Written by The J Babies
To be frank, I’ve never heard of Ortho-K lenses until it was introduced to me. You would think that as a mum to a little girl who suffered from serious myopia since the age of four should know better, right? Thankfully, I do now. In fact, it is not exaggerated to say that Ortho-K lenses have given Joey a new lease of life and a new vision everyday, literally.
The Beginning of Joey’s Myopia
Joey was diagnosed with myopia at the age of four, and it was a very serious case from the get-go. Her myopia was 300 in her right eye and 600 on her left. Naturally, we were all in a state of shock! None of us could imagine how she went about everyday with such poor eyesight! She was too young to know anything of course, so it was only when her teacher noticed her screening her eyes in class that she told us to get her eyes checked. We went for countless appointments at the National Eye Centre and many different types of eye drops were used on Joey. In the end, all the doctors could advise us was to do regular eye exercises with her to strengthen her eye muscles and limit reading or TV watching time to prevent the myopia from deteriorating. Both the husband and I have shortsightedness since young, and the husband’s myopia is as serious as 800-900 degrees on each eye. The doctors told us to expect Joey to reach that kind of shortsightedness as well due to her genes, but we should try our very best to slow down that progression because she was still so young. That started Joey’s spectacle-wearing journey.
What Are Oktho-K Lenses?
In January this year, we were introduced to Brian from AeroV and he specializes in customized Oktho-K lenses. Brian explained the benefits of Oktho-K lenses to us and it sounded like something Joey would really benefit from!
What exactly are Oktho-K lenses and what do they do, you may ask? Simply put, Ortho-K lenses are specialty hard contact lenses that are worn to sleep to reshape the eye overnight, resulting in clear vision without spectacles or contact lenses on waking. That means that even though Joey’s myopia was as high as 700 degrees (at the point when she started on Oktho-K), she would wake up to perfect eyesight after consistently wearing them for two weeks. Sounded too good to be true, but it happened! Of course, this is not a permanent healing – The myopia slowly returns after about 10-12 hours and that’s when you need to wear the Oktho-K lenses again (at night!). That is to say, if you stop wearing the Oktho-K lenses for about 2 days, the full myopia returns. The Oktho-K lenses have to be replaced every two years.
In fact, Brian tells us that there are standard and mass-produced Ortho-K lenses available on the market, but because every one’s cornea are shaped differently, a person may have to try on many different pairs of standard lenses before they find a pair with a good fit. Customized Oktho-K lenses, on the other hand, are customized according to the shape and fit of your eyes and would definitely fit perfectly and comfortable for wearing, resulting in much better results. That is the reason why he only sells customized Ortho-K lenses.
Joey’s Oktho-K Journey
And so, Joey’s Oktho-K journey began. We went for numerous consultations with Brian and many reviews after Joey started wearing the lenses at night. To be frank, it was not easy for a little girl who has had no prior experience with contact lenses to get used to this nightly routine. At the beginning, I had to help her with the wearing and removing of lenses everyday, but as the days went by, she gradually learnt how to clean her lenses meticulously, put them on and remove them easily. After 3 months, she’s an expert at it!
While it may feel tedious having to go for numerous check-ups and consultations, it was all for the good really. Brian must be the most patient optometrist I’ve ever met. It is not the easiest to coax and explain to kids about lenses, especially when they may be whining and asking why they must wear them. But Brian never once lost his cool. In fact, he was always smiling and joking with the kids to make them feel comfortable. I’m convinced that it’s so very important to find a good and reliable optometrist – It makes life so much easier. =P
Joey was also given a Travel Box to keep all the necessary solutions and cases for her Ortho-K lenses, with many cute stickers thrown in for her to customize her box. That made her day totally! It removed her fear and apprehension, and gave her motivation for wearing the lenses every night. Smart move by Brian, I must say! A little extra cost for him, perhaps, but he won the kids over.
This is everything Joey needs on her Oktho-K journey – Saline for cleaning, Oxysept for storing the lenses and lubricating solution for wetting the lenses before putting them on. Brian also included a LED mirror and a white cloth that makes the wearing and removing of lenses easier. He emphasized on the importance of hygiene and gave us tips on how to set up the ‘station’ at home so that the entire process is seamless and hassle-free. The travel box will also be useful when we go travelling overseas – Everything is in one box!
Joey was also given two pairs of new spectacles to tide her over during the initial period when she started on Oktho-K lenses. The effect was the most obvious after just one night of wearing the lenses. Her myopia power decreased significantly by half! I was really amazed. It continued to improve until her vision became perfect at 6/6 in both eyes after wearing the lenses for about 2-3 weeks. The two pairs of spectacles are at half and quarter power of her original myopia to tide her over during this period of correction.
For a mum who witnessed her daughter experience serious myopia at the young age of four, wearing spectacles and grumbling about how they fogged up and even losing them while swimming on several occasions and now seeing my daughter without spectacles and having perfectly clear vision, is pretty amazing. Joey used to be a little resistant to this idea, but now she cannot be happier. Her life has changed so much all thanks to Oktho-K lenses – She goes to school without having to wear spectacles and she does not need to worry about breaking or losing her spectacles. She can wear hairbands and earrings without worrying that she looks too accessorized. She goes swimming, wears normal googles and sees perfectly underwater. She doesn’t struggle with myopia anymore!
Are There Risks of Eye Infection?
That was the first question I asked! Which mummy would expose her kids to such dangers, if any, right? As with all lenses, Oktho-K lenses are not 100% risk-free of course. However, you can rest assured because Oktho-K lenses received United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2002. When the lenses are fitted well, used and care for according to instructions, the risk of eye infection is low.
Why Customized Oktho-K Lenses?
With many vision-correction options available in the market, you may be asking “Why Oktho-K”? It’s a legit question that even I asked myself at the beginning. Here are some reasons why people chose Oktho-K lenses and perhaps one of the scenarios is familiar to you too:
1. You Are Not Suitable for LASIK procedures
Some people have corneas that are too thin for LASIK (LASIK is basically a procedure where cornea tissues are removed to correct the myopia, and those born with thin corneas cannot go through this procedure), or perhaps they had gone through their first LASIK but their power regressed and they cannot do a second LASIK due to thin cornea or other issues. Some people have prescription that are too high for LASIK as well. Those with existing dry-eye conditions also do not have the option to do LASIK as the procedure will worsen the condition.
2. You Have An Active Lifestyle
People with a very active and outdoor lifestyle will benefit from Oktho-K lenses because they basically have perfect vision during the day, and no other lenses or spectacles to obstruct them while doing sports, etc. Soft lenses can be dangerous or too dry while doing water sports. For kids, this is one reason why they should wear Oktho-K lenses as well. The husband and I both lost count of the number of pairs of spectacles we broke while growing up. It’s worse when we get hit by flying balls while playing sports – Bruises and cuts on our nose bridges were common. Thankfully, Oktho-K lenses would prevent Joey from having to go through that!
3. You Want To Control Myopia Progression
This must be the most enticing reason for parents to let their kids go on Oktho-K lenses. Typically, a kid will experience a progression of myopia by 1.00D (100degrees) per year. Wearing Oktho-K lenses will control that! This was especially applicable to Joey because she is currently at 700 degrees and she has every potential to reach 900 degrees very soon if we do not do something about it! (Because genes play a part and Daddy has 900 degrees myopia in one eye!).
4. You Have Serious Astigmatism
Soft lenses can correct astigmatism to only –2.75DC (275 degrees) while fully customized Ortho-K lenses can correct up to 6.00D (600degrees). There is hope for you if your astigmatism has gone so high!
Wait No More!
Now, if you are thinking of knowing more about fully customized Oktho-K lenses or any kind of eye aids, I strongly recommend booking your appointment with Brian at Aero V, not because this is a sponsored review but because both Joey and I really, really, really like him! He’s the best optometrist we have ever met, honestly. Meticulous, friendly, professional, always contactable and very funny! He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or +6598581308 or find out more on his website: http://aerov.com.sg/ Free trials are available too. Let him know Klessis recommended you! Haha. 🙂
Onward for a brighter vision!
Don’t forget to check out our Crizal Prevencia Lenses as well!
Disclosure: The J Babies was sponsored a pair of fully customized Oktho-K lenses for Joey for review purposes. All photographs and opinions expressed in this post are based on personal experiences and the experience may differ from person to person. No other financial compensation was received. Prices of product depend on prescription.