irregular shape. Unlike other options, Ortho-k is suitable for children.
Adults with myopia may be candidates for eye surgery to correct the refractive error, but children are a different matter. Eye surgery to correct vision is generally not performed on patients younger than 18. This is because children’s vision is unstable during their younger years as their eyes are still developing. Fortunately, kids can benefit from wearing Ortho-k lenses.
Healthy vision occurs when light enters your eye, hits the retina, and then tells the brain what you see. As these light rays touch your retina, they refract (bend), sending nerve signals to your brain, which translates the things you see into images so that you can understand what you’re looking at.
Should your cornea have any kind of irregular shape, it can cause the light that enters your eye to be refracted incorrectly. When this happens, the brain cannot understand the images, leading to blurry vision. This situation is known as a refractive error.
Frequently Asked Questions about CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy)
This is an exciting non-surgical method of reducing nearsightedness and astigmatism. This is achieved by using FDA-approved ortho-k retainer lenses that gently correct your vision while you sleep. This allows clear vision all day with freedom from daytime contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.
Ortho-k is most effective on children and adults who are moderately nearsighted. Ideally, your prescription should be in the range of -1.00 to -6.00 with no more than -1.00 of astigmatism. If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you may be a great candidate for Ortho-k because the lens is only worn while you sleep. Unlike the age limits imposed on Lasik surgery, Dr. Belill can fit children as young as eight and there is no upper age limit. A comprehensive exam will give Dr. Belill a better idea of your chances for success.
Studies from around the world have indicated that Ortho-k could possibly keep a child’s myopia (nearsightedness) from getting worse.This could reduce a child’s future risk of myopia-related eye diseases such as glaucoma and retinal detachments. A child is an especially good candidate if wearing glasses or daytime contact lenses interfere with their activities such as swimming or basketball.
Ortho-k can provide those unable to wear conventional contact lenses due to dry eyes with excellent vision with no compromise to their daytime comfort. Dry eyes are usually not a problem while you sleep as there is little tear evaporation in a closed eye, and Ortho-k retainer lenses are only worn while you sleep. If your dry eyes are a problem while you sleep, dry eye treatment is usually available. If you have a severe dry eye disease, you may not be a candidate.
Yes! Perhaps the most important attributes are that Ortho-k therapy is non-invasive and reversible. If your vision changes over time, the Ortho-k retainer lenses can usually be changed to account for it. Ortho-k has less potential risk of harmful effects compared to Lasik surgery. For anyone less than 21years old, Lasik is not an option regardless. Lasik is not recommended for anyone with untreated dry eyes. Lastly, the fee for Ortho-k is less than half of the average fee for Lasik surgery.
They are very safe and have been approved by the FDA since 2001. However, there is a small risk of infection or abnormal blood vessel growth when Ortho-k retainer lenses are worn. This is no different than conventional soft contact lens wear, and may indeed be less. This risk is minimized by adhering to suggested disinfection and care procedures, by wearing your retainers only as instructed and by coming in for evaluations with Dr. Belill as directed.
The rate of success is very high, but it depends on your original prescription, corneal shape, and treatment goals. During your initial evaluation, Dr. Belill will give you information about your potential outcome.
Yes. This allows you to read in bed or watch TV before falling asleep.
When the Ortho-k retainer lenses lens is on your eye, it will feel scratchy when you blink. This is mild and usually not an issue since they will only be worn five minutes or so before going to sleep. When first using the lenses, people rate them on average of 5/10 for comfort, but this increases to an average of 7/10 over time. Ortho-k retainers are actually easier to insert and remove than most gas permeable lenses and much easier than a soft lens. Content...
Most patients are seeing clearly in as little as one night of retainer lens wear. Although vision improves rapidly in most cases, the full visual effect does not take place until about two weeks of wear. During this transition time, temporary lenses may be used to correct any distance blur during the day. During the first few days of the Ortho-k process, you may find that your vision is quite good for a few hours, and then may begin to slowly diminish. Dr. Belill may dispense temporary soft contact lenses lens to wear as needed for daytime correction in the early stages of treatment. Often these are only worn as needed and may be reduced in strength as your vision improves.
Established patients who wear their ortho-k lenses as prescribed find that they have great vision well into the evening. However, if you stop wearing your Ortho-k retainer lenses, your vision will eventually return to its original state in a matter of days or weeks. The visual effects of Ortho-k therapy are temporary and reversible – meaning anyone can stop at any time and pursue other means of correction like glasses, conventional daytime contact lenses, or Lasik surgery.
Dr. Belill recommends replacing your Ortho-k retainer lenses every year since long term deterioration may lead to inconsistent vision treatment or increase risk of infection or allergies.
Great results can be achieved in as little as four hours of sleep each night. Some people prefer to sleep for several short time periods rather than one consecutive period. This isn't a problem, just insert your Ortho-k retainer lenses when you sleep and remove them when you wake.
Dr. Belill will inform you if this is an option for you. Another alternative is to have both eyes corrected for distance vision and wear reading glasses whenever you want to do near work.
Yes! Ortho-k may also be known as: Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), orthokeratology, Vision Shaping Treatment, VST, Gentle Shaping System, The Gentle Vision Shaping System, Corneal Molding, Wave Front Corneal Molding, and Gentle Molding. Additionally, the treatment devices used to achieve corrected vision may be referred to as CRT lenses, Retainer Lenses, Vision Retainers, Retainers, Ortho-K retainer Lenses, Corneal Molds, Molds, and Wave Lenses.
There is an initial fee plus ongoing annual maintenance fees with Ortho-k therapy. The initial treatment fee is $1800. This covers the testing and time necessary to design the Ortho-k retainer lenses plus troubleshooting as needed, in-office training and instruction for lens care, an initial pair of Ortho-k retainer lenses, and all follow-up office visits with Dr. Belill as needed within three months. After this, annual preventative eye health examinations along with Ortho-k evaluations must be performed. The current fee for these ongoing visits will be a comprehensive eye exam plus $500 for fresh pair of Ortho-k retainer lenses. Just as with Lasik surgery, Ortho-k therapy is a premium specialty elective procedure. Because of this, insurance plans do not offer a benefit for the initial Ortho-k treatment, annual evaluations, or future replacement Ortho-k retainer lenses.
• Do your child’s eyes require a stronger eyeglass prescription for myopia (nearsightedness) each year?
• Do you want to lower your child’s future risk of myopic-related eye disease?
• Do you feel contacts or glasses inhibit you or your child’s ability to enjoy sports, physical fitness, swimming, skiing, or other activities?
• Are you unable to wear daytime contacts due to allergies or other sensitivities?
• Are you interested in LASIK, but not quite ready or concerned about the risk?
• DO YOU WANT CLEAR VISION, FREEDOM FROM DAYTIME CONTACT LENSES OR GLASSES, and NO SURGERY?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, consider ORTHO-K.
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