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Corneal Reshaping Lens and Ortho-k: Your Path to Better Vision

Did you know that the cornea can be reshaped by a corneal reshaping lens much like the way braces straighten teeth?

Refractive errors responsible for eye conditions like myopia (near-sightedness) and astigmatism can be dealt with temporarily using eyeglasses and contact lenses. A patient can also get laser vision correction surgery if they want a permanent solution that offers freedom from glasses or contacts.

However, laser eye surgery may not be an option for everyone, especially children. Children may also struggle with eyeglasses and contacts because they must be worn continuously over a long time.

Therein lies a better solution – corneal reshaping lens. As you will lear from this blog, these types of contact lenses are only worn at night ( making them overnight contact lenses) but allow good clear daytime vision throughout the day. They also have a host of other benefits. Let’s start by defining these corneal reshaping lenses.


Definition: Corneal Reshaping Lens (Ortho-K Lens)

The cornea of people with refractive errors like myopia or astigmatism doesn’t refract light properly, resulting in blurred vision or double vision.

Corneal reshaping or Ortho-K lenses are contact lenses that work by reshaping the cornea – the transparent dome-shaped part of the eye that refracts light. The lenses reshape the cornea temporarily like the way dental braces work.

Ortho K lenses are used at night. They reshape the cornea as the wearer sleeps resulting in improved vision that is reversible as long as the lenses are worn as directed (1). Ortho-K contacts are specially designed gas-permeable contact lenses commonly used to reduce/eliminate near-sightedness (myopia).


Who Is Ortho-k for? Suitable Candidates for Corneal Reshaping Lens

As mentioned, the contacts are mainly used for correcting myopia for patients who may not find typical solutions (like eyeglasses and traditional contact lenses) or laser eye surgery (LASIK or PRK) to be ideal.

This makes Ortho-K highly recommendable for correcting children’s vision. Since refractive surgery is not recommended to children because their vision is continuously changing and eyeglasses and regular contacts need to be worn all the time, Ortho-K contact lenses are the next best alternative (2).


How Ortho-K Lenses Work

  • Ortho K lenses work by temporarily reshaping the cornea. This is possible since the cornea is composed of flexible tissue.
  • Every patient gets custom lenses that are designed to match their unique eye shape.
  • When your child wears the overnight lenses, they gently reshape their cornea slowing down the rate of myopia progression and allowing your child to be free of eyeglasses throughout the day.
  • Ortho-K lenses work on the mid-section of the cornea. They flatten this section changing how light is bent when entering the eyes.
  • The gas-permeable lenses are rigid enough to trigger re-shaping but still allow oxygen through, ensuring the eyes stay healthy.
  • What’s more, even after the lenses are removed, the cornea still stays flattened for a period of time, correcting the vision without a need for eyeglasses.
  • However, if your child stops wearing Ortho-K lenses at night for a while, their original corneal shape will resume and the refractive error (myopia) will return.
  • The importance of wearing the lenses as prescribed can’t, therefore, be overemphasized.


How are Ortho-K Lenses Made?: The Ortho-K Process 

To make Ortho-K lenses, a specialty contact lens exam is highly recommended to determine eligibility and overall ocular health. If eligible, the eye doctor will map and measure your child’s cornea using a special instrument i.e., a corneal topographer that creates a corneal map by reflecting light on the eye’s surface.

The corneal topography map shows a patient’s cornea shape and curves. The process is completely non-invasive, comfortable, and painless. The corneal topographer doesn’t touch a patient’s eyes.


Why Choose Orthokeratology? Top Benefits of Ortho-K Lenses 

Corneal reshaping lenses are particularly great for kids because:

  • Research shows that ortho-k lenses are approved and capable of slowing the progression of myopia in children (3). The lenses have been tested and proven by thousands of patients (as young as 6 years) who have worn them for over 15 years.
  • The lenses are sufficiently oxygenated making them safe and comfortable (4).
  • They are worn during the night. As a result, they don’t interfere with your child’s play and day-to-day life. The lenses allow kids to be kids without compromising their vision.
  • Children who wore ortho-K lenses have reported better performance in athletics and academics compared to their counterparts who wear glasses (5)


Ortho K Lenses Price

Costs generally range from $2,200 to $2,500 all-inclusive fees that include making custom Ortho-K lenses, lens fitting process, training, follow-up visits/follow-up exams and follow-up care. Factors that can increase the cost beyond the above price range include the degree of the underlying refractive error (astigmatism). A higher prescription (higher than -3.00DS) can also translate to higher costs. It’s also worth noting that lenses may attract costs for replacement after 1-1.5 years as your child’s eyes change.

To find out the exact cost of orthokeratology lenses in Toronto, call Fairlawn Eye Care: (416)-482-5352 or email:


Ortho K Lenses for Astigmatism 

While Ortho K lenses are popular for dealing with myopia among kids, they can also be used successfully for other refractive errors like mild astigmatism (6). However, there’s a need for more complex custom lenses and the price is bound to be higher (approximately $2,500 or higher).

Talk to experienced optometrists at Fairlawn Eye Care in North York to understand Ortho-K lens treatment for astigmatism.


Final Thoughts

Corneal reshaping lenses are a safe and great alternative approach to vision correction when compared to glasses and regular contact lenses for kids, given that they eliminate the need for kids to wear vision aids (glasses and contacts) all the time.

They also give kids the freedom to learn and explore without drawbacks linked to contact such as risk of infection or bacterial keratitis due to prolonged use or failure to follow strict hygiene protocols during the day. The lenses are also non-invasive but effective in correcting and maintaining good vision. 


Ortho K in North York: Advanced Vision Correction Method for Children

We suggest you start your child’s Ortho-K treatment journey with seasoned optometrists in North York like Fairlawn Eye Care who have been offering a wide range of vision care services for the entire family for over 30 years (since 1982).

Let your child be treated by experts in diagnosis, treatment, management, and prevention of all manner of eye diseases and conditions including myopia and astigmatism. Contact Fairlawn and make an informed decision.

Fairlawn Eye Care has invested in state-of-the-art corneal topography devices and diagnostics testing equipment that ensures your child gets comprehensive eye exams and highly custom Ortho-K lenses that are a better alternative to laser vision correction, eye glasses, and traditional daily wear contact lenses.



[1] American Academy of Ophthalmology:

[2] American Optometric Association:

[3] National Library of Medicine:

[4] National Library of Medicine:

[5] PubMed:

[6] National Library of Medicine: