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What is Ortho K?

Orthokeratology is also known as Ortho K. Ortho K contact lenses are worn overnight and removed upon waking, enabling clear vision during the day without the need for spectacles or contact lenses. Adaptation to the lens-on-eye feeling can take 1-2 weeks but shouldn’t affect sleep. There are significant benefits for water sports and active lifestyles, and since the contact lenses are only worn at home there is low risk of them being lost or broken during wear. Our specialised Ortho K lenses are custom made for every individual patient and take into account unique eye shapes, features and prescriptions. Initial wear of these lenses may take some time to adjust but comfort and vision improves within a few days. In some cases your current glasses or contact lenses are only still needed for the first few days of treatment.

How it works

The lenses work by gently reshaping the front structure of the eye, the cornea. This is temporary and reversible upon discontinuation of use.

Ortho K How it works 2

Hygiene and Safety

Orthokeratology is a safe, reversible and effective vision correction solution. However, incorrect care of contact lenses and solutions can increase the risk for eye infections and corneal ulcers. Risk factors for acquiring an eye infection include improper lens cleaning, improper disinfection, poor hygiene practices and smoking. Following your practitioner’s hygiene regime, along with regular reviews, will minimise this risk.

Wearing contact lenses increases the risk of eye infection compared to wearing spectacles, with the risks being 1 per 1,000 wearers per year for overnight orthokeratology lenses.

Always thoroughly wash your hands with an antibacterial based hand wash and dry them with a clean lint-free towel before handling, removing or inserting your lenses. Make sure to clean all parts of your hands including between the fingers and dry thoroughly. Avoid contact with creams, lotions and oily cosmetics prior to handling your lenses.

To avoid damaging your lenses, handle them with your fingertips, and be careful to avoid contact with your fingernails. Do not use tweezers.

Regularly inspect your lenses for scratches, chips or cracks. Do not wear chipped or cracked lenses as these may cause discomfort and pain. These can provide surfaces for protein and bacteria to grow on that can be difficult to remove. If you are unsure whether your lenses are damaged, ask your optometrist to inspect them.

Your lenses should never come in contact with water. Water contains microorganisms that can cause sight threatening infections.

Do not wear your lenses if you are unwell or if your eyes are uncomfortable, sore or unusually red. Do not be concerned at missing one or two nights of treatment – persisting when you have a sore or irritated eye is dangerous.

If you experience any adverse effects such as pain, light sensitivity, burning, stinging, discharge or persistent redness that does not resolve after lens removal contact your optometrist immediately.

Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

Appointment Schedule and expected outcomes

Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare
  • Delivery appointment: Fitting of lenses and teaching of insertion and removal. Lenses may be taken home after this appointment.
  • 1 day review: Scheduled for the morning after the first night wearing Ortho K lenses. Some vision improvement is expected.
  • 1 week review: Scheduled for in the morning. Almost full vision correction expected.
  • 1 month review: Afternoon appointment preferred. Full vision correction expected.

The warranty for lens adjustments is within the first 4 months, please re-attend if any concerns arise between 1-4 months

General Guidelines

  • Bring your Ortho-K lenses to every appointment.
  • Your lenses are coloured to correspond to each eye, the left eye is always tinted blue.
  • Use non-preserved lubricant drops when you have Ortho K lenses in or when you’re inserting/removing them. Brand recommendations of non-preserved drops are Hylo-Fresh and Hylo-Forte.
  • Clean and disinfect the Ortho-K lenses each morning as directed, do not use tap water to soak, rinse or moisten your lenses.
  • We recommend a spare pair of lenses to ensure treatment is not compromised if disrupted by discontinued wear due to a lost or damaged lens.
  • Additionally, keep a pair of up to date spectacles in case you’re unable to wear the lenses for an extended period of time.
  • Aim to wear the lens for 6-8 hours whilst sleeping for optimal visual outcome. However, do not wear your Ortho K contact lenses during daytime hours, or for extended periods of reading before bed.
Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare


Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

Remove your Ortho-K lenses from the cleaning solution case and rinse with Menicare Plus. If you are using a hydrogen peroxide solution, you can only remove the lenses after a minimum soaking time of six hours.

To insert:

  • Place the lens on your index finger or plunger tool
  • Place 2-3 drops of lubricating eye drops (Hylo-Fresh or Hylo-Forte) into the back of the lens.
  • Lean forward over a mirror flat on table in front of you, pull lower eyelid with one hand (usually same hand as the one holding the lens) and with other hand pull back top eyelid.
  • Insert directly into the centre (coloured part) of your eye, gently release lids and close eye.
  • Check the lens is correctly positioned and causes no pain.

To save confusion, it’s a good idea to insert the right lens first.

Quick Cleaning

Use Menicare Plus (White Lid) if you need to clean the lenses due to having dropped them. If you are coming in for an appointment, clean and store for short periods with this solution in the associated (pictured ) lens case.

To clean with Menicare Plus:

  • Whilst holding the lens in the tips of your fingers, apply a few drops of Menicare Plus to the lens and rub gently for 30 seconds.
  • Alternate each thumb to rub back and forth whilst turning the lens clockwise ensuring the inside of the lens is thoroughly massaged with medium pressure.
  • Rinse the lens with Menicare Plus solution for 5-10 seconds.
If there is some residual Menicare Plus solution on the lens it is still safe to put the lens in the eye.
Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare


Regardless of removal method the first two steps are the same:

  • Check the lens is positioned on the cornea, over the coloured part of the eye.
  • Apply lubricating drop to the eye and have a few blinks, ensuring the lens is moving with each blink.
Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

Method 1 – Suction/Plunger tool

  • Using your middle fingers, open the eyelids wider than the lens diameter.
  • With the suction tool between your index finger and thumb, align the suction cup so it is positioned in front of and parallel to the lens.
  • When the suction cup touches the lens, apply gentle pressure to adhere the lens to the cup and remove the lens from your eye.
  • After removal from the eye, carefully squeeze the tool and slide the lens sideways from the suction cup to remove it.

Method 2 – Manual Removal

  • Using your middle fingers, open the eyelids wider than the lens diameter
  • Apply pressure to the eyelid margins, pushing in together to move your lids under the edge of the lens and lever it out of the eye.
  • Sometimes holding the lower eyelid firm and pushing with the upper eyelid helps to catch the lens edge before popping it out.
Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

Dislodged Lens

Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

On rare occasions, a lens may become dislodged from the centre of the eye and move to the side. This may be uncomfortable but won’t do any harm.

To troubleshoot a dislodged lens:

  • Look in a mirror to establish where the lens has moved to.
  • Move your eyes in a direction away from where the lens is located. For example, if the lens is on the white of your eye nearest to your nose, look towards your ear.
  • Gently nudge the lens back to the centre of your eye using your eyelids. Avoid directly pushing the lens with your fingers as this can damage the surface of your eye.
  • Alternatively, remove the lens using your suction tool and reinsert correctly.

Daily Cleaning

Daily cleaning can be done with a AO Sept or Platinum Peroxide (Red Lid) cleaning systems. These consist of a hydrogen peroxide solution, the cleaning agent, and a specialised contact lens case with an inbuilt neutralising component. After 6 hours the liquid is converted (neutralised) into saline, it is then safe to insert the lenses into the eyes.

To clean with AO Sept or Platinum Peroxide:

  • Place the lenses into their associated cage and fill the solution up to the line in the case.
  • Close the lid tightly, the solution will start to fizz.
  • Leave for 6 hours (at least) in the container to allow time for the neutralising agent to work.

WARNING: If the lenses are not left in the case for 6 hours the reaction will not have occurred and the lenses will not be safe to put in the eye. Hydrogen peroxide solutions should never be put into or around eyes and must not be used to rinse contact lenses.

Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

Intensive Cleaning

Ortho K Care Guide - Canterbury Eyecare

To clean and maintain the wettability of your lenses use intensive cleaner, such as Menicon Progent, as recommended by your optometrist, usually monthly.

To use Menicare Progent:

  • Place the lenses into the contact lens case holders.
  • Open vial A and B by twisting the cap and pour the contents into the contact lens case.
  • Replace the lid and tighten.
  • Leave the lenses in the solution for 30 minutes, then remove and rinse thoroughly with Menicare Plus.
  • Lenses can now be worn or put in daily cleaner.

Changing Cases

The lens case is the most common source of contamination. When your case is empty it should be vigorously rubbed dry with a clean tissue and air dried to discourage bacterial growth. Cases should be changed regularly at least every time your hydrogen peroxide solution runs out (approx every 3 months).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Ortho k program or contact lenses please call Canterbury Eyecare during business hours on (03) 9888 6377. In case of emergency after hours please call the Royal Victorian Eye & Ear Hospital on (03) 9929 8666.

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