More Ortho-k

I am not obsessed with ortho-k, i promise. But there is so little info on the web about it, and some of the info out there is just flat out old & wrong & needs to be corrected, so i keep blogging about it.

I am also not anti-lasik. i had lasik in March of 2008 & i'm very happy with it. i had a prescription (high astigmatism) that does not fall into the parameters of ortho-k.

Today (Christmas Day 2009 by the way...Merry Christmas!) i found this blog entry about ortho-k on an ophthalmologist's blog:


the poster briefly describes the procedure, states that he "doesn't believe" in myopia control, cites an old/debunked journal article that states ortho-k causes acanthamoeba infection, then exclaims that he "doesn't get it", meaning he doesn't understand why anyone would ever undergo ortho-k instead of lasik.

well i feel the need to comment, and i have my own blog with which to do here i go:

1) myopia control may or may not work, but there are multiple, multiple studies indicating that it probably or at the very least possibly does. one can certainly choose what to believe, but just b/c he chooses not to does not make him the definitive answer on the subject. i *do* believe that it works based on my own anecdotal experience with the procedure... and multiple studies agree with me.

2) another citing of the Chinese study that said 100+ children had acanthamoeba corneal infections. sigh. this again? that study has been repeatedly debunked by Western reviews & further studies. it was found that in that particular Chinese study, *tap water* (untreated Chinese tap water, mind you) was used for cleaning & storage of the lenses. well guess where the acanthamoeba came from? anyone who stores any lens in untreated Chinese tap water is at VERY HIGH RISK of acanthamoeba infection. this had exactly zero to do with ortho-k. i can definitively say that ortho-k most certainly does not in & of itself cause acanthamoeba corneal infection. NOT ONE American, Australian, or British ortho-k study has ever reported a single acanthamoeba case. Z-E-R-O.

3) he correctly points out that ortho-k is reversible. if you stop wearing the lenses at night, you go back to how you were (but not as myopic as you would have progressed to if you believe in myopia control!). so if it doesn't "last", why would anyone ever do it? well guess what? lasik sometimes "doesn't last" itself. its called "regression" & its actually quite common:


4) he "doesn't get it". why would anyone in their right mind choose ortho-k over lasik!!?? as if this is the most absurd thought anyone could ever have. i am not saying ortho-k is "better" than lasik, nor is ortho-k the be-all-&-end-all of vision correction. but i most certainly can give many compelling reasons why someone would be SO ABSURD as to choose ortho-k:

a) children can have ortho-k: if your child wants the benefits of not wearing glasses/contacts, this is their only option if they want to see. interesting that he implies that lasik is safer & ortho-k could be potentially dangerous...except the FDA has cleared ortho-k as being safe & approved for use in children and they have not done so for lasik, nor will they. so according to the FDA, ortho-k is safer.

b) cost: ortho-k runs about half the cost of lasik

c) reversibility: ortho-k is reversible. if something goes wrong you can always go back to how you were. not true in lasik

d) myopia control: if one was to believe the studies saying ortho-k can curb myopia progression (i do, he does not) then one might be compelled to have ortho-k

so the surgeon recommends surgery & kind of implies that anything else is inferior & dangerous. not surprising. well here's the opposing view from the non-surgeon: ortho-k is neither inferior to lasik nor is it dangerous. its just different. another vision correction option.


  1. Here we go again... I invite all your readers to view our ongoing discussion om my blog, The LASIK Blog by following your link.

    Actually when I wrote this post, what I didn't get was why someone would opt wearing contacts at nite insdtead of contacts during the day. Obviously, LASIK is not for everyone, and contact lenses are certainly a viable alternative! My issue was when to weat=r the lenses...

  2. b/c while you are sleeping is the most convenient time to wear contact lenses, for all of the reasons listed above: dryness, end-of-day discomfort, not falling out, etc etc etc

  3. I was surprised (and very disappointed) to find that there are no Drs doing Ortho-K here in Alaska. Just when I'd gotten myself to the point that I was going to take the next step...there isn't a step to take.


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