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Myopia Blog

Melissa’s Success with Gentle Vision Shaping

Melissa and Orthokeratology in Gaston County, SCMelissa is a teacher in Gaston County Schools and has been a patient of Complete Eye Care in Belmont for years. She had dry eyes years ago when she wore contacts and decided to do GVSS (The Gentle Vision Shaping System).

Now she just sleeps in her specially designed contact lenses at night and then goes all day with crisp clear sharp vision without any daytime glasses or contacts. Melissa was in recently telling us how deciding to do GVSS was the best decision she made years ago.

She enjoys the freedom of teaching all day at school and then running to her children’s after-school activities without dealing with glasses or contacts. Melissa also does not have any dry eye issues during the day because she is not wearing any daytime contacts.

GVSS or orthokeratology is an excellent way to treat nearsightedness because it allows clear comfortable vision all day and also gently prevents changes in the vision. It works like a braces retainer does in that it holds the eye stable all night and prevents changes. Then the specially designed contacts are removed in the morning allowing for crisp sharp vision all day. It works great for children and adults.

Just call our office at 704-228-4404 to see if you are a candidate for this non-surgical way to treat nearsightedness.

The best contact lenses for dancers & athletes

Kaitlyn is a high school student who is very nearsighted and is on her school dance team. She can’t perform her dance routines with her glasses on so she was fit in soft contact lenses. Kaitlyn however always experienced dry or irritated eyes whenever she wore her soft contacts. Kaitlyn seemed to always experience dry and irritated eyes whenever she wore her soft contact lenses for very long. She tried using rewetting drops but she still experience irritated and red eyes.

Kaitlyn’s mother heard about the GVSS or Gentle Vision Shaping System and wondered if it would work for Kaitlyn since she had so many issues wearing soft contact lenses. She saw Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care in Belmont, NC who said she thought Kaitlyn would be a great candidate for this form of ortho-k or orthokeratology. These lenses are simply wore at night only and they gently and easily reshape the cornea so that it is no longer nearsighted. This then allows the person doing GVSS to see clearly all day and only wear the lenses at night.

This means Kaitlyn would be seeing 20/20 clear crisp vision without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. So, she could see the board all day long at school without any blear or discomfort. She could do her dance team routines without worrying about her glasses falling down. She just simply needed to wear the specially designed GVSS lenses at night right before she went to bed and they would slowly and easily reshape her corneas as she slept.

Kaitlyn was back in the office after wearing the lenses for one week and was thrilled at her clear sharp vision all day. She loves the freedom of not wearing any glasses or soft contacts all day long and really enjoys her clear sharp vision. Kaitlyn says it is wonderful to be able to perform her dance routine while seeing clearly. The best part for her is that she does not have any irritation or discomfort with her GVSS specially designed lenses to gently correct her nearsightedness as she sleeps. She says getting the GVSS lenses was the best way to correct her nearsightedness!

Is Too Much Screen Time Dangerous For Your Kids?

Screen Time Pros and Cons

Whether it is homework, email, gaming, chatting with friends, searching the web or watching Youtube, kids these days seem to have an endless number of reasons to be glued to a screen. Many parents out there are wondering how bad this can be for their kids and whether they should be limiting screen time.

There are certainly benefits to allowing your kids to use digital devices, whether it is educational, social or providing a needed break. However, studies show that excessive screen time can have behavioral consequences such as irritability, moodiness, inability to concentrate, poor behavior, and other issues as well. Too much screen time is also linked to dry eyes and meibomian gland disorders (likely due to a decreased blink rate when using devices), as well as eye strain and irritation, headaches, back or neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disturbances. Some of these computer vision syndrome symptoms are attributed to blue light that is emitted from the screens of digital devices.

Blue light is a short wavelength, high-energy visible light that is emitted by digital screens, LED lights and the sun. Studies suggest that exposure to some waves of blue light over extended periods of time may be harmful to the light-sensitive cells of the retina at the back of the eye. When these cells are damaged, vision loss can occur. Research indicates that extreme blue light exposure could lead to macular degeneration or other serious eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness. Studies show that blue light also interferes with the regulation of the the body’s circadian rhythm which can have a disruptive impact on the body’s sleep cycle. Lack of quality sleep can lead to serious health consequences as well.

Beyond these studies, the long term effects of blue light exposure from digital devices are not yet known since this is really the first generation in which people are using digital devices to such an extent. While it may take years to fully understand the impact of excessive screen time on our eyes and overall health, it is probably worth limiting it due to these preliminary findings and the risks it may pose. This is especially true for young children and the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to blue light exposure.

How to Protect the Eyes From Blue Light

The first step in proper eye protection is abstaining from excessive exposure by limiting the amount of time spent using a computer, smart phone or tablet – especially at night, to avoid interfering with sleep. Many pediatricians even recommend zero screen time for children under two.

The next step would be to reduce the amount of blue light entering the eyes by using blue light blocking glasses or coatings that deflect the light away from the eyes. There are also apps and screen filters that you can add to your devices to reduce the amount of blue light being projected from the screen. Speak to your eye doctor about steps you can take to reduce blue light exposure from digital devices.

As a side note, the sun is an even greater source of blue light so it is essential to protect your child’s eyes with UV and blue light blocking sunglasses any time your child goes outside – even on overcast days.

The eyes of children under 18 are particularly susceptible to damage from environmental exposure as they have transparent crystalline lenses that are more susceptible to both UV and blue light rays. While the effects (such as increased risk of age-related macular degeneration) may not be seen for decades later, it’s worth it to do what you can now to prevent future damage and risk for vision loss.


Elaine Enjoys Being Glasses & Contact Free During The Day

Elaine is from Huntersville, North Carolina. She is now in high school at Lake Norman Charter School. Elaine has been a patient at Complete Eye Care in Belmont, N.C. for years. She has been doing GVSS or The Gentle Vision Shaping System for several years. This is a custom designed special contact lens that Elaine puts on her eye at night before she goes to bed; then takes out when she wakes up. Elaine wakes up with clear sharp vision all day long without any daytime glasses or contact lenses.

GVSS is a form of Orthokeratology (Orthok for short) and Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care has been doing this for over 14 years with excellent results. She has prevented Elaine’s nearsightedness from getting worse each year as she grows by designing these custom made Scleral contact lenses to wear while she sleeps each night. Elaine’s parents knew people with higher amounts of nearsightedness were at a greater risk of developing Glaucoma, Cataracts, Myopic Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachments. They are very happy Elaine’s eyes are not getting more nearsighted as she grows. They are glad they made the decision years ago to have Elaine get GVSS lenses. Also, Elaine is happy because she has enjoyed years of sharp crisp vision all day without wearing glasses or contact lenses.

Progressive Myopia: When Your Child’s Vision Keeps Getting Worse

What Is Progressive Myopia?

Nearsightedness or myopia is one of the most prevalent eye disorders worldwide and its incidence is increasing. In fact by 2050, myopia is projected to affect half of the world’s population!

Many children diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) experience a consistent worsening of their vision as they grow into adolescence. This condition can be so aggressive that for some, each time they take their child to the eye doctor for a vision checkup, their prescription gets higher.

This is called progressive myopia and can be a serious condition for many children now and in the future. Not only is there a financial burden and inconvenience associated with having to replace eyeglasses on a regular basis, but high myopia is a risk factor for many eye diseases later in life such as retinal detachment, early onset cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

What Causes Progressive Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive error that happens when the eye focuses incoming light in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, resulting in blurred distance vision. While an exact cause of progressive myopia is not known, most research indicates that a combination of environmental and genetic factors trigger the condition.

First of all, there is evidence that a family history of nearsightedness is a contributing factor. Additionally, spending a lot of time indoors may play a role in myopia development, as studies show that children who spend more time outside have less incidence of myopia. Lastly, near point stress, which can be caused from looking at a near object for an extended period of time, can prompt the eye to grow longer and result in myopia. Several eye doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule when using digital devices (stopping every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to reduce near point stress caused by computer use.

What Can Be Done To Prevent or Treat Myopia?

There are several treatments that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.

Orthokeratology (ortho-k):

Also known as corneal reshaping, this treatment uses rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn while the patient sleeps to reshape the cornea, which is the clear, front part of the eye. During the day, the patient is usually able to see clearly, glasses-free. In addition to allowing glasses-free vision during the day, this treatment has been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in many children.

Distance Center Multifocal Contact Lenses:

This treatment uses distance center (which means the area for seeing at a distance is in the center of the lens) multifocal soft contact lenses to provide clear vision and slow the progression of myopia. The lenses are worn as normal contact lenses during the day.

Atropine Drops:

Atropine drops are a daily-use prescription eye drop that has been shown to reduce myopia progression. It can be used alone or in combination with ortho-k or multifocal contact lenses.

Additional Myopia Treatments:

While these treatments are available in all of North America, some countries offer additional options that are approved for myopia control. For example, in Canada, ZeissTM MyoVision glasses that have an innovative lens curvature design are available to help reduce the rate of myopia progression. Additionally some doctors in Canada offer Coopervision MiSight® lenses, which are 1-day contact lenses that are worn during the daytime. These contacts have a multifocal lens design with distance centre and near surround that is specifically designed for children.

Myopia & Your Child

If your child’s vision keeps getting worse, it’s more than an annoyance – it can be a serious risk factor for their eye health and vision in the future. The best strategy for myopia control depends on the child and the severity of the case, and requires consultation with an experienced eye doctor in order to determine the best solution. If your child wears glasses, make his or her vision a priority; schedule an eye exam to ensure stable vision and healthy eyes.


Ava’s Eye’s Have Not Changed Prescription Since Starting Ortho K

Ava is from Belmont, North Carolina and she was diagnosed with nearsightedness when she was thirteen years old. Her parents did not want to watch Ava’s vision get worse each year. They knew since she developed myopia or nearsightedness as a child, her vision will continue to get worse each year as she grows. They took her to Complete Eye Care in Belmont where she saw Dr. Harald Vaher.
Ava’s parents were glad when they heard something could be done to stop Ava’s vision from progressively getting worse. It is called GVSS or Gentle Vision Shaping System. It has been around for years and helps thousands of people who are nearsighted. GVSS is a form of Orthokeratology where a specially designed contact lens is placed on the eye at night before bed and is removed in the morning after waking up. The eye is reshaped over night with the GVSS contact and allows crisp, sharp vision all day without any daytime glasses or contacts.
Ava has loved not wearing any daytime glasses or contacts lenses because it allows her clear vision all day. She feels free and doesn’t have to worry about glasses or contacts while jumping in a pool, or riding an amusement park ride. Her parents like knowing they are doing the best possible thing to slow down the progression of her nearsightedness as much as they could to improve vision and eye health.
People with higher amounts of nearsightedness are more likely to develop Cataracts, Glaucoma, Myopic Macular Degeneration, and Retinal Detachments. They have been so happy with the results achieved by Ava’s custom designed WAVE GVSS contact lenses by Complete Eye Care. Ava’s eyes have not gotten worse since she started wearing GVSS lenses. Her vision has stayed stable. This means she is at less risk of developing an eye disease such as Retinal Detachments or Glaucoma later in life. Ava says she would recommend GVSS to anyone since it is quick, easy, and a pain free option to clear sharp vision all day without glasses or contacts.

Ortho K Night Contacts Help Noah’s Nearsightedness

Noah was in 4th grade when he first came to Complete Eye care in Belmont, NC for an eye exam. He was found to be nearsighted and his prescription was already so strong that he saw 20/300 without glasses. His mom, Carrie was worried because his eyes kept getting worse and worse each year. Noah needed stronger glasses every year when he went to the eye doctor for an exam and Noah could not see the board or watch TV without his glasses on. He also could not see clearly when we went swimming in the summer which made it difficult for him to enjoy summer activities.

Noah saw Dr. Barbara Marcussen who talked to Noah’s Mom Carrie about treatment options to slow down his increasing progression of nearsightedness each year. The system is called GVSS or The Gentle Vision Shaping System and it is a form of ortho-k which gently reshapes the cornea while you sleep. Noah’s mom decided to have him do the GVSS or ortho-k since she wanted to prevent his eyes from getting worse each year.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen fit him in specially designed contact lenses which were individually designed using wave front technology to reshape his cornea based on 11,000 points. This very specialized individual design allows for extremely precise results and clear sharp 20/20 vision all day long for nearsighted people. The best part is this reshaping happens every night as the contacts are worn nightly so the eye is prevented from changing and elongating which results in stable vision. This means Noah’s eyes do not get worse every year like they would if he were not wearing these specially designed lenses.

This gentle reshaping results in clear sharp 20/20 vision all day long when Noah is awake without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. Noah loved the instant freedom he now had by being able to see clearly all day long at school and he liked seeing the board or being able to play sports or go swimming without any daytime glasses or contact lenses.

Noah’s mom Carrie was skeptical at first that wearing contacts at night only could let Noah see clearly all day long without glasses or contacts. A few days after he started wearing the lenses, she asked Noah if he could see the board at school. He said, ‘Yes”. But one day a few weeks after he began the GVSS process, she decided to see for herself that Noah had clear crisp vision. She showed up at his school at lunch and walked him down to his classroom. She asked him to stand at the very back of the room and read everything on the board. When Noah read everything on the board in his classroom to her from the back of the room, she knew he could see clearly. Carrie, says, “I just wanted to make sure he could see clearly”. She laughs about that day now since Noah has been seeing clearly for the past seven years.

Noah is now 16 and a junior in high school He is old enough to drive and still enjoys the freedom of clear sharp 20/20 vision without any day time glasses or contact lenses. Noah simply puts in his specially designed contacts at night and wears them overnight. He then takes them out in the morning and he sees 20/20 all day long.

Noah’s mom, Carrie was so happy with the GVSS system that when Noah’s little sister, Abby became nearsighted, Carrie had her do the GVSS system also since she knew how well it worked with Noah.

Noah’s mom says that the decision to get Noah the GVSS lenses over seven years ago was one of the best decisions she has made for him!

Piper Aged 11-Glasses Free and Loving It!

Piper came for an eye exam at Complete Eye Care in Belmont because she once again needed stronger glasses. In fact, she needed stronger and stronger glasses each year in order to be able to see the board at school or watch TV. Each year as Piper grew her eyes got weaker and weaker and the strength of her glasses needed to be increased. Piper’s parents wanted to try to find a solution to prevent Piper from becoming more nearsighted each year. Since Piper was only 11 they knew she would continue to grow for several more years which would mean many more years of worsening vision and stronger glasses.

Piper’s parents were very excited to learn that Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care had a perfect solution for Piper. In fact, not only would it slow down her rapidly changing eyes, it would also allow Piper to see 20/20 clear, crisp vision all day without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. The solution is a form of orthokeratology which involves a wavefront contact lens that is individually designed to perfectly reshape Piper’s eyes easily and comfortably as she sleeps!

Dr. Marcussen is a certified wave designer with 15 years’ experience designing lenses using Wavefront designs. Wavefront designs allow for better results and more consistent vision than older more traditional forms of orthokeratology. This system is the Gentle Vision Shaping System and it allows Piper to simply put in her wavefront designed orthokeratology scleral contact lens before bed and then remove the lens upon waking. She is left with crisp, sharp, 20/20 vision all day without any glasses or contact lenses. The best part is Piper’s vision will not go through such dramatic changes each year. These lenses act like a braces retainer for the eye by slowing down changes each year in the prescription.

Piper’s parents felt good about their decisions to put Piper in these specially designed orthokeratology lenses also known as the Gentle Vision Shaping System because they know Dr. Barbara Marcussen’s own daughter used this type of specially designed contact lenses for years and her nearsightedness had not changed. They knew that if the doctor would put their own daughter in the lenses at the age of 8, then they felt it would be a safe and effective solution for their child. Piper was seeing 20/20 all day long three days after starting to wear her nighttime contacts to correct her nearsightedness.

She is excited to be able to go to the pool and ocean this summer and jump in and see clearly. Her parents are most excited that they have finally found a solution to prevent Piper’s eyes from getting words and worse each year.

Susan’s transition from soft contacts to GVSS custom night contacts

Susan is a nurse who had issues wearing her soft contact lenses. She would get dry eyes and had trouble with her eyes during allergy season. So, she came to Complete Eye Care and decided to try the GVSS system where she only wears specially designed contact lenses at night. Now Susan can see clearly all day long without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. She is thrilled with the comfort and loves her clear vision without any contacts all day long at work. We here at Complete Eye Care are all excited for you to Susan!Susan loves her ortho k gvss contact lenses

GVSS Helps Xiaomeng Treat Nearsightedness Without Glasses

Xiaomeng is from Charlotte, N.C. She was seen for an eye exam in Charlotte, N.C and was found to be nearsighted. She stated she had trouble seeing at a distance and noticed things were blurry when driving or watching television. Ziaomeng wanted an option to treat her nearsightedness with something other than glasses. Xiaomeng also wanted a way to prevent the progression of myopia or nearsightedness which had come on quickly and caused her decrease in vision.

Alternative Option for Treating Nearsightedness

zhaoXiaomeng made an eye exam appointment with Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care in Belmont, N.C. and found out she had an excellent way to treat her nearsightedness. Dr. Barbara Marcussen discussed GVSS or Gentle Vision Shaping System which is a specialized form of orthokeratology/ortho k. This involves wearing a specially designed contact lens at night which gently reshapes the cornea during sleep. Upon awakening, the contact lens is simply removed and clear vision is the result which lasts all day.

Xiaomeng chose the option of GVSS and was then fit with specially designed contact lenses which she simply puts in right before she goes to sleep, she then removes the lens in the morning and is able to see clearly all day without any daytime glasses or contact lenses. Xiaomengloves the clear comfortable vision she has by simply wearing the specially designed contact lenses at night only. She is pleased that her clear vision lasts all day long without any daytime glasses. She must simply wear the specially designed contact lenses each night.

Xiaomeng is so happy she chose to do the Wavefront corneal molding (or GVSS) form of orthokeratology with Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care because she now sees clearly all day long. She really likes knowing that by doing this procedure she is preventing changes in her nearsightedness from getting worse each year. Xiaomeng says this is the best thing she has ever done and she is so pleased she chose to do GVSS or ortho-keratology at Complete Eye Care in Belmont N.C.

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