In 2003 I completed my contact lens externship. It was a chance to see how contact lenses helped a variety of patients in different settings. The majority of these patient encounters were relatively routine in that I was determining the contact lens that provided the patient with clear vision. Some people simply needed a modification of their current contact lens prescription, some were having difficulty with their contacts for astigmatism, and others were experiencing multi-focal contact lenses for the first time.
But there were also some special patients that were trying something that at the time was new and exciting: Precise Corneal Reshaping (ortho-K). Although it goes by many names, including orthokeratology, PCR is the wearing of a reshaping lens (similar to rigid gas permeable contact lens) during sleeping hours to mold the cornea and eliminate the need for daytime glasses and contacts.
When orthokeratology was first created in 1962, it was rather crude and unpredictable. The process was refined over time but it has only been in the last 5 years that we have seen a tremenedous increase in both scientific studies and utilization of PCR. In 2002, Corneal Refractive Therapy ™ (CRT) by Paragon was the first modern system to receive FDA approval. In those days there were very few practitioners doing CRT and I was lucky enough to have this experience early on.
In the last year I have been asked several times if I am still providing this service. Well, after some work and investment in equipment, I am happy to announce that Bright Eyes Family Vision care is now offering PCR for eligible candidates! We are the only eye care office in Westchase and one of the few in Tampa to offer this service.
Who is an eligible candidate? Well, the procedure can correct myopia (nearsightedness) with or without some astigmatism. It is approved for all ages and is reversible, so it can be prescribed for kids and teens as well as adults. Since PCR changes the shape of the cornea, candidates must have healthy eyes and corneas that will respond to the treatment. Through a series of tests, such as computerized corneal topography, I can determine whether or not a patient will be a good candidate. Because not everyone is a candidate, we are offering the PCR Pre-Evaluation at no charge. This also gives patients (and parents) a chance to ask questions before deciding on the procedure.
PCR will be a great vision correction option for active adults – no worries about contacts while swimming, biking, playing sports, etc. It will be great for kids and teens – no worries about breaking glasses or losing contacts, since the reshaping lenses stay at home and are only worn at night.
In time, I will write about some of the latest research about PCR slowing the progression of myopia, but if you have any questions, you can always call the office for a patient information packet. You can also attend one of the seminars that I will be offering on November 8th, and 15th. Call 813-792-0637 for more information.
Nathan Bonilla-Warford, OD
Bright Eyes Family Vision Care
Located in the Westchase area of Tampa.