What if there was a method that combined with OrthoK virtually assured stability of refractive error?What if the method required use of medications in the eye and the technique needed to be repeated at regular intervals to keep the effect stable? What if the technique wasn't FDA approved for myopia control, so its use would be off-label? What if your state board is against or silent concerning your ability to use the technique?
Am I talking about cross-linking for corneal stability of an OrthoK molding? Or am I talking about using very low dose atropine? Or am I talking about the next technique that we don't know about yet? Our profession continues to be defined by law and the laws do not always keep up with current technology. Wouldn't it be strange to find ourselves in a situation where we could treat the blinding medical condition of glaucoma but we couldn't treat the refractive condition of myopia with the best clinical tools?
We are generally very adamant about keeping insurance companies out of the equation when talking about orthokeratology. We've seen from prior experience that there is no benefit to traveling down that road. I think we need to realize that we could be blindsided from unexpected directions. You need to investigate your state laws with an eye towards determining your freedom to practice what has to be full-service optometry. If you don't like what you see, specifically with the ability to treat refractive errors with medications, then start working on it now. There are so many battles over health insurance - don't get locked out of what many of us may assume is our fall-back position if vision plans and health insurance fail to deliver what we and our patients need.
Richard L. Anderson, O.D.
Richard L. Anderson, O.D. is a fellow of the academy and has been assigned to head a committee tasked with creating a myopia prevention protocol. He has practiced in Camarillo California for more than a few years and his passion for myopia prevention led him to most recently create a website for patients and doctors at http://www.MyopiaPrevention.org.