Orthokeratology – Kodak Lens Vision Centre in Toronto

Orthokeratology, also known as ortho-k, is a nonsurgical and noninvasive procedure that corrects refractive vision errors by temporarily reshaping the cornea. A refractive error1 happens when the shape of your eye does not bend light in the correct way, which results in a blurred image. The most common types of refracting errors are hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), presbyopia (loss of near vision with age), and astigmatism. In order to know if you have a refracting error, you can look out for symptoms such as having some difficulty when reading or trying to see up close, having blurred vision when viewing far objects, and, in children, the crossing of the eyes. The best way to be certain is to receive diagnostic services from a health eye care professional, such as our expert Optometrists. If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms and have any of these types of refractive errors, we recommend you make an appointment request with our Toronto location to schedule a comprehensive eye health exam, where we’ll define the best solutions for your particular case and proceed to aid you with vision correction. ​

Orthokeratology is usually compared to dental braces, but for the eyes. During ortho-k, contact lenses are specially custom designed to be fitted for your eyes to improve vision during the day. These ortho-k lenses are different from the common contact lenses because they are specially designed to float on top of the eye’s tear film and gently apply pressure directly to the front layer of the cornea. This pressure will cause the cells of that first cornea layer to migrate from the center to the periphery of the cornea, which is how the lenses can temporarily reshape it, thereby correcting the refractive error.

In most cases, the patient has to wear the lenses overnight to reshape the cornea during sleep. Once awake, the correction stays for a while, allowing the cornea to focus properly. In order for the process to work consistently and achieve good results, the patient must always follow our expert Optometrist’s instructions on when to wear and care for the custom-fitted ortho-k contact lenses. Improvements in vision can be quickly reversed once the patient stops using them. Continuous use of the lenses, on the other hand, completes the vision improvement process: it can take anywhere from a few days to see a visual improvement and a minimum of two weeks for maximum vision correction2.

One of the biggest highlights of orthokeratology is the effectiveness to treat conditions such as myopia, with the benefit of not being a surgical procedure, opting instead for a noninvasive approach. Myopia has been commonly corrected using alternative methods like eyeglasses, laser eye surgery (LASIK), and another vision correction surgical procedure called photorefractive keratectomy3 (PRK). With ortho-k the patient now has a new, perhaps more comfortable option, which only requires continuous use of contact lenses when you sleep.

Orthokeratology can also be a great option to correct children’s vision since it can be recommended over surgical procedures like LASIK, as the vision continues to change throughout children’s growth and formative years. During a comprehensive eye exam appointment, we can determine if orthokeratology is right for your child by consulting with you to ensure their eye health and vision are well maintained as our top priority.

Treatment Procedure for Orthokeratology in Toronto

The first stage

If you have already had an eye exam with us and we have recommended orthokeratology for correcting your vision, you will need to undergo some important tests. During the first assessment, our experienced Optometrists will start by determining your custom ortho-k lens needs, particularly by examining the front surface of your eyes and vision. We accomplish this by mapping your cornea using a topographer. The topographer4 allows us to understand the exact shape of your cornea, by creating a detailed 3D map focused on its shape and curvature. Our mapping tool is a quick and easy procedure that does not touch your eyes. When all the necessary information is gathered through consultation and testing, we are then able to accurately calculate and custom-build your ortho-k lenses.

Once your lenses are ready you can come to pick them up at our Kodak Lens Vision Centre in Toronto. At your follow-up appointment, we will let you know how to insert, remove and care for them. We will then schedule you for additional follow-up appointments to re-evaluate how well your lenses are working to help to improve your vision. In order to ensure the correct fit of your lenses this appointment will take place after your first night5 of wearing the lenses, where our Ophthalmologist will monitor the health of your cornea and evaluate the initial effectiveness of your ortho-k treatment. If necessary, we will modify your ortho-k lenses based on the results.

The amount of time the treatment procedure takes varies from one patient to another. In some cases, it can take two weeks6. Orthokeratology generally works to improve vision quickly, although this will depend on each patient.

Importance of scheduling a contact lens fitting
Importance of scheduling a contact lens fitting

The second stage

Once your ortho-k lenses (also called retainer lenses) are fitted, you can start to wear them, which will allow them to start working by flattening the center of your cornea and changing how light bends when entering the eyes. Depending on your prescription, you will likely be required to wear your ortho-k lenses at night and remove them during the day. The cornea stays flattened7 after the lenses are removed allowing you to enjoy improved vision. When the treatment is complete, the cornea stays flattened and removes the need for you to wear glasses or contact lenses. Apart from a few follow-up appointments with our Optometrist from time to time to ensure that the vision improvement is maintained, you can start to enjoy your new and improved vision once you have completed the initial fitting process. Of course, you can make as many appointment requests as you like to check on your improvement, but the progress of this treatment should be evident from an early stage.

Contact Kodak Lens Vision Centre in Toronto for contact lens services

Your eye health is our top priority, which is why we strive to help and provide you with a wide range of treatments and solutions for many eye conditions. If you are suffering from hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), presbyopia (loss of near vision with age), or astigmatism, you can book an annual eye exam appointment and allow us to help you improve your vision as best as possible.

At Kodak Lens Vision Centre in Toronto, our expert Optometrists strive to help you with all your eyecare, eyewear, and visual needs. We provide orthokeratology treatment and monitor your progress to ensure you get the best noninvasive treatment and myopia control available. You can visit our website to find out more. You can also call us at 416-901-9088 to get started or click here to ask us a question. Our team will be glad to support you every step of the way.