Overnight orthokeratology

Optom Vis Sci. 2000 May;77(5):252-9. doi: 10.1097/00006324-200005000-00012.


Purpose: Orthokeratology is defined as the temporary reduction in myopia by the programmed application of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. New reverse geometry contact lens designs and materials have led to a renewed interest in this field. The purpose of this study is to assess visual, refractive, topographic, and corneal thickness changes in subjects undergoing overnight orthokeratology.

Methods: Ten myopic subjects (mean age, 25.9+/-3.9 years) were recruited for a 60-day trial of overnight orthokeratology using reverse geometry rigid contact lenses. After commencing lens wear, subjects were examined on days 1, 7, 14, 30, and 60 at several times throughout the day. High- and low-contrast logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) visual acuity, monocular subjective refraction, autorefraction, autokeratometry, corneal topography, corneal thickness, and slit lamp examinations were performed at each session.

Results: Eight subjects completed the study. Both high- and low-contrast uncorrected visual acuity improved significantly by day 7. The mean change in uncorrected high contrast visual acuity at day 60 was -0.55+/-0.20 logMAR (mean at day 60, -0.03+/-0.16; Snellen equivalent, 20/19). The mean change in uncorrected low-contrast visual acuity at day 60 was -0.48+/-0.26 logMAR (mean at day 60, +0.22+/-0.23; Snellen equivalent, 20/33). The mean subjective refraction and autorefraction were significantly reduced from baseline at day 60 (mean change in subjective refraction, +1.83+/-1.23 D; mean change in autorefraction, +0.64+/-0.52 D). Corneal topography showed significant central flattening (mean change in apical radius, +0.20+/-0.9 mm; mean change in shape factor, -0.11+/-0.18 at day 60). The central cornea also showed significant thinning (mean change, -12+/-11 microm at day 60). All visual, refractive, and topographic outcomes were sustained over the course of an 8-h day.

Conclusions: Overnight orthokeratology is an effective means of temporarily reducing myopia. The possible mechanism of corneal remodeling through central corneal thinning is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Cornea / physiopathology
  • Corneal Topography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Myopia / therapy*
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology