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Ortho-K/CRT

Dr. Arlene Schwartz is certified to prescribe Paragon CRT, Contex OK and Euclid VST designs.  Our careful selection process permits more than 90% of our patients undergoing orthokeratology to leave with their first or second pair of therapeutic lenses.

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How Ortho-K works

The GP lenses for Ortho-K are applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses when you're awake. The effect is temporary - generally enough to get you through a day or two - so you must wear the reshaping lenses each night to maintain good vision during the day.

Currently, there are two brands of orthokeratology approved by the FDA: Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) from Paragon Vision Sciences and Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) from Bausch & Lomb.

Who is a candidate for Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology is frequently a good option for nearsighted individuals who are too young for LASIK surgery or for some other reason are not good candidates for vision correction surgery. Because it can be discontinued at any time without permanent change to the eye, people of any age can try the procedure, as long as their eyes are healthy.

Ortho-K is particularly appealing for people who participate in sports, or who work in dusty, dirty environments that can make contact lens wear difficult.

What results can you expect from Ortho-K?

The goal for Ortho-K is to correct your vision to 20/20 without eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials of both CRT and VST lenses, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).

Success rates for Ortho-K tend to be higher for mild prescriptions. Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with Ortho-K.

How long does Ortho-K take?

Though you may see some improvement in your vision after a day or two of overnight Ortho-K, it can take several weeks for the full effect to be apparent. During this time, your vision will not be as clear as it was with glasses or contacts, and you are likely to notice some glare and halos around lights. It's possible you may need a temporary pair of eyeglasses for certain tasks, like driving at night, until your vision is fully corrected by the Ortho-K lenses.

Is Ortho-K comfortable?

Some people have comfort issues when attempting to wear gas permeable contact lenses during the day. But since Ortho-K GP lenses are worn during sleep, comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.

What is the cost of orthokeratology?

Ortho-k is a significantly longer process than a regular contact lens fitting. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple pairs of lenses. Also, GP lenses used for Ortho-K are more costly than most regular contact lenses. Therefore, fees for orthokeratology are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings.

Can I have LASIK after Ortho-K?

Yes, it's possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology. But because ortho-k lenses reshape your cornea, you must stop wearing the lenses for a period of time (usually several months) so your eyes can return to their original shape and stabilize. Be sure to tell your LASIK surgeon that you've worn Ortho-K lenses, so they can advise you how long you should wait before having the surgery.

Why should I choose Hartsdale Family Eyecare for Ortho-K?

Hartstdale Family Eyecare uses state-of-the-art technology to measure the change in corneal curvature, along with the change in nearsightedness. Finally, we carefully select our patients undergoing this procedure, maximizing the likelihood of success. An honest assessment is the first step for obtaining desired treatment outcomes, and that's what Hartsdale Family Eyecare is known for.

Is there an minimum age requirement for Orthokeratology?

There is no lower age limit on the FDA approval for orthokeratology, which makes this treatment available for carefully selected children.  The scientific literature supports contact lens treatment for some children as young as eight years of age.  Any child undergoing Ortho-K must have the aptitude and responsibility to adhere to proper lens care and hygiene, and this requires a careful and honest assessment by both the parents and our eye doctor .Most often children age 8-10 are mature enough to consider orthokeratology but there are case where even younger children are offered this treatment option.

Is Ortho-K risky?

No. The FDA has validated the safety and efficacy of Ortho-K. But like all forms of contact lens treatment, eye irritation is possible.  Most cases are minor and resolve on their own if Ortho-K wear is stopped and there is appropriate professional care. Still, there are rare and isolated reports of serious eye infection with overnight corneal reshaping where improper lens care and hygiene were suspected. Our patients receive a complete review of the benefits, risks, and alternatives during their consultation so that it is possible for you to make an educated decision to undergo Ortho-K.

Can I set up a flexible spending account (FSA) for Ortho-K?

Yes, provided that you have access to an FSA through your employer.  An FSA allows you to allocate pre-tax dollars toward qualified healthcare expenses including Ortho-K.

Does Ortho-K prevent myopia for getting worse?

Currently there is no definite proof that Ortho-K prevents or slows myopia progression.  In fact the FDA approval for Ortho-K does not permit the manufacturer from making such a claim.  However there is mounting evidence suggesting that Ortho-K indeed can reduce the natural rate of childhood myopic progression.

How do I find out if I'm a candidate for Ortho-K?

Call Hartsdale Family Eyecare for a consultation at 914-725-1600 to determine if you are a candidate.  This consultation is not in place of a comprehensive eye health and vision evaluation.