How Ortho-K Works

How Ortho-K Works

What is Ortho-K?

Orthokeratology is a treatment where a nearsighted, or myopic, patient places custom designed lenses in their eyes just before going to sleep. These special lenses gently mold the front surface of the cornea (the clear part of the eye that conventional contacts rest on) to correct the patient’s vision. The lenses are removed upon wakening, and contacts/glasses are then no longer needed during the daytime.

Is this surgery?

No. This is a gentle molding of the cornea.

Is Ortho-K reversible?

100% reversible upon discontinuation of the treatment

Is the treatment safe?

Absolutely, under the care of a certified and experienced Orthokeratologist. Dr. Neukirch is one of the few Chicagoland doctors that fit a large number of Ortho-K patients. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthokeratology and Myopia Control (AAOMC) and will only use materials and designs that are FDA approved. Dr. Neukirch is happy to speak with your doctor or pediatrician should they have any questions before you or your child starts this treatment.

Is this a new procedure?

Not entirely. Ortho-K has been around since the 1960’s. Ortho-K has historically been very popular in Asian countries, where myopia was much more prevalent. Recent advancements in computerized instrumentation and lens design has yielded dramatically improved results and thus its recent rise in popularity in the United States.

Can Ortho-K keep your eyes from getting worse?

Myopia typically progresses until a patient reaches 20 to 23 years of age. If Ortho-K is initiated before that time, peer-reviewed clinical research indicates that the treatment may slow this progression between 40-60% over the course of treatment; sources are cited at the end of this article.

Why am I only hearing about this now?

Multiple reasons: 1.) The first and only FDA approved treatment was Paragon CRT about a decade ago. 2.) Myopia has become much more prevalent in the United States within the past twenty years. 3.) The clinical research which confirms the link between Ortho-K and delayed progression of myopia has only been published in the last few years (sources cited below).

Ortho-K Topography

How many patients at Carillon have undergone Ortho-K?

Dr. Neukirch launched our Orthokeratology program in 2013. We are happy to report that we currently have over 200 children and teenagers in active treatment – more than any other practice in North Chicagoland.

Am I a candidate?

The best candidates for Ortho-K are myopic children and teenagers, whose eyes are still changing. However, adults can make great candidates in many circumstances, too. Unfortunately, certain prescriptions and corneal shapes may exclude patients from utilizing this treatment.

Okay, I am interested! What’s my next step?

Simply inquire at your next exam, call our office, or make an appointment with Dr. Neukirch online (Dr. DalPorto does not perform Ortho-K). Our doctors can review your chart to see if Ortho-K is a possibility for you or your children. Ortho-K consultations are completely free of charge if the patient has received a comprehensive eye exam at our office within the past year. Otherwise regular exam fees apply (again, the consultation part of the exam is complimentary). Please note, your child may be a better candidate for other forms of Myopia Management such as Atropine Therapy or the recently FDA-Approved MiSight Myopia Control Contact Lenses.

Where can I find more information?

In addition to the journal articles below, Paragon CRT has a great patient website at We also have pamphlets and informed consent agreements available at the Carillon front desk or via email. Please feel free to email Dr. Neukirch directly at with any questions.

Dr. Andrew Neukirch practices at Carillon Vision Care located in Glenview, Illinois.


Effect of Orthokeratology on myopia progression: twelve-year results of a retrospective cohort study. Yueh-Chang LeeJen-Hung Wang, and Cheng-Jen Chiu. ogy. 2017; 17: 243. December 2017.

Myopia control in children through refractive therapy gas permeable contact lenses: is it for real? Koffler BH, Sears JJ. American Journal of Ophthalmology. December 2013.

Myopia Control with Orthokeratology Contact Lenses in Spain: Refractive and Biometric Changes. Jacinto Santodomingo-Rubido, César Villa-Collar, Bernard Gilmartin and Ramón Gutiérrez-Ortega. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. July 2012.

Retardation of Myopia in Orthokeratology (ROMIO) Study: A 2-Year Randomized Clinical

Trial. Pauline Cho and Sin-Wan Cheung. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. October 2012.IDOC