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Orthokeratology - Nonsurgical Vision Correction

Updated on November 11, 2010

Orthokeratology - Nonsurgical Vision Correction

Have you ever wanted to know what life would be like if you didn't have to wear glasses or contact lenses? Many people already know about LASIK but there's an alternative that's nonsurgical, works at night and is completely reversible. It's called orthokeratolgy and requires the use of specially designed contact lenses (or "molds") that reshape the cornea (front clear part of your eye) so that after removal a person's vision is corrected.

Orthokeratolgy has been around a long time and originated in the 1960's. But it wasn't approved for overnight use until 2001. Originally the contact lenses were worn for part of a day and then removed for the remainder of the day but with the overnight method this makes more sense. Finding eye doctors that do this isn't easy but by searching on the internet you should find someone in you area. Paragon and Bausch & Lomb are two big companies that have FDA lens approval for this procedure but there are many companies/labs that make these lenses.

The lenses that are worn at night are the same type that some wear for their regular contact lenses. But the orthokeratology (ortho-k or OK) lenses are unique in how they help mold the cornea. Even though these lenses will be slightly irritating when you insert them the lens awareness practically disappears when your eyes are closed and sleeping shouldn't be a problem.

For people who are nearsighted this might be a great alternative to glasses and other contact lenses. Even those with astigmatism might be great candidates depending on the severity and a couple of other factors. Farsightedness might also be corrected but some eye doctors may not offer this service.

The gas permeable lenses will last a pretty long time as long as you don't lose or break one. The initial cost is what might be the hurdle. Prices vary by doctor like any procedure and insurance doesn't cover this nonsurgical vision correction. But for many contact lens wearers or previous contact lens wearers this is one interesting way to temporarily correct your sight. By the way, it is temporary and should last the whole day but the lenses generally need to be worn each night for as long as the eyes are healthy and unchanging.


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