This is a question that comes up often. As we explain to parents of children on our Gentle Shaping System and adult patients who are also on our program, the reason for doing this goes beyond the fact that yearly replacement is the Standard of Care in the United States.
Yes, there are those practitioners who do OrthoK who say it’s not necessary to replace molds every year but then how do they ultimately justify replacement if the patient’s molds haven’t been lost or broken? Usually, that doctor says, “We will wait until you have a problem”.
As a Fellow in the Orthokeratology Academy of America, an Orthokeratologist since 2000, and an OrthoK patient myself; I personally don’t want any of my patients to have a problem on our program; ever!
OrthoK molds are permeable to oxygen (that’s why they can be worn at night) but even with good cleaning the pores of an older mold will get clogged up and then the molds will not “breathe” well. And, even with good handling, a mold’s curves will change and a slight amount of warpage occurs.
It has been my experience that by receiving new OrthoK molds each year our patients get the following benefits:
- Clearer vision once the molds are removed in the morning
- Better comfort while the molds are being worn
- A better OrthoK effect to slow yearly increases in nearsightedness
- Fewer problems like poor daytime vision and infections
- And, by replacing the molds before they have totally worn out, the patient now has a viable back up pair to wear during temporary emergencies like loss or breakage
I hope I have answered this question to your satisfaction and thank you for allowing me the honor of serving you, your children, and your friends. If you know someone who might be helped by OrthoK, please share this blog with them and let them know they can get more information from the office of Dr. Rob Gerowitz at 847-705-7777.