Orthokeratology can work just as well for hyperopic patients as it does for myopic patients! People love being able to do away with their reading glasses, or not having to worry about the day-time dryness during soft contact lens wear that can affect older patients.
Hyperopia — also known as longsightedness or hypermetropia — refers to poor near vision but clear distance vision. This often occurs in patients over the age of 40 and involves the shortening of the eyeball in relation to the power of the eye’s lenses. The light rays then focus at a point behind the retina, rather than directly on its surface.
Hyperopia is not as clearly associated with the onset of ocular disease, but if not corrected those with the condition often find they suffer from headaches, eye strain, and fatigue. Hyperopic ortho-K has generated far less interest from researchers, contact lens manufacturers and optometrists as myopic ortho-K. The first hyperopic ortho-K lenses involved steep-fitting rigid contact lenses to induce central corneal steepening, and was first described by Jessen in 1962. In more recent times, the use of high oxygen-permeable materials and newer designs have sparked a new interest in hyperopic ortho-K.
While spectacles are an equally viable treatment for correcting hyperopia, many patients find them cumbersome or, particularly in those with higher degrees of longsightedness, unflattering. Soft disposable or RGP contact lenses worn throughout the day are also a popular option. Patients who make use of the ortho-K program find that not being required to wear lenses during the day is preferable to both daily spectacle or daily contact lens wear.
Today at Innovative Eye Care we fit just as many patients into hyperopic ortho-K lenses as myopic. For more information about contact lens options for hyperopes click here.
CAPTION: A well-fitting hyperopic ortho-K lens
CAPTION: A before and after topography on someone using hyperopic ortho-K lenses. The centre of the cornea has become signifcantly more curved (red) to correct this person's refractive error.