Orthokeratology is known by a number of different names such as Ortho-K, VST - Vision Shaping Treatment, CRT - Corneal Refractive Therapy, and GVS - Gentle Vision Shaping.
In Orthokeratology a rigid lens is worn while sleeping. These specially designed lenses redistribute the tissue on the front of the eye by gently pressing and pulling on the front surface of the eye. They create the same kind of shape that laser vision correction creates but without cutting any tissue. The end result is sharp clear vision without looking through glasses or contact lenses.
This type of correction offers many benefits. It offers the freedom to go swimming or waterskiing without fear of contaminating contact lenses with dirty water. There are no contacts to dry out, fall out or trap dust while participating in action sports. There are also no surgical scars.
For growing children they also seem to have a side benefit of slowing the progression of nearsightedness. This is something that has been discovered through the use of these lenses by children as published in a number of research papers. More information can be found at Myopia Prevention.org.
Dr. Wheatall has a state-of-the-art Medmont E300 topographer and OrthoTool Software to help him design, fit and monitor orthokeratology lenses.
He is a certified to fit a number of FDA approved lens designs including Paragon CRT, Paragon CRT Dual Axis, BE Retainer, DreamLens, VIPOK, and OrthoTool and GOV Lenses. The GOV family of orthokeratology lenses offer designs that correct large amounts of myopia, hyperopia and even presbyopia with a multifocal design.
With these instruments and lens designs a wide variety of refractive errors can be corrected through orthokeratology.
Dr. Robert Wheatall looks forward to annually attending an orthokeratology conference. This year Dr. Robert C. Wheatall attended the annual meeting and educational conference of the Orthokeratology Academy of America (OAA) on April 4-7, 2013 in Chicago, IL, USA. International speakers presented on a variety of topics including: the myopic epidemic and its control, custom and unique orthoK lens designs and specialty lens designs to help the partially sighted. Over 400 doctors attended from twenty three countries including the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Germany, France, England, Scotland, Jordan, Thailand, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, China, Mexico, Columbia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Singapore, Italy, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.
The OAA is part of the International Academy of Orthokeratology (IAO) which is a worldwide organization of orthokeratologists who provide a non-surgical alternative for the correction of nearsightedness, astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia. The Orthokeratology Academy of America mission is to establish policy and to develop and update protocols and education for doctors performing corneal reshaping (orthokeratology).
Myopia (nearsightedness) is a progressive disease affecting 1.6 billion children and adults worldwide, with expectations that the number will hit 2.5 billion by 2020. Research now shows that orthokeratology can slow the elongation of the eye which contributes to progressive nearsightedness in children and young adults. 20/20 vision can be restored in as little as one day to one month depending on severity. The health implications of progressive myopia can place children at risk for eye diseases like retinal detachments and glaucoma as they reach adulthood.
Orthokeratology involves the fitting of a specialized contact lens designed to reshape the cornea during sleep much like braces realigning the teeth. In addition, Ortho-K is a less expensive and safer alternative to surgical vision correction. For more information on this process see orthokacademy.com, drwheatall.com and okdrwheatall.com.