Ortho-K Lenses: 15 Frequently Asked Questions

Can you imagine waking up every morning to clear vision without reaching for your glasses? Well it’s a very real possibility, with orthokeratolgy, a revolutionary approach to vision correction through corneal reshaping.

If you’ve never heard of Ortho-K lenses or if you are new to these contact lenses, it’s natural to have a lot of questions about their use, safety and efficacy.

My name is Dr Jotinder Khosla, one of the optometrists on the team of Optometrist Parramatta. Our practice has extensive experience in helping patients and their families who want to try a new approach to clearer vision. To help you understand the opportunities now available with orthokeratology, I’ve put together the following list of 15 frequently asked questions that we often get from patients.

If you still have concerns or are unsure if Ortho-K is right for you, the best thing to do is book an appointment with myself or my fellow optometrist (and owner) Dr Nick Papadopoulos. Orthokeratology presents a lot of advantages over traditional vision control methods, and it is especially popular as a strategy for myopia control in children.

Keep reading to learn more about the potential of these innovative contact lenses.

Frequently asked questions about orthokeratology

Ortho-K Lenses: Q&A

1. What is Ortho-K?

Ortho-K, short for Orthokeratology, involves wearing specially designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea, the front surface of the eye. This reshaping effect corrects refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), allowing for clear vision during the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-K lenses work by gently flattening the cornea, altering the way light enters the eye to ensure it focuses correctly on the retina, thereby improving vision.

2. What are the potential risks and complications with Ortho-K use?

While Ortho-K lenses offer significant benefits, including the correction of myopia and potentially slowing its progression, they also come with potential risks and complications. These include: irritation, corneal staining, lens binding, redness, dryness, blurred vision and low risk of corneal infection, or scarring.

3. What ages are suitable for Ortho-K?

Ortho-K lenses are suitable for individuals of various ages, starting from as young as 6 years old. This wide age range includes children, teenagers, and adults who are looking for a non-surgical solution to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and, in some cases, other refractive errors. For younger patients, especially those experiencing rapid progression of myopia, Ortho-K can be an effective method to slow down the advancement of their condition. It’s particularly beneficial for children and adolescents in this age group as it offers a reversible, non-invasive alternative to eyeglasses or traditional contact lenses during their developmental years.

4. How effective is Ortho-K in myopia control?

Ortho-K is very effective in slowing the progression of myopia. Young children show the best success rate for slowing myopia. Generally, the treatment slows progression by 50% *

5. Can Ortho-K correct hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia?

Although Ortho-k is most commonly prescribed to correct myopia (short-sightedness), it can also be used to correct hyperopia (long-sightedness), astigmatism and presbyopia (blurred near vision that commences when we reach our 40s **

6. Can individuals with dry eyes benefit from Ortho-K?

Yes. If your contact lenses dry out during the day or irritate your eyes, Ortho-K may be an alternative. Many patients who have dry eye from contact lenses, do not experience symptoms when the lenses are removed. Equally the presence of lenses in the eyes overnight, in some cases may be protective against some forms of dry eye.

7. How quickly does Ortho-K work?

On average, it can take about 10-14 days but depending on the complexity of the prescription and shape of the cornea, it can take about 4-6 weeks to get the desired result and visual correction.

8. How long do the effects of Ortho-K last?

After the Ortho-K lenses are removed each morning, improved vision is generally noticed for 24-72 hours.  Some patients are required to wear the lenses every night while others may be able to skip a night.  This will be judged by your eye doctor.

9. What if I forget to wear the lenses for a night or need to travel?

Most people still have good functional vision the next day if they skipped a night of lens wear.    

10. Are Ortho-K lenses comfortable to wear?

As the lenses are mostly used when sleeping, the adaptation process is very short, and most patients are unaware of the lenses within 10 minutes of wear.

11. Can I see clearly while wearing Ortho-K lenses?

Yes!  Although not generally recommended to wear the Ortho-K lenses while awake, if you do wake up in the middle of the night, the vision will be clear.

12. Why might Ortho-K not work for some patients?

Individuals with irregular corneal astigmatism and corneal disorders like keratoconus will not benefit from Ortho-K lenses

13. How do I look after my Ortho-K lenses, and how often should they be replaced?

The contact lenses must be cleaned and disinfected daily with a hydrogen peroxide cleaner.  Typically, we suggest yearly Ortho-K lens replacement for our patients. Over time, minuscule scratches and microbes can collect on the lenses. These reduce the effectiveness of the treatment as time passes.

14. Is Ortho-K a permanent solution for vision correction?

While using the Ortho-K lenses, the vision correction stabilizes.  However, upon cessation of the lenses, the eyes will return to the pre-treatment prescription.

15. Why don’t all optometrists fit Ortho-K lenses?

Optometrists who provide myopia management and prescribe Ortho-k lenses have undergone specific extensive post-graduate training. During your Ortho-k lens fitting, your optometrist will measure and map out the surface of your cornea using a special device that allows accurate fit of the Ortho-k lenses to the shape of the eye. If you are interested in Ortho-k, it is a good idea to check that your eye doctor has experience in Ortho-k and myopia management before scheduling an appointment.



Orthokeratology is growing in popularity as an eye care option. Many more optometrists are recommending Ortho-K lenses to patients. The approach has been in use for many years now, and the benefits and risks are well known. If you are interested in finding out if you or a family member make a good candidate for Ortho-K, we’d like you to book an appointment with our optometry team to discuss things.

Don’t let indecision hold you back from enjoying clear vision, without the restrictions of glasses or daytime contact lense wear!

To make an appointment, give us a call at 02 9891 2020 or click the “Book Online” button on our website.

Dr Jotinder Khosla – Optometrist

B.Optom (UNSW), CertOcTher (UNSW) Therapeutically Endorsed Optometrist

Member of the Orthokeratology Society of Oceania



* Mykidsvision.org

** Vincent SJ, Cho P, Chan KY, Fadel D, Ghorbani-Mojarrad N, González-Méijome JM, Johnson L, Kang P, Michaud L, Simard P, Jones L. CLEAR – Orthokeratology. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2021 Apr;44(2):240-269.