OrthoK for Athletes


OrthoK for Athletes & Professionals

Many professional athletes, soldiers, law enforcement and construction workers choose OrthoK retainers because of the decreased dependence on glasses and day-time contact lenses to correct their vision during playing sports or physical labor.  

If you play basketball, baseball, soccer, football, swim or any sport, being glasses or contact lens free can be a huge benefit.  OrthoK can provide this advantage.

Myopia, or nearsightedness, affects nearly half of all athletes.  OrthoK can provide great vision during the day and for the young athletes it can help slow down or stop the progression of their myopia so it does not get worse.


OrthoK For Young Athletes & Adult Athletes

Benefits of OrthoK instead of glasses or standard contact lenses:

  • Avoid irritation or dryness  from a contact lens during a sporting event

  • Avoid eye injury from getting hit in the face with glasses on and the glasses breaking

  • No peripheral vision restriction

  • No need to worry about forgetting prescription sports google at home

  • Excellent clear vision throughout the day

  • No need for prescription googles while swimming and no worry about eye infection from swimming in standard contact lenses

  • Better focus and reaction time

  • No need for surgery

Why Don’t Athletes Know About This?

OrthoK has been FDA approved since 2002 and is growing in popularity.  OrthoK works really well for most people and the earlier you start the treatment of OrthoK the more myopia you can prevent your young athlete from developing.

The main reason most athletes have not heard of OrthoK is because of the popularity of LASIK and standard contact lenses.  When OrthoK first came out the outcomes were not as predictable, but with modern retainers and advanced technology OrthoK now is a safe, predictable and non-surgical treatment option to correct your vision.  

Also, to fit and prescribe OrthoK and eye doctor required specialized training.  While OrthoK offers amazing advantages for the young and adult athlete, a big challenge is finding an eye doctor who offers this technology.

Why Should Athletes Choose OrthoK Over Surgery?

Safe and reversible.  OrthoK can correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism similar to LASIK, but without surgery.  OrthoK provides excellent vision throughout the day for all ages unlike LASIK that is only for the adult athlete.  

Less complications. Possible persistent & lifelong complications from LASIK:

  • Poor nighttime vision

  • Light sensitivity

  • Halos and glare

  • Dry Eyes

For the young athlete, one of the greatest advantages of Orthok is the ability to control their myopia.  When a young athlete starts OrthoK in their pre-teens or early teens, their myopic progression can be slowed or stopped.  This can greatly decrease their chances of vision threatening eye diseases as an adult athlete.

Another reason to choose OrthoK is cost.  OrthoK is about half the cost of LASIK.

Why Should Athletes Choose OrthoK Over Contact Lenses?

Standard contact lenses are a popular choice for vision correction among athletes.  They are easy to wear and do not interfere with head and body movements. They also are not bothered by rain and do not fog up like glasses.  Another advantage of contacts over glasses is the increased peripheral vision

Unfortunately, athletes tend to over wear and do not maintain contact lenses properly.  This greatly increases the risk of redness, eye infection and even permanent corneal scarring.  Contact lenses can move around on the eye or even fall out when an athlete rubs their eye from irritation or dryness.  This dryness and irritation can cause blurred or fluctuating vision. This brief moment of discomfort or blurred vision can break an athlete’s focus and decrease their performance.

OrthoK avoids most of these contact lens related issues because they are only worn while the athlete sleeps giving you excellent device free vision.

Feedback From Athletes

Many athletes who wear OrthoK retainers at night report positive feedback such as:

  • Confidence booster in their vision and their game

  • Less fluctuations in vision and less eye problems

  • Freedom from glasses and contact lenses equals no worry during games and practice about losing a contact lens or breaking their glasses

Which Athletes Are Not OrthoK Candidates?

Most athletes are good candidates for OrthoK.  There are some conditions that can be contraindicated for OrthoK treatment like severe lack of tears, allergies to contact lenses or solutions, acute inflammation, or eye infections.  OrthoK is a safe and effective treatment plan to correct vision for most athletes. If you are interested in more information, please call Curts & Reed Optometry for your FREE OrthoK consultation.