Why Have Ortho-K Done?

The main purpose for going through the Ortho-K procedure is to have freedom during the day from glasses or contact lenses. This could be especially helpful for those involved in sports or those who work in dusty or dirty environments. Of course, it is always desirable for those who find the use of glasses or contact lenses cumbersome and inconvenient. Additionally, because it is non-surgical, the risk of surgery -- such as with Lasik -- are eliminated and because it is temporary, it is completely reversible.

Parents may be interested in Ortho-K for their child or teenager with early myopia. Not only does it have all of the advantages listed above, but the procedure appears to slow the progression of myopia in many patients.

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Is Everyone A Candidate For Ortho-K?

No, not everyone can benefit 100% from this procedure. Ortho-K works best up to a maximum of 4.00 diopters of myopia. In addition, other factors such as the complexity of the corneal shape can reduce a patient’s suitability for this procedure. For this reason, any patient interested in Ortho-K needs to go through a comprehensive examination and evaluation with a certified optometrist to determine eligibility.

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What Does The Process Involve?

Initially, a patient will come into our office for a comprehensive examination and Ortho-K evaluation. If the doctor determines the patient is a candidate, the lenses will be ordered. The patient will return approximately 1 – 2 weeks later for a lesson on how to insert and remove the lenses, and instructions for wear and care. The patient will take the lenses home, insert them that evening before retiring to bed, and must return the following morning to be seen by the doctor – this is an important step, as the doctor needs to be certain that the patient reacts favorably to the prescribed lenses. A series of appointments will follow throughout the next few months to ensure that the patient’s eyes remain healthy, and that daily vision without the contacts is desirable. The doctor will also want to make sure the patient is taking good care of the contact lenses and wearing them properly, since improper wear and care can adversely affect the health of the eyes.

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Are There Advantages Over Lasik Surgery?


  • Ortho-K can be done on older children and teens, Lasik should not.
  • It does not cause the permanent hazy vision experienced by some patients following laser surgery
  • With Ortho-K, changes in prescription over time, can be dealt with without further surgery
  • Ortho-K is reversible. Lasik is not.
  • There is no post-operative pain or recovery period.
  • Ortho-K is significantly cheaper and will not involve surgery in the future.

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What Happens If I Am Not Successful?

Certainly, the degree of success with the Ortho-K procedure is high, but it is not guaranteed. For that reason, we have a partial refund policy based on various conditions and circumstances. These specifics can be discussed with the doctor before proceeding with the procedure.

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Please note that overnight Ortho-K therapy is not the same as Vision Therapy – an in-office program of therapy designed for vision problems that interfere with reading, learning and sports performance -- also provided at the Cantwell Vision Therapy Centers.

If you would like to know more about Vision Therapy or Developmental Optometry which is the treatment of vision problems impacting the learning process, please click here.

Cantwell Vision Therapy Centers
Dennis R. Cantwell, O.D., F.C.O.V.D.

7002 B Little River Turnpike
Annandale, VA  22003
Tel: (703) 941-3937 • Fax: (703) 354-3226
44031 Pipeline Plaza #225
Ashburn, VA  20147
Tel: (703) 729-3545 • Fax: (703) 723-4648
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