Monday, June 18, 2012

Orthokeratology is shown to be effective in correcting astigmatism. Patients with astigmatism now have an alternative to glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery

A new study published in the June 2012 issue of Optometry & Vision Science proves that orthokeratology is a safe and effective treatment for people with astigmatism.  Orthokeratology (sometimes called orthok or corneal reshaping) is a treatment where the patient wears a custom designed eye retainer at night and has perfect vision during the day.  No surgery, no glasses and no contact lenses are required apart form the overnight lens retainer that reshapes the cornea of the eye while the patient sleeps.

Orthokeratology has also been shown to slow the progression of myopia, which is what makes it so attractive for young people who experience a worsening spectacles prescription every time they go to the eye doctor.  Read our past post on the latest research that confirms that orthok is effective for stopping myopia progression.  Myopia progression is dangerous phenomenon because it increases a person's risk of blindness from retinal detachment or glaucoma.

The new study published in the journal Optometry & Vision Science set out to determine the efficacy of toric orthokeratology (a new type of orthok retainer lens which until now was thought to be experimental) in correcting myopia and astigmatism in myopic children with moderate to high astigmatism.

The subjects of the study were children 6 to 12 years old with moderate to high astigmatism who were fitted with a European-made toric orthok retainer lens.  The researchers then measured the subjects' vision at baseline, after one night, after one week, and and after one month of wearing the overnight lens retainer.

The results were that the orthok lens retainer significantly reduced manifest myopia and astigmatism  after 1 month of overnight lens retainer wear.  Reassuringly, no significant adverse events were reported at the one- month mark.

The authors concluded that the new type of orthok retainer lens design was effective in correcting  myopic children who had moderate-high astigmatism.