Gentle Vision Shaping is a system that corrects your eyesight gradually over time. Before you opt for this correction program, however, it’s important to learn all there is to know about how it works.

Gentle Vision Shaping uses vision retainers to reshape the cornea and works to eliminate nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. There is no surgery necessary in this regimen. 

What is Gentle Vision Shaping?    

Gentle Vision Shaping is a vision correction program that works over time to correct patients’ vision. It’s easiest to think of it as the vision correction equivalent of braces. 

Gentle Vision Shaping works by reshaping the cornea, or the outer part of your eye, while you sleep using a molding lens, or vision retainer.  

You put the retainers on when you sleep at night, then remove them when you wake up.  

Gentle Vision Shaping can correct both near and farsightedness, as well as astigmatism. Another name for this vision correction system is “ortho-k,” or orthokeratology.

How Does Gentle Vision Shaping Work? 

Gentle Vision Shaping uses small retainers made of gas-permeable, hard plastic lenses.  

Putting them on is easy and requires little effort on the wearer’s part. To insert the retainer lenses, follow the steps below: 

  • Apply a couple of drops of your insertion eye drops into the back of your lenses.  
  • Place the retainer lens on your index finger. 
  • Insert the retainer lens directly into the center of your eye in the face-down position.   

Practitioners recommend that you insert the right retainer lens first to avoid confusion. 

The entire program takes approximately two years to complete, through which you need just two sets of retainer lenses.

Who Developed Gentle Vision Shaping?

George Jessen developed the Gentle Vision Shaping system. Jessen began designing prototypes for the system in the 1960s using polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA).

George Jessen grew up with a father who was blind, which initially sparked his interest in preserving eye health.   

Jessen started with corrective lens designs, dubbed “Orthofocus,” a type of gentle vision shaping lenses that were thought to operate more on luck than actual science. 

As time progressed, his company was able to show that his product worked, but they had no scientific proof to back it up. 

Because of this, the FDA did not approve this procedure until 2002. 

Are There Any Risks Associated with Gentle Vision Shaping?

Some risks are associated with the Gentle Vision Shaping system, but they are similar to those associated with wearing soft contact lenses. 

One of the most prominent risks of Gentle Vision Shaping is an increased chance of hypoxia. When the cornea experiences hypoxia, it may show signs of swelling and clouding. Hypoxia causes fluid to build up in the cornea, causing foggy or cloudy vision.

However, the risk of experiencing hypoxia with Gentle Vision Shaping is low because the small retainers are used for shorter durations of time than other corrective lenses.

Another risk associated with Gentle Vision Shaping is a higher risk of eye infection, mainly bacterial keratitis. This can result in vision loss or blindness if not treated properly. 

Who is a Candidate for Gentle Vision Shaping?

There’s actually a surprisingly large number of candidates who qualify for Gentle Vision Shaping. 

The procedure is FDA approved for all ages, but may be particularly interesting to those who meet any of the following conditions:

  • Athletes
  • Nearsighted patients
  • Patients who are opposed to surgery
  • Those with a low or moderate astigmatism
  • Children who have experienced a drastic change in nearsightedness
  • Children with a family history of high or progressive nearsightedness

There are many qualifying factors for Gentle Vision Shaping, many of which pertain specifically to children.

How Much Does Gentle Vision Shaping Cost?

Depending on how severe your vision issues are, the cost of Gentle Vision Shaping can range from $2100 to $3000. This estimate includes molds and retainers.

Insurance does not cover Gentle Vision Shaping, but it does qualify for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). 

Depending on the doctor you visit, you may also be able to use Care Credit to finance the cost. 

Gentle Vision Shaping is an affordable permanent vision correction option, less than half the cost of LASIK and other vision correction surgeries.

Why Choose Gentle Vision Shaping Over Corrective Lenses?

Gentle Vision Shaping offers several advantages over traditional eyeglasses and contact lenses.

The Gentle Vision Shaping system was mainly invented to free patients from wearing corrective lenses throughout the day.

Gentle Vision Shaping is especially great for patients who work in dusty or dirty areas that could irritate their corrective lenses, as well as those who experience dry eyes.

Another great advantage of using Gentle Vision Shaping is that it has been proven to significantly slow the progression of nearsightedness.  

This corrective method is a great option for young children experiencing nearsightedness, eliminating the worry of losing or damaging corrective lenses.