Certified in GVSS Orthokeratology
The Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS), also known as orthokeratology, is a non-invasive procedure that involves the use of specialized corneal molds. These molds are designed to reshape the cornea at night while the patient sleeps and act as “retainers” once the cornea has been reshaped. Our GVSS patients have no need to wear any glasses or contacts throughout the day. Most importantly, GVSS has been shown to greatly slow down or completely halt the worsening of myopia (nearsightedness).
What is GVSS?
The Gentle Vision Shaping System uses specially designed vision molds/retainers to gently and gradually reshape the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to eliminate or reduce nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism.
The principle is similar to the use of a dental retainer used by an orthodontist to realign crooked teeth. The vision molds/retainers are similar to contact lenses and are only worn at night while sleeping. They are then removed upon awakening to provide clear vision without using glasses or contact lenses! The molds/retainers are comfortable and very easy to care for.
I’ve never heard of GVSS. Is it new?
Attempts to re-shape the cornea have been tried since contact lenses were first fit. The clinical- scientific name for GVSS™ is orthokeratology. When orthokeratology was first attempted in the 1960’s, it would often take over a year to complete and the results were not nearly as favorable as GVSS. For this reason, many doctors and patients elected not to participate in conventional orthokeratology. With the newer diagnostic technology used to measure the corneal shape and the newer materials being used for vision retainers, GVSS is now a viable alternative for many nearsighted or astigmatism patients.
Why think about GVSS? Why not just wear eyeglasses or contact lenses?
The main purpose of GVSS is to be free from both contact lenses and eyeglasses during waking hours. While this is ideal for sports enthusiasts or those who work in dusty or dirty environments, for others GVSS offers the appeal of being free from corrective lenses during the day. GVSS also offers relief from the problems sometimes associated with full-time contact lens wear like drying and things getting on or under the lenses.
Additionally, ongoing research is showing that for most patients, the progression of nearsightedness can be stopped or significantly slowed down by using GVSS molds/ retainers. This makes it a great alternative for children, particularly those with nearsighted parents. Neither eyeglasses nor conventional contact lenses have been shown to have as strong a tendency towards controlling myopia as GVSS.
Does GVSS have any advantages over Laser Surgery?
There are several. GVSS is less than half the cost of Refractive Laser Surgery (LASIK). It does not involve any post-operative pain. Also, the hazy post-operative vision that can be associated with laser surgery usually does not occur with GVSS. Both eyes can easily be done at the same time with GVSS. Also, prescription changes are easy to deal with using GVSS. There are no strong steroid or antibiotic drugs needed with GVSS as there are during the post-operative period for laser surgery. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, GVSS is reversible. Laser surgery is not.
Is everyone suitable for GVSS and can any doctor perform it?
The answer to both questions is no. It does not work on every patient and needs to be performed in a very exact and meticulous manner. Our Doctors have received special training and have the necessary diagnostic equipment, computer software, and expertise to perform GVSS.
The procedure works best on mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness or astigmatism. More severe cases can have their vision improved, but will still need some vision correction. The procedure also does not work well on certain shaped corneas. Also, there are several incalculable factors for each patient – most notably the cornea’s rigidity. Thus the speed of GVSS varies, generally, less nearsighted patients respond faster than more nearsighted ones. There are no age barriers for GVSS. It is safe for children and adults and is an excellent alternative for children who are just first becoming nearsighted, because as mentioned above, GVSS can prevent any further nearsightedness from occurring! Also, while success rates are very high, success cannot be guaranteed due to factors like the inability to wear the vision mold/retainer for physiological reasons or other systemic health problems that may reduce wearing time.
What does the GVSS procedure involve?
A comprehensive eye health examination is performed first. Then, a corneal topographer is used to obtain a very precise computerized “map” of the cornea’s shape. This information is placed into the GVSS computer software and a diagnostic mold/retainer is fit in the office. If at that time it is determined that you are a good candidate for GVSS, your own vision molds/retainers will be ordered. It takes about one week for the molds/retainers to be made and delivered.
When you pick up your retainers, you will be instructed on how to use and care for them. If the molds/retainers fit properly, you will wear them that first night. Your vision should be clear with the molds/retainers on. We will see you the next morning. You should come to the office wearing your vision molds/retainers. We will remove them for you. Of course, should you experience any problems while at home with your molds/retainers, simply remove them.
Most of the visual changes occur rapidly over the first few days. As the cornea changes shape and vision improves, we will supply you with (no-charge) any needed contact lenses to be worn during these first few days. The majority of patients achieve excellent vision in only a few days. Even after you are seeing well, we will continue to see you a while longer to ensure your cornea is adapting to the molds/retainers. Most patients are done with their follow up care in one month although some may take more or less time. When the treatment is completed, the mold/retainer will continue to be used on a nightly basis. Some patients are able to use the retainers every other night.
What are the disadvantages of GVSS?
You must be prepared to allow 3-4 visits over about a one month period. Should you stop wearing your molds/retainers, your vision will return to its’ original state. While the degree of success is very high, it cannot be guaranteed. However, when the corneal topography and computer software indicate a patient will be successful, it is rare that patients don’t do well with GVSS. Rates and amount of improvement vary from one person to the next.
How much does GVSS cost?
Depending on the severity of your nearsightedness and astigmatism the price ranges from $2100-3000. This includes all of the professional visits, all of the molds/retainers needed to achieve optimal vision, and any needed interim soft contact lenses. Lost, broken or spare retainers are available at a cost of $400 each.