Orthokeratology (Corneal Refractive Therapy)

Overnight treatment. Daytime freedom.

Why is Myopia a problem? Nearsightedness (myopia) is a problem where distance vision becomes blurry, most often sometime during the early school years. This blur creates difficulties with school work and other activities such as sports where far vision is important. The common solution of wearing glasses or contact lenses is temporary as most children will get worse each year, resulting in more blur and thicker lenses. Increased levels of myopia also create increased risks for other eye diseases such as glaucoma and detached retinas. Approximately 25% of the adult population in the United States is myopic and the rate is much higher in some ethnic groups.

Myopia: What can be done? Preliminary results of multi-year trials show that OrthoK corrects nearsightedness and, in addition, may actually prevent children from becoming more nearsighted. This is fantastic news because it means that if you fit a child at a low level of nearsightedness and they stop wearing the lenses years later, the eyes tend to return to where they were when originally fit, not to where they would have been with years of no specialized OrthoK treatment. A twenty year old ends up with the vision they had when they were ten. This is an amazing finding and is supported by research showing that OrthoK type corrections are able to actually control the shape and length of the eyeball. There are no guarantees in health care. Individuals and results will vary. But doctors are finding patient after patient who are not becoming more nearsighted. The potential benefits to those individuals are profound.

Who is a Candidate? The majority of nearsighted (myopic) individuals with healthy eyes can benefit from OrthoK, from children as young as seven years to adults in their 60s-70s.

Will My Prescription Work? OrthoK treats myopia (nearsightedness), the condition where distance vision is blurred. Lens powers up to about -6.00 are generally treatable. Astigmatism, a common optical condition where vision is distorted due to uneven curvatures of the eye surfaces, is treatable in low to moderate amounts. Some doctors using specialized OrthoK lenses routinely exceed these levels for many patients with great success. However, sometimes with high astigmatism, we may only be able to achieve "good" vision rather than "terrific" vision.  Hyperopia (farsightedness) is treatable but results vary. Not all doctors will treat farsightedness but those who do find a fair amount of success. The results tend to be less predictable.

Can my child have OrthoK? Patients as young as seven to nine years old are excellent candidates and we make the decision based on their maturity, hygiene and motivation. These students are able to play, swim, participate in sports and other healthy activities without the problems of glasses or daytime contact lens wear. Perhaps the most exciting candidate for OrthoK is the young patient who has become nearsighted for the first time when there is a strong family history of nearsightedness progressing rapidly during childhood. The child whose nearsightedness has been proven to already be progressing is another excellent candidate. There is growing evidence that OrthoK can stop this progression.

Am I too old for OrthoK? Probably not! Patients over forty years old will generally need to consider the fact that near reading vision may be blurred, the same thing that happens to everyone with good distance vision as they get older. This condition (presbyopia) can be treated by modifying the power of OrthoK lenses, wearing reading glasses or other options that can be discussed with your doctor. Many patients in their sixties and seventies are wearing OrthoK lenses successfully.

Myopia: Do other methods of control work? Because the science behind myopia development has only recently been determined, many unsupported claims of prevention or cures developed over the years. Various techniques have been advocated, varying everywhere from rubbing the eyes, staring at the sun, wearing bifocal glasses, avoiding reading and eye exercises. Some of these ideas are dangerous or blinding and all of them fail to help a great majority of those trying them. OrthoK works and it works very well. There is only one other proven technique: the use of a specific prescription eye drop that paralyzes eye muscles, making the person unable to read without glasses, unable to tolerate bright light and prone to significant side effects from the drops themselves. OrthoK is the only proven, reasonable method to significantly alter the progression of myopia.

What do I do next? The only one who can really tell you if you are a candidate is your eye doctor after they have examined you. We urge you to contact our office and schedule an appointment. No doctor will guarantee results but your chance of success increases with our doctors who have a history of successfully fitting these specialized lenses.

 Contact us with any questions you may have or to  schedule an appointment.

Please call 717.266.5661 for emergencies or after hours.


Wheatlyn Eye Care
234 Rosedale Drive
Manchester, PA 17345


Monday8:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday9:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday8:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday9:00am - 5:00pm
Friday9:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday8:00am - 12:00pm*
*Office closed 1st and 5th Sat.