What is Gentle Molding™?
GM is short for Gentle Molding. This specialty contact lens design provides a non-surgical option for the management and reduction of nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and presbyopia (need for readers or multifocals).
How does it work?
The Gentle Molding lens is custom designed for each patient. By using a corneal topographer, 7,000 to 9,000 different points across the cornea are mapped and processed by a computer. This data includes what is called the eccentricity or slope of the cornea. The central cornea has the most curvature (or steepness) and as you move away from the central cornea toward the peripheral cornea, the curvature gradually flattens. This degree of flattening in the peripheral cornea gives us the "eccentricity value" of the cornea. Special software uses this information along with other data found in your exam to design a pair of contact lenses that could gradually and gently reshape the front curve of the eye; thus reducing your nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia (need for readers or bifocals) and/or astigmatism.
Is this a new procedure?
No. As a matter of fact, the safety and advantages of corneal molding have been known to doctors and patients for over 40 years. These benefits, however, depend on the doctor's ability to perform an exacting diagnosis to include precise measurement of the corneal shape. Modern advances in computer technology and diagnostic instrumentation has made Gentle Molding more accurate and affordable. Today's corneal topographers, which precisely measure and map a patients cornea, as well as major advances in corneal molding lens design, have dramatically improved the effectiveness and affordability of this procedure.
What are the contact lenses made of?
Gentle Molding lenses are made from a "super oxygen permeable" material to allow the greatest amount of oxygen to reach the front of your eye.
When will I notice results?
Simply wear your special Gentle Molding lenses while you sleep. Most visual changes occur rapidly in the first few days and weeks. Stabilization procedures then follow over the next few months. Once your eyes are stabilized, you maintain your improved eyesight while wearing the retainer lenses described above while you sleep.
When do you wear the lenses?
The lenses are designed to be worn while you sleep. The goal is to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses or contacts during the daytime. A minimum of eight hours of wear per night is typical. The amount of wear can be lessened with weaker prescriptions.
Does corneal molding have advantages over RK or LASIK surgery?
Yes. Gentle Molding costs about the same as laser surgery; does not involve post-operative pain; nor does it leave the hazy vision often experienced by patients following laser surgery. There is no loss of Bowman's membrane (the tough, protective layer just under the corneal surface), and both eyes are treated together, rather than several weeks or months apart. Above all, the Gentle Molding procedure is REVERSIBLE. Surgery is not! Surgery only offers "monovision," i.e. one eye for near vision and the other eye for far vision. Gentle Molding offers the most desired multi-focal effect: two eyes for both far and for near.
Who is a good candidate for this lens?
A patient of just about any age can wear these lenses. Whereas laser corrective surgery requires patients to be over 21; Gentle Molding is most effective for nearsighted prescriptions in the range of -1.00 diopter to 9.00 diopters, but higher values have been treated successfully. Astigmatism values respond best when less than 2.50 diopters, however up to 6.00 diopters have been successfully treated. The other critical factor is the slope or eccentricity value of the cornea. There must be enough slope to the cornea to ensure that the degree of corneal flattening will be adequate to remove the unwanted nearsightedness and/or astigmatism. The eccentricity or slope factor is calculated by a corneal topographer.
Why haven't I heard about Gentle Molding™?
The practice of Gentle Molding requires a great deal of technical skill, specialized equipment and considerably more office time. Many practitioners don't consider myopia control worth the time and effort. If a doctor is not trained in Gentle Molding, it is easier to offer contact lenses, glasses, or refractive surgery to correct vision.
What does it cost?
The cost normally ranges from $2800 to $4950 for both eyes, but the exact cost depends on your prescription. This includes all of the office visits necessary and any changes in the contact lenses that the doctor orders for you. Also, your doctor will provide glasses and or daytime contact lenses until they are no longer needed.
I've had a Lasik or RK mishap. Will Gentle Molding work for me?
Each patient is different but there are some wonderful results even after surgical mishaps have occurred. Let your Gentle Molding doctor give you the final word.