To investigate changes in the corneal thickness profile in juvenile myopia after overnight wear of orthokeratology lenses (OK).
A total of 53 juveniles (53 right eyes) successfully wore OK between January 2016 and July 2017 and they were reviewed one day, one week and one month after first wearing it. Epithelial and corneal data were obtained by optical coherence tomography (OCT). Changes in uncorrected visual acuity, refractive error, corneal refractive power, and epithelial and corneal thickness were analyzed before and after wear of OK.
The corneal epithelium was reshaped after 1 day of OK; the myopia degree was reduced, and uncorrected visual acuity reached 0 logMAR at 1 week. The central (2 mm) average epithelial thickness was 52.04 ± 2.35 μm, 49.25 ± 2.67 μm, 45.91 ± 2.80 μm, and 47.53 ± 3.44 μm before and after 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month of OK, respectively (t = 4.497, 9.741, and 7.340, respectively, P<0.001). The central epithelium was thinnest at 1 week, when the average thinning of 6.13 ± 1.67 μm accounted for approximately 11.78 % ± 3.21 % of the total epithelium thickness at baseline. The epithelial thickness of the reverse curve zone was 51.83 ± 2.49 μm, 57.62 ± 3.01 μm, 59.43 ± 3.19 μm, and 60.22 ± 2.75 μm before and after 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month of OK, respectively, showing a significant increase over time (t=-4.752, -6.208, and -6.848, respectively, P < 0.001).
In the early stage of OK, the corneal epithelium was redistributed very quickly. The central epithelium became thin, while the epithelium of the reverse curve zone correspondingly thickened. Effectively reduced the refractive power of the cornea equivalent to the effect of adding a concave spectacle lens, which ensures uncorrected vision after removal of the lenses.

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.