For those who are thinking about getting Ortho-K, Hannah Bacani has one thing to say: “I can see clearly again.”
Bacani wears several hats—she is a radio show host on Magic 89.9, a voice-over artist and a certified fitness coach. Juggling different roles is not easy, and it gets even harder with blurred vision.
She started wearing eyeglasses when she was eight years old. Now 27, she learned that she was allergic to the contact lenses and brand of eye drops that she was using for years. This made her eyes itchy and dry all the time.
“I wanted to find a more permanent and noninvasive solution,” she said. “I visited Dr. Jesse Caguioa at Asian Eye Rockwell, and he recommended Ortho-K contact lenses.”
What is Ortho-K?
Ortho-K temporarily corrects vision of people with nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia. Collectively known as refractive errors, these cause blurred vision, glare or haloes around lights and frequent headaches especially in the afternoon.
Caguioa, a contact lens specialist and the chief optometrist of Asian Eye Institute, explained that Ortho-K contact lenses are definitely not like your typical contacts.
“It makes use of rigid contact lenses, which function like retainers for the eyes and gently reshape the cornea. Ortho-K patients are usually advised to wear the contact lenses at least six hours during sleep and remove them upon waking up.”
Life with Ortho-K
Ortho-K provides clear vision for at least 24 to 48 hours. “We just need to take several factors into account,” said Caguioa. “These include the amount of refractive error you have, the time you have been wearing your Ortho-K and your treatment goals.”
“It takes a few days to get the full effect of 20/20 vision, but when I tried it for the first time, I am shocked at how substantially it made my eyesight better,” Bacani shared.
After wearing Ortho-K for a month now, she has already seen the difference. “The clear vision lasts all day. I sleep for about eight hours and that works well for me. You can wear it two hours before bed, while waiting to fall asleep. And once you wake up, you take the lenses off immediately and your vision is clear. I am loving it so far.
“I also noticed that if it is brighter, my vision is so much better as supposed to when it is in a dim setting. I could see farther right away, than closer,” she added.
Safety and comfort
“Since you wear Ortho-K while sleeping, you only wear it for a shorter period than with regular contact lenses. This means you are at less risk of getting infections, dryness or allergies,” Caguioa said. “It is painless, but it may be uncomfortable at first.”
Bacani agreed: “The contact lens is a hard shell. You feel something is on your eye. It is uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it once you keep wearing it all the time. It is definitely worth it; it becomes part of your routine.”
Want to learn more about Hannah Bacani’s Ortho-K journey? Follow her Instagram at instagram.com/hannahbacani_ and TikTok at tiktok.com/@hannahbacani_.
(Story/Photos by: Charizze Henson)