Orthokeratology, a brief history.

A brief history of Ortho K

Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses to improve vision isn't new. Orthokeratology has been practiced by some eye doctors for decades. OrthoK was first introduced to contact lens practitioners by the famous optometrist George Jessen in 1962. The initial forays into orthokeratology were hindered by poor technology and understanding of the criteria needed to successfully and predictably correct myopia.

With these changes there has been an upsurge in interest in the technique among contact lens specialists. There has also been an enormous interest in the technique among researchers and academics that has resulted in an exponential increase in the numbers published on this technique and an increased amount of funding for research from governments and industry bodies.

Increasing myopia is becoming an epidemic in some Asian countries, where up to 80% of adults have this condition. Recent findings on the ability of ortho k lens wear to slow the progression of myopia means that the lens modality could become a major technique for the control of myopia progression. As such orthokeratology is now in a position where it is ready to become a part of mainstream optometric practice.

Orthokeratology Society of Oceania 2009.

Ray Bans for Summer

Drop in and check out the new styles of Ray Bans in stock, just in time for summer!!

New Sunnies and Opticals in stock now!

Orthokeratology Just what is it?

This week we would like to look at a new area of interest at Clarity Optometrists. 

Orthokeratology (also known as OrthoK, OK, corneal reshaping, corneal refractive therapy (CRT), or vision shaping treatment (VST)) involves gently reshaping the cornea to temporarily modify or eliminate refractive error. OrthoK is an innovative way of wearing contact lenses – custom lenses are worn overnight, temporarily altering the shape of the cornea enough to produce clear, lasting vision after removal and throughout the day.We will post more information on this subject in the next couple of days.

Orthokeratology Society of Oceania 2009.

Why it is important to have your child's vision checked.


Many adults think they have perfect vision and do not know otherwise until they have their eyes examined.  They then discover how much they have been missing out on.  Children have an even more difficult time assessing their own vision.  They lack the benefit of experience and assume that everyone else sees things the same as they do.  If the black board seems a blur they think every one sees it that way. 

Good vision skills can provide a solid foundation for learning.  Research shows that up to 80% of learning information comes via vision.  Reading, spelling, writing, blackboard and computers are among the classroom tasks that require good vision skills.

Most children will have a vision “screening” by the school nurse when they are in grade one.  This check screens for major eye problems but does not replace a comprehensive eye test that may detect difficulty with changing focus, eye co-ordination, reading eye movements and visual information processing or perception skills.

Check list of signs that may indicate a vision problem:

  • An eye seems to turn in or out
  • Frequent blinking
  • Eyes water or sensitive to light
  • Tends to “squint” when trying to concentrate on task
  • Holds reading very close
  • Loses place when reading
  • Poor concentration>
  • Odd head posture
  • Tends to rub eyes>
  • Likes to sit close to TV
  • Headaches
  • Covers one eye when reading
  • Complains of double vision
  • Complains of blurry vision
  • Eyes often red or itchy

When should children have their eyes tested?

Infants can have their first check at 6 months of age.  This eye test is to look for any major eye or vision problem that could interfere with the normal development of the visual system.  A check at this early age is especially important if there is a family history of turned eye or lazy eye.

We next like to check the child during the year they turn 4.  At this age the child is usually starting kindergarten or preschool activities when they are beginning to rely more on their visual skills and hand-eye co-ordination.  Again we are very interested in screening for problems that may contribute to a lazy eye.

At the start of school is the next important milestone period at which to have a child’s eyes checked.  During grades 1 and 2 the child will be starting to learn to read.  Good visual information processing skills are important for this.  As the child progresses through school they need to use efficient reading as a tool for learning.  Eye teaming skills, reading eye movements and accurate focusing are important for sustained, comfortable reading.  We like to review children about every two years while they are at school to check the efficiency of these vision skills.

If a child has a learning difficulty a thorough eye examination is recommended to rule out the possibility of a contributing vision disorder.