Ortho-K vs Lasik: Their pros and cons

Ortho-K vs Lasik: Their pros and cons (Contributed photo)
Ortho-K vs Lasik: Their pros and cons (Contributed photo)

A lot of people who have refractive errors and do not want to wear eyeglasses turn to invasive surgeries thinking these will correct their eye problems.

To give you insights on these two available methods for correcting refractive errors without using eyeglasses, Orthokeratology and LASIK, here are their advantages and disadvantages:

Ortho-K Pros:

  • Non-invasive - This eye-correction method only uses gas permeable that reshape cornea. This method reduces refractive errors such as myopia, astigmatism.

  • No side effect recorded - Because it's non-invasive, it usually follows that side effects are very minimal or even none at all.

  • Effect felt immediately - The newest technology in Ortho-K provides that the patient can immediately feel the positive result after an overnight's use. However, some may experience the result after a month, which is not very common.

  • Comfortable to use - Because Ortho-k only utilizes a custom-made corneal mold (a medical device that looks like a contact lens) that is worn while sleeping, the patient can hardly feel it.

  • Procedure is easy - Just wear the special lens overnight and viola!

  • Adjustable/ modifiable - Since it is made of highly specialized medical device, the eye doctor can adjust its measurement to fit the wearer's eye corrective needs. It is also modifiable to address the changes in our eyes as we age so we can enjoy the best vision in every stage of our life.

  • Retains original thickness of cornea - Since Ortho-K is no invasive, it will not make the cornea thin, thus maintaining its health and proper function for our eyes.

  • Best for athletes and those with active lifestyle/outdoor lifestyle - And since Ortho-K our cornea's thickness, it does not irritate the eyes easily or does not cause dry eyes even when these are exposed to extreme conditions, like too much heat, very low humidity, and dirty or sandy environments, thus unlimiting your physical activities.

  • Child- and senior citizen-friendly - Because Ortho-K does not involve invasive surgery, it is best suited for children as young as years old and senior citizens, the group of patients who are mostly discouraged to undergo invasive surgeries because of the risks and side effects that come with it.

  • Specially suited for children suffering myopia - Children who are diagnosed with juvenile or childhood myopia are highly encouraged to use Ortho-K to stop or control myopia and to prevent degenerative eye diseases when they reach adulthood.

  • Stops or slows down eye grade increase/prevents recurring eye problem - tends to minimize the eye problem recurrence controls eye grade progression.

  • Better option for patients not good candidate for eye surgery - There are patients who are not advised to undergo eye surgeries and Ortho-K provides them a better option if they don't want to wear eyeglasses.

  • Highly-recommended by most eye doctors - Most if not all non-invasive surgeries are highly recommended by experts because side effects are minimal and room for errors is lesser or even nil.

  • Cost-efficient - Cost-efficient in the long run because you don't need to go to the doctor often to manage the side effects and/or risks caused by invasive surgeries

Ortho-K cons:

  • More expensive than Lasik or invasive eye surgeries - It may be cost-efficient in the long run but the patient needs to cough out a bigger amount of money in one sitting, a one-time big-time as cliche goes, for the custom-made corneal mold.

  • Strict maintenance - Ortho-K also requires strict maintenance using doctor prescribed solutions to keep the lenses clean and good to use.

  • Needs to wear it overnight - Ortho-K may be very safe and effective in improving your vision overnight, but you must wear it religiously while sleeping to maintain clear vision.

  • Follow up visit to doctor required - An Ortho-K specialist may require you to have a follow-up visit at least twice a year so he/she can monitor changes in your eye and decide whether you need to have adjustments on your Ortho-K lens measurements.

  • Strict hygiene routine required - Requires a strict hygiene routine for the wearers to maintain the lens' efficacy

Lasik Pros:

  • Cheaper - Not as expensive as Ortho-K, you don't need to shell out a bigger amount of money in one sitting.

  • Does not require strict hygiene routine for the wearers - Since there are no lenses to maintain or protect, Lasik is advisable for patients who have no routine for hygiene practices.

  • No lens to wear overnight - After Lasik, patients are not advised to wear a specialized lens overnight.

Lasik Cons:

  • Side effects and risks expected - Since it requires invasive surgery, side effects are expected and room for errors is possible.

  • Not advisable for athletes or people with active lifestyle - Those who have undergone eye surgeries are not advised to go out and expose their eyes to harsh elements, like wind, dust or glares. Their corneas are already thin making their eyes already extremely sensitive and easily dry.

  • Refractive errors may recur - Since it does not correct the drooping of or reshape the cornea, refractive errors may still recur especially after constant exposure to too much near-work activities like using digital devices, reading of books, too much school or office work, painting.

  • Cost-inefficient - In the long run, the cost due to the side effects of Lasik overruns the cheap cost in undergoing the procedure and visits to doctors may become frequent in the long run.

  • No guaranteed treatment - No matter how successful a Lasik procedure is, our eyes will still undergo post-Lasik physical and visual problems caused by our lifestyle and as a normal consequence of our body's aging process. And since Lasik as invasive surgery is unadjustable, after undergoing it there is no turning back if it fails.

  • Not advisable for all ages - Children are strictly not advised to undergo Lasik while senior citizens may opt to undergo it but are strongly discouraged because of the side effects and/or due to its risky and highly sensitive procedure.


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