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Many patients with vision problems heartily embrace the idea of enjoying vision correction without having to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.  Not all of these patients, however, are good candidates for PRK or LASIK surgery, the two standard surgeries used to alter the way the cornea of the eye refracts light.  If that describes you, don’t fret – because here at Nashville Eye Group, we offer an advanced corneal reshaping technique known as Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K.  This non-surgical technique can produce changes to the way your cornea refracts and results in clear vision during the day without contacts or glasses!

To understand the benefits of Ortho-K, let us first consider how the eye works.  The cornea is a transparent, curved surface that is one of the primary light bending components of your eyes, along with the crystalline lens.  The shape of the cornea causes incoming light rays to be refracted (or bent) in such a way that the lens can focus them into a clear, sharp image before they pass on to the retina and optic nerve.  Ultimately, the optic nerve transmits the image to your brain.

Deformations in the shape of the cornea cause refraction to go wrong in various ways, producing the fuzzy images characteristic of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.  Glasses and contact lens are curved to “pre-refract” incoming light to compensate for your personal degree of corneal deformation.  Laser surgery actually corrects the shape of the cornea itself, eliminating most orf all of the visual error that might otherwise call for corrective lenses.

Corneal Reshaping While You Sleep

While you might leap at the thought of permanently reshaping your cornea to address your vision problems, laser surgery isn’t always the best eye care option.  There are many reasons why surgery may not be appropriate for you and some of our patients simply don’t like the idea of any kind of surgery or they want a reversible procedure.  Orthokeratology may be an ideal choice for these individuals.  Our doctors will precisely map the shape of your corneas and then fabricate special contact lenses.  Unlike standard contacts, you’ll wear these lenses at night.  The lenses perform a subtle corneal reshaping as you sleep, meaning that you can take them out the next morning and enjoy perfect or near-perfect vision.

Ortho-K can help you see clearly for one or two days at a time, or possibly even longer.  By wearing them regularly at night, you can maintain your clarity of vision for as long as you decide to continue using them.  If you decide to use another form of vision correction, simply stop wearing the Ortho-K lenses and your corneas will assume their previous shape once again.  Talk to our knowledgeable staff to see whether Ortho-K makes sense for you.  Our number is 615-331-8688.