The history of Ortho K and OVC® science

Using Ortho K lenses or overnight contact lenses  to correct short-sightedness is based on the long established science of Orthokeratology, now known as Overnight Vision Correction or OVC. The science is not new, the thinking dates back to the ancient Chinese, who it is said, used to sleep with small sand bags over their eyes to correct their eyesight.

The word Orthokeratology literally means, ORTHO - straight and KERATOLOLOGY - relating to the cornea.

Modern Ortho K lenses became available in the 1960s, but the big breakthrough came with the convergence of new technologies.

The invention by Bausch and Lomb of a new high oxygen permeable lens material by Bausomb which is safe to sleep in, plus the introduction of computerised laser cutting manufacturing, which greatly increases the microscopic accuracy of creating personalised Ortho K lenses, were the key breakthroughs.

The new material combined with the more accurate way of producing the lenses lead to a superior product. This meant that, for the first time there was a lens which could be safely worn overnight, removed during the day, which guaranteed 20/20 vision for more than 24 hours.

Ortho K is now practiced in Europe, America, Australia and parts of Asia. It is becoming increasingly popular, especially for its ability to halt the progression of short-sightedness in children, a technique know as myopia control.

There is a large body of independent scientific evidence behind Ortho K lenses and in our Orthokeratology Research compendium you can find out more.

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