The Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS)
Medically referred to as Ortho-K (Orthokeratology) or Corneal Reshaping Therapy, GVSS is a treatment for slowing down the progression of nearsightedness (or myopia) in the long term using specially customized lenses you wear only at night.
What is it?
GVSS is a non-surgical procedure using specially customized contact lenses to gently reshape the curvature of the eye to improve vision. This is an FDA approved non-invasive procedure that eliminates the need for glasses or daytime contact lenses. It improves vision by gently reshaping your eye WHILE YOU SLEEP using specially designed therapeutic contact lenses. You just put the specially fitted lenses in at bedtime, and when you awake, take out the GVSS lenses and you will have clear, sharp, natural vision for your waking hours.
This safe and effective treatment can correct near-sightedness (including high prescriptions), astigmatism and presbyopia (blurred near vision).
Benefits of the Gentle Vision Shaping System
1. Slow down or stop the rate of progression of your or your child’s nearsightedness (myopia). Due to electronic devices, nearsightedness is getting worse especially in kids. By slowing the rate of progression of nearsightedness, you decrease the likelihood of serious eye complications in the long term.
2. Be glasses and contacts free during the day. Play sports, go to work, study and enjoy a better quality of life without the hassles of glasses or contact lenses during the day.
Videos of real patients on Ortho-K:
Videos of Ortho-K Patients
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is it called technically speaking?
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) or Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). The Gentle Vision Shaping System is the term we adopted for our office in Monroe Eye Care as do many other eye doctors.
I keep hearing different terms for orthokeratology. Do they all mean the same thing?
Yes! Orthokeratology may be also be known as: Ortho-K, Corneal Refractive Therapy, CRT, Vision Shaping Treatment, VST, Gentle Shaping System, The Gentle Vision Shaping System, Corneal Molding, Wave Front Corneal Molding, Gentle Molding.
Additionally, the treatment devices used to achieve corrected vision may be referred to as:
Retainer Lenses, Vision Retainers, Retainers, Ortho-K Lenses, Corneal Molds, Molds, Wave Lenses and CRT Lenses.
At Monroe Eye Care, we use the terminology The Gentle Vision Shaping System and utilize FDA approved Paragon Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) gas permeable lenses. Paragon lenses have been around the longest and have an excellent efficacy and safety record.
What is the Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS)?
The Gentle Vision Shaping System uses specially designed vision retainer lenses 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 retainers are similar to contact lenses and are usually worn while sleeping. They are removed upon awakening to provide clear vision without using glasses or contact lenses! The retainers are comfortable and very easy to care for.
Ortho-k lenses are prescribed for two purposes:
- To correct refractive errors (primarily nearsightedness, but also astigmatism and hyperopia). In some cases, ortho-k also is used to correct presbyopia.
- To slow the progression of childhood myopia.
Ortho-k lenses are also called “corneal reshaping contact lenses” or “overnight contact lenses to correct or control myopia.”
There are different brands of gas permeable or “breathable” lenses which include Bausch + Lomb’s Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) and Paragon CRT (Corneal Reshaping Therapy). Both provide similar benefits.
How Long Does the Ortho-k Effect Last?
You should be able to see acceptably well without glasses or contact lenses for a day or two, sometimes longer. For best results, you should wear the ortho-k lenses every night.
Which Vision Problems Can Ortho-k Correct?
Orthokeratology is most frequently used to temporarily correct myopia (nearsightedness). Generally, ortho-k can correct upwards of -6.00 diopters (D) of myopia.
Ortho-k also can correct lesser degrees of astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia.
The type and amount of refractive error that can be effectively managed with orthokeratology differ on a case-by-case basis. Your eye doctor will be able to give you more specific guidance after examining your eyes.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Orthokeratology?
Most people with mild to moderate myopia (with or without mild astigmatism) are good candidates for ortho-k.
Because the corneal reshaping effect is temporary, little risk is involved, and you can discontinue wearing the lenses at any time — provided you are willing to start wearing glasses or contacts again when your myopia returns!
Children and young adults who want to be glasses-free but are too young for LASIK or are not good candidates for refractive surgery for other reasons (dry eyes, for example) often are good candidates for ortho-k. People who participate in contact sports or work in dusty environments that can pose problems for contact lens wear also can be good candidates.
What Results Can You Expect From Ortho-k?
Eye care practitioners usually aim for 20/20 vision after ortho-k, but 20/40 vision (the legal minimum for driving in most of the United States) often is considered an acceptable outcome.
In the FDA clinical study for approval of Paragon CRT lenses, 93 percent of patients achieved 20/32 vision or better, and 67 percent achieved 20/20 or better. In the clinical study for FDA approval of one VST design, about 95 percent achieved 20/40 or better, and 73 percent achieved 20/20 or better. Both studies followed patients for at least nine months.
What to Expect When You Begin Ortho-k
The eye doctor will begin by measuring the curvatures of your corneas using an instrument called a corneal topographer — a painless procedure that takes a few minutes and produces a topographical map of your eye’s surface.
Your doctor might use an in-office inventory of lenses for fitting your eyes with ortho-k lenses the same day corneal topography measurements are taken, or she may order custom ortho-k lenses for fitting at a later date.
You may need a series of temporary lenses to see properly until you reach the desired prescription. In most cases, up to three pairs of lenses are required to achieve the maximum vision correction effect.
When you begin to wear ortho-k lenses, you will likely have some awareness of the lenses on your eyes until you fall asleep. With time, the lenses typically become more comfortable immediately upon insertion.
How Long Does it Take for Maximum Ortho-k Effect?
This depends on many factors, especially the amount of nearsightedness (and possibly astigmatism) you have when you begin the ortho-k process.
Some people can have excellent vision after a day or two of overnight ortho-k. But for higher prescriptions it can take two weeks or longer for maximum correction.
Until your eyes are fully corrected, you might notice blurred vision and glare and halos around lights. In some cases, you may need to wear glasses (with a lesser prescription than you originally had) during the ortho-k process. Also, in some cases, mild glare and halos might persist even after maximum ortho-k correction.
Is this new?
No. Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses to improve vision isn’t new; some eye doctors have practiced it for decades. However, before FDA approval for overnight wear, the procedure had limited appeal. Now with safe, more oxygen permeable materials, the process has grown in effectiveness, safety and popularity.
Is it permanent?
No. It is temporary. If you stop wearing the lenses regularly while you sleep, your vision will return to its original state in as little as 72 hours.Is it safe?
GVSS is safe and FDA approved. It is safe for children and adults and is an excellent alternative for children who are just first becoming nearsighted. Studies have demonstrated that it is safe and effective for children and adults. However, there is a small risk of infection or abnormal blood vessel growth involved when any contact lens is worn. The risk is minimized by adhering to scrupulous disinfection and care procedures, by wearing your retainers only as instructed and by coming in for regular progress checks.
Have there been long term studies on Ortho-K?
Here’s the link for that study: http://iovs.
In addition, here’s a National Institute of Health study documenting the safety of Ortho-K lenses: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Will my vision gradually go back to the way it was if I discontinue Ortho-K lenses?
Yes, if you ever decide to discontinue Ortho-K lens wear, your vision will gradually go back in about 3 days to a couple of weeks. You can resume your wearing your eyeglasses.
What is the evidence documenting the safety of Ortho-K?
Does health or vision insurance cover this procedure?
Unfortunately, health insurance considers both surgical (LASIK) and non-surgical (GVSS) vision improvement to be cosmetic and therefore do not cover this procedure. However, vision insurance may cover a portion of the costs through material benefits.
How much does GVSS cost?
The entire GVSS program includes all of the professional visits (which can be from 8-12) for two years and two sets of retainer lenses. This does include all the tests. Fees depend on the prescription and a number of other factors. Kindly make an appointment to learn more.
Does GVSS qualify for Reimbursement Accounts?
Yes, GVSS does qualify for employer sponsored Health Care Reimbursement Accounts and many of our patients take advantage of this benefit.