Ortho K is Good for Athletes
In most sports precision and timing are critical in achieving top performance, Visual acuity is a critical requirement for playing and enjoying sports at all levels and for those athletes experiencing Myopia or nearsightedness, this can create a distinct competitive disadvantage.
Wearing regular contact lenses or glasses is not always possible and in a lot of cases they create distortions or distractions. Dr. Rachael Sweeney, Dr. Jonathan Chen and Dr. Lay Nim from Vision Source Insight Eyecare in Sandy Springs, GA have helped many athletes achieve peak performance with a treatment known as Ortho-K.
Myopia & Orthokeratology or Ortho-K
Often referred to as nearsightedness, Myopia is a refractive error in the eye. The error occurs when light is no longer bent or refracted correctly by the eye and as a result, images become blurry when at a distance. Close-up focusing remains fine.
Orthokeratology is becoming an increasingly popular way to treat myopia, especially for budding athletes. Ortho K uses a series of gas permeable contact lenses to slowly reshape and gently flatten the cornea and reduce myopia while the athlete sleeps. The lenses are worn only at night and the eye will retain this new shape for 20 hours. Vision improvement is temporary. After you stop using the lenses, your cornea goes back to its original shape, and myopia returns.
Ortho-K is Good for Athletes
The Ortho K optometrists at Vision Source Insight Eyecare have witnessed many athletes who have undergone ortho-k treatment and achieved remarkable results. Ortho-K can:
- Improve Vision and Boost Confidence
- Alleviate the need for Laser Vision Correction such as LASIK or PRK
- Free Athletes from cumbersome, bothersome, and distracting eyewear
- Reduce longer-term vision problems should Myopia continue to develop.
- Reduce or eliminate the need for Contact Lenses that can slide, slip, or fall out.
- Prove the best solution for sports requiring protective goggles or eyewear.
- Prove the best solution for sports that involve physical contact.
Athletes who participate in the following sports should consider Orth-K:
- Surfing, swimming, or Water sports
- Baseball or Softball
- Mountain Biking or Cycling
- Martial arts
- Motorcycle racing
- Skiing or Snowboarding
- Rock Climbing
Ortho-K vs Regular Contact Lenses
Regular contact lenses can work well for certain sports and are able to enhance vision acuity to enable peak performance. They can, however, dry out or wash out with the addition of heat or sweat and thereby create foggy, blurry or fluctuating vision. Sand, dust, or dirt can create soreness or abrasion and water splashes can cause the lens to move out of place.
Orthokeratology avoids most contact lens related problems as they are worn overnight in the comfort of your own home. Maintenance is far easier than conventional contact lenses, which drastically reduces the risk of contact lens overuse, eye irritation, or eye infection. Orthokeratology provides an ideal solution for all these issues.
Ortho-K vs LASIK Surgery
For younger athletes, LASIK is not a recommended treatment. Even though the vision improvements achieved by LASIK and Ortho-K are comparable, the FDA has approved LASIK eye surgery for those 18 years and older. Most eye doctors will recommend that patients wait until their prescriptions have stabilized and this occurs generally after the age of 20.
Ortho-K for Athletes Summary:
Orthokeratology was approved by the FDA in 2002. The popularity of the treatment is growing dramatically with the onset and increase in Myopia in this country’s youth and growing even faster in the athletic and sporting communities. Dr. Sweeney, Dr. Chen and Dr. Nim at Vision Source Insight Eyecare treat Ortho-K patients in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody Buckhead and Atlanta.