The cornea plays a big part in a person’s clarity of vision. This clear covering of the eye is in charge of refracting rays of light as they enter the eye; depending on the shape of the cornea, a person may see poorly or clearly. For instance, a cornea that is shaped improperly may focus light in front of the retina, causing the person to be nearsighted. To help fix this problem, many people are turning to corneal modification procedures. According to the American Optometric Association, these procedures alter the curvature of the cornea so that incoming light is focused directly on the retina, thereby restoring clear vision. Although many treatments include surgery, people with moderate nearsightedness or low levels of astigmatism can also opt to try a more gradual, less invasive procedure called Orthokeratology (Ortho-K).
With this non-surgical procedure, patients wear special rigid contact lenses that reshape the curvature of the cornea over time. Once the desired results are achieved, the person must still periodically wear the contacts to maintain their cornea’s new shape (think of it as an orthodontic retainer for your eyes). Fortunately, there is no pain involved in this process, and many people have found success correcting their vision, allowing them to stop wearing contacts or glasses every day. Talk to an eye doctor on your vision care plan to find out if you could benefit from corneal modification. He or she will perform a comprehensive eye exam and let you know if you would be a good candidate for this procedure.