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Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

Located on North Main Street across from the Va. Tech campus

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Orthokeratology

Orthokeratology

We are very excited to provide orthokeratology, or ortho-k, as one of our specialty contact lens services. Thanks to advances in research and technology, many individuals are now able to see clearly throughout the day without wearing glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-k involves the wearing of rigid molds, similar to gas permeable contact lenses, while sleeping, to gently modify the very front surface of the eye. It is most appropriate for nearsighted (myopic) individuals with up to moderate amounts of astigmatism. However, it can also be effective for those who are mildly to moderately farsighted.

People of any age can benefit from ortho-k. Our real excitement about it, though, stems from its ability to significantly slow down the progression of myopia in children. Myopia usually tapers on its own by the later teens, but the more it can be checked during its period of most rapid development, the lower the final level will be. And, the lower the final level, the less inconvenience to deal with when not wearing correction, and more importantly, the lower the likelihood of a variety of eye diseases in later life. Myopia occurs when the eye grows and stretches. This leads to the nerve tissue at the back of the eye becoming thinner and more fragile which is what increases the risks.

Myopia is becoming more common world-wide. It’s estimated that ½ of the world’s population will be nearsighted by 2050. In some Asian countries, well over 80% of teens are nearsighted. In the U.S., myopia among those in their teens thru 50 increased significantly between the 1970s and 2010. While genetics plays some role, the environment has a big impact, too. Please check out our separate section on Ortho-K FAQs for more info. Or, just give us a call. We love to talk about this stuff!!

Ortho-k has been around for close to 50 years, but it’s begun to attract more serious attention over the past 10 to 15. One reason is newer materials allowing people to sleep with the molds, so they can go thru the whole day with less hassle. Another is technology permitting fine-tuned assessment of eye shape, as well as monitoring of mold position and their effect on eye shape, and computer controlled fabrication of the molds.

How does Ortho-K work?

The shape of the mold exerts a compressive force centrally and a pulling force off center to change the thickness of the very front surface of the eye (a tissue layer about ½ the thickness of a piece of paper). This flattens the front curvature allowing light to focus on the back of the eye. It also changes how more peripheral light focuses, and this is what is believed to send signals to the eye to slow down its growth, and hence, myopic progression.

For adults, it does the same thing to the front of the eye, but by adulthood, the eye has already stopped growing, so the myopia control effect is not relevant. Adults who may most benefit are those who experience dryness with contact lenses or are exposed to environments where contacts are less desirable.

Again, please check out our other Ortho-K and Myopia Management pages, or just give us a call (540-605-9537) if you’d like more info!

Protecting our Patients from Coronavirus Disease Outbreak

Making sure our patients and staff are safe is our top priority. While the risk of getting the COVID-19 in the US is currently low, we know many patients are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus.

Our Promise to Our Patients:

We understand the obvious concern that coronavirus has brought to the area. We want to make you aware of the steps we are taking to protect our patients and team members in this time of uncertainty.

We request the following of patients:

  1. If you have traveled in the last 14 days to a country other than the U.S. where coronavirus has been diagnosed, or to any area in this country that has had a number of cases of concern (eg, Seattle, DC-NY metro area, parts of CA, etc…) please call the office to reschedule your appointment for next month or beyond.
  2. If you have any symptoms that mimic that of the coronavirus, which includes a fever or respiratory symptoms, including a cough, please call and reschedule your appointment at least 14 days from now.
  3. If you suspect that you have had direct contact with people who have been around any of the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, please call us to reschedule your visit beyond 14 days from now.
  4. Remember to follow basic hygiene guidelines to avoid the spread of germs, which includes washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

Our staff will also follow these guidelines and will not be present at work if they exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms:

  1. Any eye doctor or team member who is sick is staying home
  2. We sanitize every piece of equipment after each use and again at the end of the day (as part of our precautions we always adhere to).
  3. We will sanitize all patient contact surfaces between every patient.
  4. Our team washes their hands often throughout the day
  5. If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.
  1. Please call us with any questions or concerns, and if you feel it best for you or your family member to reschedule your appointment, feel free to do so.
  2. We do expect this to be an ongoing situation in our area for an extended period of time, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this time. We will continue to give recommendations based on the evidence we have on safe delivery of eye care in a time of uncertainty.

For the most up-to-date information on treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov

World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int

Thank you for helping us to protect all of our patients.

Drs. Jacobs, Steckenrider and Staff