Below are the top ten most frequently asked questions. We have a longer list that can be emailed as well.
I just have to sleep in these lenses to see clearly?
Yes, the lenses gently mold your eyes while you sleep. As long as you sleep in the lenses for a continuous 6-8 hours, your vision will reach full, waking-hour clarity within a 1-2 week time frame.
So what do I wear in the meantime in those first 1-2 weeks?
During your transition period and depending on the size/type of your prescription, you will be given soft contacts or loaner glasses to ease the transition.
What can I expect during the first 1-2 weeks?
Your vision will become clearer day by day, and the clarity will last longer and longer with each passing day. But during the first couple of weeks, your vision will go from clear to your original level of blurriness by the day’s end. The period of blurriness decreases with each day until full clarity is reached.
How does the lens feel?
The lens is made with a more rigid material, so initially it’s more noticeable and requires a little more adaptation. The good news is that since the lenses are inserted right before bedtime, most of the adaptation takes place while you sleep!
How long does the Ortho-K effect last after the initial transition period?
The vision-correcting effect is programmed to last for ~24 hours, but some patients can experience clear vision for 36 hours without having to rewear the lens. How long your vision remains clear after 24 hours depends on the size of your prescription.
Is vision clear while I’m wearing the Ortho-k lenses?
Yes, vision is very clear with the lenses on. They are designed not only to mold the cornea, but to also give you clear vision if you have to wake up in the middle of the night (for the restroom, emergency evacuations, etc).
What happens if I miss a night?
Patients with lower prescriptions don’t notice an obvious difference the next day, but patients with higher prescriptions will notice blurriness in the distance. Computer tasks for patients are definitely workable if you miss a night, but night driving is not recommended. Soft contacts can be given to you to make up for any residual blur.
What happens if I decide to stop Ortho-K?
Your vision returns to normal over 2-3 weeks, sometimes faster.
Are there any side-effects to Ortho-K?
Glare is the primary side effect, which occurs with any refractive procedure such as LASIK/PRK/SMILE/etc as well. Glare tends to be more noticeable in the initial adaptation period, which lasts 1-2 months. After that period, the brain learns to adapt and filter out residual glare.
I thought it was unhealthy to sleep in contacts?
Patients are told not to sleep in traditional contacts because they’re worn throughout the day, throughout sleep, and again in the daytime for a minimum of at least 30 hours of wear time. Additionally, debris/germs/mucus accumulate on traditional lenses, which your eye is then exposed to for the 30+ hours of wear. With Ortho-K, you only wear them for a period of 7-8 hours maximum while under clean, home conditions.
Lastly, to read about the difference between how Orthokeratology designs differ between adults and children, click here.