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Ahmed Alharbi, Helen A. Swarbrick; The Effects of Overnight Orthokeratology Lens Wear on Corneal Thickness. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(6):2518-2523. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0680.
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purpose. To investigate corneal thickness changes during overnight orthokeratology with reverse-geometry rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses worn over a 3-month period.
methods. Eighteen young adult subjects with low myopia (≤4.00 D) were fitted with reverse-geometry lenses (BE; UltraVision Pty. Ltd., Brisbane, Queensland, Australia), which were worn for 3 months on an overnight basis and were removed during the day. Another 10 subjects were fitted with conventional RGP lenses (J-Contour; UltraVision) that were worn for 1 month in the right eye on a similar wearing schedule; the left eye acted as a non–lens-wearing control. Refractive error was recorded in the morning and evening, and total, epithelial, and stromal corneal thicknesses were measured across the horizontal meridian with an optical pachometer.
The orthokeratology group showed significant reductions in myopia (+1.66 ± 0.50 D; P < 0.001) from day 1, which stabilized by day 10. Central corneal thinning (−9.3 ± 5.3 μm, P < 0.001), which was epithelial in origin, was found from day 1; central stromal change was negligible. Midperipheral corneal thickening, which was stromal in origin, was confirmed by day 4 (+10.9 ± 5.9 μm, P < 0.001). No change was found in peripheral corneal thickness. Analysis of day-90 data by Munnerlyn’s formula indicated that corneal sagittal height change resulting from the thickness changes could account for the refractive effect. In the conventional RGP group, there were no significant changes in refractive error or corneal thickness.
conclusions. Overnight orthokeratology causes rapid central corneal epithelial thinning and midperipheral stromal thickening. The consequent change in corneal sagittal height is the primary factor underlying the refractive effect of orthokeratology.
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