Asian Eye chief optometrist and contact lens specialist Dr. Jesse CaguioaWAKING up to clear, crisp vision even without surgery is now possible with Ortho-K contact lenses.
Ortho-K temporarily corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism—collectively known as refractive errors-by specially designed hard contact lenses.
Refractive error happen when images become blurry because the eyeball is unusually long or short, or the cornea is not evenly or smoothly shaped. Patients can have any or a combination of these refractive errors.
‘Braces for the eyes’
Asian Eye Institute chief optometrist and contact lens specialist Dr. Jesse Caguioa explains: “Ortho-K is like braces or retainers, but for the eyes. To achieve clear vision upon waking up, you need to wear the contact lenses every night, while sleeping, and for at least six hours. When you remove them in the morning, you can have clear vision for at least 24 to 48 hours.”
In general, contact lenses are not supposed to be worn while sleeping. But with Ortho-K, it is safe to do so since it is specifically designed as oxygenpermeable contact lenses.
Caguioa says: “It allows ample oxygen supply to the cornea, so the eyes can ‘breathe’ better. It also does not contain water, which lessens your risk for eye dryness, allergies or irritations.”
Apart from providing daytime clear vision without the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses, Ortho-K has been proven effective in slowing down the progression of nearsightedness.
Reduction of nearsightedness
Caguioa notes: “As children grow older, their eyeballs grow longer, too. This means that their eye grade may increase at least every year, so they may be required to get a new pair of glasses every time. There are studies that showed children experiencing significant reduction of nearsightedness after wearing Ortho-K contact lenses compared to those who did not.
“We would want to control the nearsightedness in children as early as possible,” he adds. “Nearsightedness does not only affect the quality of life, it also puts a strain on the structure of the eyeball and puts them at risk of developing potentially blinding diseases later in life. Besides, they are likely to qualify for LASIK should they decide to undergo it when they turn 18.”
Children and adults can wear Ortho-K contact lenses. It is highly recommended to those who are not qualified for LASIK. Since Ortho-K contact lenses are custom-made lenses, it is best for patients to undergo screening first to see what type of design fits them.
“We just want to make sure that the contact lenses fit their eyes and prevent any discomfort and lessen the risk of infection. This increases the likelihood that the treatment will be effective for the patient,” Caguioa says.
(Story/Photos by: Charizze Henson)