Vision Care Center - Welcome

What is Corneal Molding?

  • Corneal Molding is a non-surgical process that reshapes the cornea of the eye. It utilizes special contact lenses known as Corneal Molds (retainers), thereby reducing the dependence upon corrective eyewear.
  • Reshaping the cornea with contact lenses to improve vision isn’t new. It’s called Orthokeratology (Ortho-K), and it has been practiced for decades.
  • Most patients achieve clear unaided vision the first day after overnight wear, but patients with higher prescriptions may need temporary soft lenses for a few days until full clarity is reached.
  • Once the optimal visual changes have been achieved, then retainer lenses must be worn at night while sleeping to maintain stable vision.

WCM is generally safe and well tolerated, and is great for kids. WCM has even been shown to slow down myopic progression in children! A Scout topographer takes “14000” data point maps of the cornea, from which doctors design your custom lenses.

Myopia is caused by light passing through the cornea into the eye in such a way that it doesn’t focus properly on the retina. After the cornea is flattened with these special lenses, light focuses properly on the retina, resulting in better vision.

LASIK Comparison: Lasik surgery needs a fully developed eye, Corneal Molding can be done on young adults when their nearsightedness is lower and can be adjusted for changes in growth. Corneal Molding is reversible and non-surgical.

Why should you choose Corneal Molding for your Child or Teen?

  • Corneal Molding slows down myopic progression in many children.
  • You don’t have to worry about eyewear loss or damage during sports.
  • Your child will be able to see clearly in a classroom situation.

Compared to Glasses/Contacts:

The main benefit of Corneal Molding is freedom from wearing glasses or contact lenses during waking hours. You can go swimming and play sports without the burden of contacts or glasses. Corneal molds can last several years saving you the cost of updating your soft contacts and glasses each year.

“I always enjoyed soft lenses, but this is unbelievable. Thank you.”
Samantha -14 year old honor student and competitive tennis player

“My daughter couldn’t see 20/400. Now it’s 20/20 every day with no correction. People don’t believe me when I tell them.”
Mary -Mother of 15 year old

“I Have been using WCM lenses for over 6 months now and have enjoyed great vision ever since. I have worn glasses or contacts since 1978, and from the first day of treatment, uncorrected sight has been a real treat. Thank you!”
Seth Debowy -Buffalo radio and television personality

“No glasses for my child to grab. All day clear, comfortable, vision. I am still using my first pair of lenses after 2 years. Thank you.”
Denise -Young mother


Controlling Astigmatism and Nearsightedness in Developing Youth

Whether looking at the outline of the stars in the night sky or the details of the leaves on a tree, perfect eyesight is not something anyone who wears contacts or glasses takes for granted.

Corneal molds have been allowing people to see clearly without corrective lenses for a number of years, but a new study by a local optometrist shows that wearing these gas permeable contact lenses at night significantly reduces the rate of change and in some cases halts children’s prescriptions/vision from worsening.

Corneal molding, or orthokeratology, uses custom-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses to change the curvature of the front surface of the eye. These lenses, worn while a person sleeps, do not permanently change the structure of the cornea, but temporarily mold its shape to correct nearsightedness and/or astigmatism, a refractive defect of the eye that caused poor vision. When the lenses/molds are removed, vision remains clear without glasses or contacts for one to three days.

Dr David P.Bartels of Vision Care Center and Clarence Eye Care was one of the doctors who conducted a study called Controlling Astigmatism and Nearsightedness in Developing Youth (CANDY) to determine if corneal molding reduces the progression of myopi (nearsightedness) and astigmatism in children. The multicenter study evaluated 28 youth who were myopic, with or without astigmatism, and underwent corneal molding The findings were compared to those 28 youth’s premolding data as well as 19 nearsighted children who did not wear corneal molds (controls) .The 28 youth, ages 9-18 showed little or no myopic progression after molding from periods as short as seven months to as long as five years.

During different periods of the molding process, the children "unmolded", or stopped wearing the lenses, until their eyes returned to a fully unmolded correction. The doctors then measured the eye’s refractive error and found that the progression of refractive error for those who wore corneal molds had slowed to an average of -0.05 diopters per year. Prior to molding, their myopia had been progressing at an average rate of -0.52 diopters per year. This is about the same rate found in those children who did not mold at all. Therefore, the corneal molding patients experienced no change or little change in their uncorrected vision while the vision of those who did not wear molds worsened. This finding was the case regardless of age, sex, and duration of molding and initial prescription. Since corneal molding slows or stops the progression of nearsightedness in developing youth, children wearing corneal molds have a tendency toexperience fewer to no changes in their prescription.

In addition to being one of the doctors conducting the study, Dr. Bartels (Buffalo, NY) is the father of two children who wear corneal molds every third night.

"I am very pleased at the outcome of the study," he said. "My daughter and son both mold every 72 hours. I don’t know the absolute number of nights needed to hold myopic progression back but both my children are doing exceptional. It is very gratifying to observe no change in my children’s vision over many years."

For more information on stopping the progression of nearsightedness through corneal molding, and to experiencing clear vision with freedom from glasses or contacts, call Vision Care Center: (716) 693-4606 or Clarence Eye Care: (716) 668-2020 / on the web at: