Thursday, June 9, 2011

Laser eye sugery makes you queasy?

I came across this news article from Houston, Texas on corneal reshaping, which doctors call orthokeratology (the article curiously used the term "corneal molding", which makes it sound like your cornea is past its expiry date...).

Orthokeratology reshapes your cornea while you sleep so that you have perfect vision during the day. No glasses, no contacts, no surgery. It is very popular with people who are active in sports, especially swimming, people who don't like the discomfort of contact lenses and people who are tired of wearing glasses. It is also a good option for people who are not good candidates for laser eye surgery or who just don't like the idea of having elective surgery on their eyes.

The patient will wear custom designed hard contact lenses while they sleep (they are very comfortable) and remove them in the morning. Sometimes there is a trial and error process to get the fit perfect and to ensure maximum effectiveness and comfort. During sleep, the lens reshapes the cornea of the eye resulting in 20/20 vision upon waking.

Orthokeratology should be done under doctor supervision to ensure that the lenses are doing their job properly, that the eyes are adapting well to the lenses and that there is no risk of damage is being done. The risks of orthokeratology are generally the same as those associated with regular contact lens use, namely that improper care and cleaning can cause infections.

New research even suggests that orthokeratology can stop the progression of myopia (near-sightedness). Many young people have the unnerving experience of seeing their glasses prescription get worse and worse every time they go to the eye doctor. Orthokeratology appears to be one way to slow or stop that process. Incidentally, I have also had success in my clinic with using vision therapy to stop the progression of myopia.

Many of my patients have opted for orthokeratology and I'm happy to say that the vast majority of them really love it. If you are interested in orthokeratology, go see your optometrist who will assess your eyes and determine if you are a good candidate for it.

To read the Houston, Texas article, click here.