Since the introduction of contact lenses, practitioners have strived to reshape the cornea in a process called orthokeratology. This process would often take over a year to complete, and the results were not nearly as favorable. For this reason, many doctors and patients elected not to participate in orthokeratology.
As advances in 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 astigmatic patients. GVSS uses specially designed vision retainers to gently and gradually reshape the front surface of the eye (the cornea) to eliminate or reduce nearsightedness (myopia) or astigmatism. Similar to the use of a dental retainer used by an orthodontist to realign crooked teeth, the vision retainer resembles a contact lens, is worn only while sleeping, and it is removed upon awakening.
FOLLOWING ARE ANSWERS TO THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING GVSSW
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 for the majority or possibly all 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 of the eyes and things getting on or under the lenses.
Does GVSS have any advantages over laser surgery?
There are several. GVSS is less than half the cost of Excimer Laser Surgery. It does not involve any post-operative pain. Also, the hazy post-operative vision that can be associated with laser surgery does not occur with GVSS. Also, prescription changes are easy to deal with using GVSS. There are no 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 and 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. We 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 unmeasurable factors for each patient – most notably the cornea’s rigidity. Thus the speed of GVSS varies with each patient. Generally, but not always, less nearsighted patients respond faster than more nearsighted ones. There are no age barriers for GVSS. It is safe for children and adults is an excellent alternative for children who are just first becoming nearsighted. Also, while success rates are very high, success cannot be guaranteed due to factors like the inability to wear the vision retainer for physiological reasons, dry eyes, or other systemic health problems that may reduce wearing time.
What does the GVSS program involve?
A comprehensive eye health examination is performed first. Then, a corneal topographer is used to obtain a precise “map” of the corneal shape. If at that time it is determined that you are a good candidate for GVSS, your own vision retainers will be ordered. It takes about two weeks for the retainers to be made and delivered. When you pick up your retainers, you will be instructed on how to use and care for them. The maintenance is very easy and involves only one bottle of solution. If the retainers fit properly, you will wear them that first night. We will see you the next morning. You should come to the office wearing your vision retainers. We will remove them for you. Of course, should you experience any problems while at home with your retainers, simply remove them? Most of the visual changes occur rapidly over the first few days or weeks. We will see you often during these first few weeks. Most patients are done with their treatment in three to six months although some may take more or less time. When the treatment is completed, the last retainer used will be worn on a nightly basis.
How much does GVSS cost?
The GVSS program, including all office visits and vision retainers needed to achieve optimal vision, varies in cost and may be covered by your vision benefits. Call or request an appointment online to learn more at your complimentary GVSS consultation.