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Ortho-Keratology Q&A with Dr. Smiley

Q: Please describe what Ortho-Keratology is and give a basic sense of how it works.
Dr. Smiley: OrthoKeratology (Ortho-K) also known as Corneal Refractive Therapy and Vision Shaping Technology is one of the many treatment modalities available for myopia (nearsightedness) control. These lenses are rigid gas permeable contact lenses worn during sleeping hours. These lenses flatten central areas of the cornea, decreasing myopia so that no correction is needed during waking hours. These lenses are replaced yearly. These lenses decrease the stimulus for the eye to grow, or lengthen, thus decreasing myopia progression in children.

Q: How does the Ortho-K assist in treating nearsightedness, and astigmatism?

Dr. Smiley: Ortho-K lenses work similar to braces for teeth. My wearing the lens the cornea flattens which temporarily eliminates myopia and corneal astigmatism. No correction is needed during waking hours if Ortho-K lenses are worn at night.

Q: How does the Ortho-K slow the progression of childhood myopia?
Dr. Smiley: Myopia develops as the eye grows in length, Ortho-K lenses decrease the signal for the eye to keep growing in length, and thus, decreases myopia progression.

Q: What is it about this particular technology that you find most exciting or the component that made you feel you need to use in this for your practice?
Dr. Smiley: Slowing down the progression of myopia is beneficial to patients as the more myopic a patient becomes, the more at risk they are for retinal eye diseases. Using this technology, we can decrease this risk.

Q: What results can a patient expect from being treated with Ortho-k?
Dr. Smiley: There are many studies being done right now concerning myopia control. Most note an average decrease in myopia progression by 50% per year.

Q: Can you describe the patient experience when being treated with Ortho-K?

Dr. Smiley: Lenses are worn during sleeping hours. Lenses are removed upon awakening, cleaned, and stored in a case. No visual correction is needed during the day. Before bed, lenses are inserted and worn while sleeping. Patients love the elimination of the need for daytime eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Q: Do your patients appreciate the upgrade in technology?

Dr. Smiley: Many patents are referred by other doctors for our specialty contact lens care services. Its not uncommon for patients to come from out of state for the types of contact lens technologies we offer. Patients are very receptive to the technological advances that our practice provides.

Q: Who Is a good candidate for Orthokeratology? Are there specific patients for whom the use of Ortho-K is particularly helpful or useful? Why?

Dr. Smiley: Good candidates are patients with certain corneal curvatures, a Rx of less than -5.00D of myopia, and motivated to wear contact lenses. Patients that do well with these lenses are patients that have family members that wear contact lenses, however, this is not a requirement.

Q: Can you share a particular patient success story, in which by treating with Ortho-K, you were able to provide a patient with a solution which you would otherwise not have been able to provide?
Dr. Smiley: Jenny was a swimmer with a family history of severe nearsightedness. Her parents were concerned that her eyes continue to get worse every year and she was having difficulty seeing during swim meets as she had to remove her glasses and her contact lenses were lost while swimming. We prescribed her Paragon CRT Ortho-K lenses and within one week she was able to see 20/20 at school and at swim meets without any vision correction. Jenny has successfully been wearing Ortho-K lenses for over 5 years without any issues.

Q: Why did you choose this supplier to purchase from?
Dr. Smiley: We utilize many different Ortho-K / Vision Shaping Technologies (VST) including Paragon CRT (corneal refractive therapy, Emerald Lens, BE Retainer, DreamLens, Contex OK lens, and the Wave Nightlens. Our doctors will select the correct lens and solutions for your individual case.