Ortho-K in Maryland
What’s the difference between ortho-k or Orthokeratology and the I See Overnight program? Learn about the program directly from Dr. Moshe Schwartz OD FAAO of EyeSymmetry Vision Center.
Most practices call this service ortho-K, orthokeratology, and some people call it CRT because they strictly use Paragon’s product. What inspired you to call it I See Overnight?
When we started to look different deeper and further into corneal reshaping. we realized there are different makes, different brands, and different designs that can help us assist our patients to achieve good outcomes after overnight wear. However, every company has certain restrictions as far as the parameters go. What I want to do for each patient is find the right combination by picking and choosing among the various companies and different manufactures certain parameters. Then, the lens could be custom-made and tailored for that particular patient. Paragon has a great product as well as medicines, but they have restrictions as well. Wave has its own restrictions, and so on. I want to be able to provide the patient with a 100% customized lens that I can actually address accurately.
If I check into the manufacturing process and identify all the different parameters first, that can lead to successful and safer results. That’s why, we came up with the idea of I See Overnight or Orthokeratology because we ensure that what happens after wearing an overnight lens, you will see.
Do you find that the versatility and the variety of lenses that you use differ because of the eye? Because of age? What are the factors?
When we evaluate, assess, and prescribe ortho-k lenses, it’s extremely important and crucial to address not just the prescription but all other variables that could lead to a successful outcome.
- the tear film
- the anatomy of the cornea
- the physiology of the cornea
- the size of the cornea
- the prescription
- the age of the patient
- the pupil diameter, etc.
It’s not cut and dry. You don’t just plug it in and populate certain data.
You have to take in a whole lot of other variables into the decision-making and manufacturing process in order to achieve very good results. That’s why we use two different topographers to measure the eye. We don’t rely on the data just from one. I use multiple instrumentations during an ortho-k evaluation, prescribing the lenses, and follow-up.
Maryland's Leading Ortho-K Expert
Do you find that Orthokeratology is better for children because of myopia control?
Children all across Maryland come to our practice for Ortho-K specifically for myopia management.
Yes, Ortho-K provides a very good solution to an epidemic. Statistically and scientifically, we’re all seeing a progression of nearsightedness across the board – across the world – whether you come from China, Germany, South America, or Baltimore.
Research shows a progression of prescriptions in children from 0.75 to 1 diopter a year. And, historically people used to correlate the fact that your child is growing older and getting taller, and that’s why the prescription changed.
But they didn’t understand that basically, one has nothing to do with the other. A prescription which is progressively getting worse means that their eye’s axial length is growing longer.
Their eyes are becoming longer, not taller.
What we try to do is to provide a solution like orthokeratology to bring balance between the length of the eye and refractive components. which is called emmetropization. You don’t need to grow any longer, and as a result, we hope any progression of myopia or nearsightedness.
Plus, a byproduct of ortho-k is that a child who engages in sports will not worry about prescription sports goggles or their glasses. If they go swimming, they can open their eyes to get out of the pool and see with clarity.
In short, they can see perfectly during the day.
Still, the most important thing is to prevent progression. Higher prescriptions consequently leads to higher risks for macular degeneration, retinal detachment, glaucoma, and, of course, blindness down the road. That’s why it’s so important to not allow them to get worse.
You'd say it's really "family tested?
Well, here’s the thing. My wife is significantly nearsighted at -8. She had LASIK surgery to correct it. So, in my family, we know that there’s some genetic predisposition for nearsightedness.
Along with that, we see we’re in a generation of myopia. It is virtually a given that my kids will become extremely nearsighted really, really fast. I wasn’t going to take the chance that possibly, down the road, we’ll have to deal with some severe complications.
So, as soon as they needed glasses, boom. They were riding through ortho-k lenses. My kids stared at ages eight, nine, and ten years old. They all hopped in and now are all doing great.
Could you share just a short patient story that they started this program and they saw great success?
I have 4 kids. Each and every one of them wears them. Between my 22-year-old, my 20-year-old, my 15-year-old, and now 11-year-old all each and every one of them wear these lenses.
Is their eyesight say 2020 or close to it?
All patients that are going through the program achieve amazing vision.
The reason why I emphasize it’s a program, and not simply contact lenses, is that this is a treatment against myopia progression. This is not just wearing regular glasses or spectacles to give you clear vision & temporary relief.
We are treating the eye against progression of their nearsightedness, and preventing future eye disease in their future.
Virtually everybody has 20/20 vision uncorrected throughout the day. Of course, you have to wear through these specialty, highly customized medical contact lenses at night time but during the day, they see perfectly well.
Do you live in Maryland? We see patients local to Owings Mills, Baltimore, and all across the state (and even further!) because of our years of experience fitting specialty contacts like Orthokeratology.