All you should know about Orthokeratology for athletes


Best vision is a critical necessity to excel in sports. Besides eliminating near and farsightedness as well as astigmatism, the type of vision corrective measures you take must be extra safe so as to prevent the risk of eye injuries. Here’s when you might consider wearing only contact lenses at night; a method known as orthokeratology or corneal refractive therapy. The need to wear contact lenses and eyeglasses diminishes when you put on these eye-shaping lenses.

During contact sports, even if you’re hit by a ball in the eye, there isn’t any risk of additional injury as compared to those wearing typical eyeglasses or regular contacts. Unrestricted and a stable peripheral vision can be achieved with orthokeratology which is crucial for sports like baseball and basketball.

The best-kept secrets of Ortho-K

You mightn’t have heard of orthokeratology since LASIK and contact lenses are the most popular options for athletes. During early developmental stage, Ortho-K was least considered since the outcomes weren’t predictable however today, correcting astigmatism and near-sightedness is far safer with the therapy.

Further research is underway for testing effectiveness of orthokeratology for farsightedness as well. Reshaping of the eye front is to correct myopia or near-sightedness and astigmatism which is quite similar to LASIK and various refractive surgical procedures.

Ortho-K contact lenses are worn while asleep and removed the other morning. You may notice significant improvement in vision sharpness after only one night wearing the lenses but, it depends on the degree of underlying factors.

Optimistic differences may be achieved in a few weeks for some people with a stable 20/20 vision during daytime. In general, only a single pair of orthokeratology lenses is required but more sophisticated cases may need additional pairs with modified parameters.

A typical retina specialist in Dubai is likely to recommend wearing these lenses overnight for some weeks to keep the proper corneal shape, critical for clear daytime vision.

A better option than contact lenses

Most of the amateur and even professional athletes prefer contact lenses for vision correction due to their ability for a more natural vision as compared to eyeglasses. That being said, lenses don’t fog up, splattered in the rain, mud or perspiration thus a better option. A more stable vision is another benefit during swift movement of the head and body with superior peripheral vision and broad field of view.

A few shortcomings

  • During intense concentration, these lenses can dry out and athlete is restricted from blinking frequently thereby keeping them glistened. Vision can fluctuate if they get dry excessively!
  • Contact lenses may become dislodged or move off from the centre during contact sports.
  • There’re times when eyeglasses are effective in correcting astigmatism where contact lens fails to do so. Softer lenses rotate on the eye during movement of the head and certain body postures which cause unstable vision.
  • Some athletes can’t tolerate sensation of contact lenses and the inconvenience of removing and re-application that may become hectic.


Still, orthokeratology lenses are far better in treating vision related anomalies and reducing the risk of eye infections.


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