Ortho K

Have you ever wanted to go back in time to when you could see clearly all day without the help of contacts or glasses? Many of our patients believe that the only way to achieve a clear vision without corrective lenses is through some type of surgery.

However, these surgeries tend to be viewed by insurances as elective procedures and can be costly to pay out of pocket. Other patients simply don’t want to be subjected to a medical procedure. Fortunately, there is another option. Orthokeratology or Ortho-K is a revolutionary technique to give you a clear vision during the day without contacts or glasses.

How it Works

Ortho-K uses specially fitted lenses that you put in before you go to bed, and then remove in the morning when you wake up. These lenses are specifically designed to hold your eyes in the proper shape. When the lenses are removed, your eyes continue to hold that shape for the remainder of the day, so you can see clearly without glasses!

When it is Used

Many of our patients who have myopia (near-sightedness) can benefit from ortho-k. Many times, children are preferred candidates for ortho-k because their eyes continue to develop and change shape into their 20’s. Ortho-K can help hold the eyes in shape and reduce the need for additional prescriptions as they age. Additionally, many of the corrective eye surgeries cannot be performed on children, so ortho-k can be their best option.

What to Expect

When you walk in the door for your appointment, you can expect our friendly staff to welcome you and make sure that you are comfortable. If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to ask them at any time. Once you are taken to your appointment with our talented doctors, they will conduct a series of tests.

The most critical test that is performed for ortho-k lenses uses a special machine called a corneal topographer. This instrument doesn’t touch the eye and doesn’t cause any pain. The machine takes specific measurements of your eye, allowing our staff to see the shapes and curves of your cornea. Once this is complete, we will make lenses that are specifically designed for your eyes.

Ortho-K works by flattening the center of the cornea. In myopia, the cornea is too cone-shaped, and light enters the eye at a different angle causing images to be distorted. Flattening the cornea allows for images to be clear and sharp.

Your lenses are rigid, gas-permeable contacts that are placed in the eye just before you sleep. The lenses place gentle pressure on the cornea to flatten it out. The cornea will then retain its shape throughout the day, even without the lenses in place. However, if you stop wearing the lenses, your cornea will resume its original shape, and the distortions in your vision will also return.

Once you begin wearing your new lenses, your eye will slowly begin to change shape, and every day you should notice improvements. Around two weeks after starting with your lenses, your vision will be about as good as it can be. Most patients have 20/40 vision or better at this point. Initially, you will receive three different pairs of lenses. Each is designed to get your eye shape a little bit closer to perfect. When this fit is achieved, you will wear a retainer pair of lenses. These lenses are designed to simply hold your eye in that shape.


If you have been considering options to correct your nearsightedness, call StylEyes in West Des Moines, IA today (515) 225-6447. We specialize in many different treatment options, and our staff can help you decide if Ortho-K is right for you!