Thank you for your interest in our Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS). Another term for this is orthokeratology or ortho-k. Our doctors have recommended this specialty contact lens for you or your child based on previous glasses and/or contact lens prescription and visual history.
The first step is to have our doctors conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if you are a candidate. If you are able to wear the GVSS lenses, we will review the entire system in detail and order your custom lenses. Normally, 8 to 10 visits are needed to complete the GVSS program over a 24 month period, with most visits being in the first 12 months. Any changes needed to achieve maximum vision will be ordered and checked during the period.
What is the Gentle Vision Shaping System (GVSS)?
The Gentle Vision Shaping System uses specifically designed retainer lenses to gently and gradually reshape the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to eliminate or reduce nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism. This is similar to how retainers and braces reshape teeth. The GVSS lenses are worn at night while sleeping. They are removed upon awakening to provide clear vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses during the day. It has a similar visual outcome to refractive surgeries such as LASIK, but is reversible and approved for all ages.
This has additional benefits for children, as studies have shown that this method slows down the progression of nearsightedness or myopia. Myopia tends to increase throughout the school years and for some, through college and post-graduate education.
I’ve never heard of GVSS. Is it new?
In 2002, the FDA approved the first overnight orthokeratology lens for all ages. With advanced technology used to measure the corneal shape and newer, safer materials being used for vision retainers, GVSS is a viable alternative for many nearsighted or astigmatic patients.
Will GVSS help stop my child’s eyes from getting worse?
In our opinion, children with rapidly progressive nearsightedness should wear these lenses in an attempt to reduce myopic progression. Studies have shown this to be one of the most effective treatment options available for slowing down myopia progression in children. Myopia progression causes permanent changes to the eye, mostly by increasing the length of the eye. As the level of myopia increases, so does the risk of: cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachments, and myopic macular degeneration.
The risks of myopia are especially important to the doctors at our office, as both Dr. Lumby and Dr. Guenthner are very near-sighted.
Do all eye doctors perform GVSS?
No. GVSS needs to be performed in a very exact and meticulous manner. Dr. Lumby has extensive training fitting these specialty lenses. In addition, we have the necessary diagnostic equipment and computer software to safely perform GVSS.
How much does GVSS cost?
There is a one-time initial fee for GVSS that includes all the professional visits for 24 months and two sets of retainer lenses. It also includes training on how to apply, remove, and properly care for the lenses. The total cost of the program will be determined after the initial consultation and is based on the amount of the prescription, the shape of the cornea, and other factors. The initial consultation fee is $250, which will be applied to your total program fee.
Do I pay this every year?
No. Once the two year program has been completed, you will continue to have annual eye examinations and maintenance checkups. The maintenance program has a separate yearly fee.
Does insurance cover this procedure?
We have found most health and vision insurance consider GVSS cosmetic, just like LASIK. They often have policies in place that specifically exclude coverage of this procedure.
How much time will it take?
The first appointment will be the initial consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for GVSS. This will take about 1 hour. At the second appointment we will fit the GVSS lens and go over training and handling of the contacts. This could take an hour or more, depending on how long the training and handling takes. After that, there will be follow-up visits which are about 30 minutes each.
How often do the lenses need to be replaced?
The lenses need to be replaced every year. Each pair of lenses last approximately one year, although some patients may need to change them more frequently.
When it comes to eyes, I’m very concerned. Is it safe?
GVSS is very safe and we utilize only FDA approved materials. It is safe for children and adults and is an excellent alternative for children who are just first becoming nearsighted. The risks of these lenses are similar to other types of contact lenses.