A revolutionary treatment to improve vision is gaining popularity and a local doctor is leading the way at Eye Health Consultants in The Woodlands. Dr. Julio Arroyo was one of the first in the Houston area to treat vision problems using corneal moldings. The concept has actually been around since the 1970s, but became less popular when laser surgery became available in the 1990s. Now Dr. Arroyo is introducing other local doctors to the concept and patients who didn't want to undergo surgery are enjoying the benefits. "We use customized corneal devices that are a very sophisticated type of contact lens that the patient wears to sleep. This procedure is reversible, it is non-surgical, and it's approved by the FDA for kids and adults," explains Dr. Arroyo.
He simply measures a patient's eyes with a special device, then the patient gets their own customized corneal moldings that fit their eyes. They're a lot like a hard contact lens, but they does more than just help strengthen vision. Dr. Arroyo says they actually correct vision. Dr. Arroyo says this is huge for children and teens, because it can stop their vision from getting worse. "If they're under 21 or during developing years, corneal molding will slow down the progression of their condition or stop it. We have 4 or 5 studies that are a strong argument on how effective this is to stop myopia. Contacts don't do that. Period," says Dr. Arroyo.
Patients only wear these lenses eight hours a day while sleeping. Compare that to the typical sixteen hours contact wearers keep contacts in their eyes throughout the day, and it's obvious why people are interested in this concept. Dr. Arroyo says the moldings also breathe twice as much oxygen as a regular lens, so they're healthier for your eye.
Fifteen year old Desiree Diaz is proud of her results. She was having a tough time playing volleyball in her glasses & couldn't see to wear goggles when she swam. Plus, she says she just feels prettier without her glasses, so it has helped raise her self esteem. "It's also easier than having to get glasses and new prescriptions every year. Plus, I can see the board better, don't have to sit at the front, can sit in the back with my friends," says a smiling Desiree.
The corneal moldings actually move the tissue in the eye. It may sound painful, but patients say they can't even feel it. Dr. Arroyo says it's a lot like a non-surgical version of Lasik. People of all ages are benefiting, as long as they don't have cataracts. "I had no idea there was anything out there like this for anybody, yet alone me - and was so intrigued, I made an appointment to come in," says Andrea Estelle. She says it's much easier to do the things she loves now, like work in her yard. She also likes not having to get out her glasses and find a brightly lit room, every time she's in a restaurant and trying to read a menu. "It is huge, especially at my age. I was in bifocals, I was wearing glasses, it was never a comfortable situation. Once you get to wearing bifocals or trifocals, you're constantly in order to read. Working on a computer was difficult," exclaims Andrea. She says she hasn't had 20/20 vision in 40-years, but she does now.
It took Andrea about a week to be able to see perfectly, but Dr. Arroyo says all patients see a dramatic difference after the first day. After a few years, Dr. Arroyo says his patients can often just wear corneal moldings three times a week at night for maintenance.
Since it's non-surgical, it costs less than half or two-thirds of Lasik. Depending on where you go, that would add up to be approximately $1500. Dr. Arroyo says the only risk is infection in the eye. He says this happens very rarely, usually only with a patient doesn't wash their hands before putting in the moldings. He says the risks are similar to anyone who wears regular contact lenses.
For more information, visit http://www.eyehealthconsultants.com/.