Here are my findings of the two optometrists on Orthokertology between Mt Pleasant Optometry (MPO) and Vision Source (VS). All answers from MPO are email replies, while VS answers are in-person with the doctor.
MPO: If you have had an eye examination in the past 6 months and can provide us with a complete copy of that exam, we can work with that. If it has been longer than 6 months we recommend a complete eye examination with full health check to ensure no contraindications to the AOK procedure.
VS: Since I had the eye exam with them, there didn’t seem to be any problems so far with AOK. I asked if my problems with nocturnal lagophthalmos (sleeping with eyes open) since I tend to wake up with my eyes dry and irritated. It’s gotten better recently by wearing eye masks though. The doctor said that she didn’t see any stains when she did the eye exam, so my nocturnal lagophthalmos isn’t bad as I think it is. However, we’ll only really know when we do the trial to see if the computer says ‘yes’ or ‘no, I’m not a good candidate for AOK’.
VS: After I get the trial lenses, and on the 2nd morning, I come to the office and the doctor will take photos of my eyes to see the difference the lenses has made. The computer will also indicate if I am a candidate to do the AOK. There may be several trials needed to see if there are other ways to treat my eyes, since every eye responds differently to treatments. Dr. Randhawa was honest in saying that it does hurt for the first couple days, which kind of deterred me…
MPO: The cost of a complete eye examination is $120 for contact lens wearers. For the AOK training and trial, cost is $200. The trial lenses are loaned to you during the trial period. $100 is credited/refunded back to you when these lenses are returned. If the training is successful and we order custom lenses for you, the cost is $500 – this is a non-refundable fee and covers the cost of the custom-made lenses (and modifications to the lenses) if we need to re-make them within the first 6 months. The treatment fee for your specific prescription range is $2100 and covers all follow-up visits and is refundable within the first year if AOK is discontinued. Furthermore, you have a full year to pay this treatment fee in installments. Total cost is $2600 – $500 of which is non-refundable.
VS: Trial is approximately $500. She didn’t really know what the exact refund would be from that when I return the trial lenses (which do not have any prescription, so the eyesight wont get better during this time). In total, she said with my prescriptions, it would come to a total of $3500. However, the lenses are really high quality from downtown Vancouver which would last anywhere from 10-20 years, and the replacement was only a few hundred dollars.
MPO: We can accommodate Saturday appointments for all AOK consultation and follow-up visits. The only exception is the AOK training visit which requires a scheduled appointment with one of our qualified AOK trainers. This visit would involve all insertion/removal, cleaning/care instruction. Our trainers are available only Monday to Friday. So, you could come in for a consult on Saturday, be trained during the week, and then have all remaining follow-up visits on Saturdays. It’s located in a convenient location near where I live, but it’d mean I’d have to take time off from work. She didn’t indicate if the AOK training is just one visit, in which I guess it’s doable by going early in the morning.
I had originally thought of going to VS mostly because they were only open Mon-Fri 9-5 and limited time on Sat. However, they seemed to have new hours since March 4th. Open earlier, open later, and on weekends. This is just perfect!
VS: They are open Mon-Sat with some weekdays open after work hours, which works great for me since I work Mon-Fri 9-5. Located quite far, though not too bad if I go straight after work, so it’d be best if I can do it during the weekdays.
MPO: The doctor was very thorough in her email despite only sending one email to her. She took the time (as you can see) to answer many of my questions. It would be unfair to compare her to VS doctor since I didn’t see her in person to ask more questions.
VS: Dr. Randhawa took time and effort to explain things clearly for me. She didn’t seemed rushed, even though her office was already closed for over an hour. She’s very friendly and very likeable character. A very good eye doctor. Dr. Randhawa is the only doctor there, so no need to explain things twice with different doctors.
MPO: Optimal results for AOK are achieved with prescriptions of -4.00 or less in each eye. Having said that, I have treated prescriptions higher than that with good results. Please know that in the worst case scenario, you may be left with a small residual myopic prescription that may need to be corrected with a light set of glasses for distance vision only. Computer and near vision should be fine without any glasses (if you are under 40 years of age).
VS: She said that for one eye, it would be close to being perfect, but the other one will be a bit blurry. But both will be sufficient for driving, or at least every day things. I could start wearing them Friday night, Sat night, and Sun night. By Monday morning, my eyes should have adjusted so that I could drive to work. The plus side of AOK is that it will prevent further advancement of nearsightedness – a good point indeed.
At this point, I’m thinking that I should go in to talk to the doctor at MPO in person, not only to see the doctor, but the staff and atmosphere of the place. Stay tuned for more!
To read my first post on Vision Source, click here.