Brogan’s story: Seeing clearly with Ortho-K
Thursday, July 12, 2018
From a young age, Brogan Brouchoud never really knew what it meant to see clearly.
As a second-grader, he wore glasses. By fourth or fifth grade, his vision woes were apparent even to others.
“I couldn’t see the board as well and sometimes my teacher asked me, ‘Are you able to see the board?’ because I would squint,” the 12-year-old says.
His mother Terri grew concerned, especially as Brogan’s quality of vision continued to decline.
“For a while, his prescription was progressing so that we were coming every six months and it would just worsen and worsen,” she says. During one such visit, she was encouraged to speak to Dr. Brad LaVallie of BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists about a treatment option.
The option, corneal refractive therapy, also known as Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, uses FDA-approved contact lenses for correcting nearsightedness. The rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses temporarily change the curvature of the cornea. That change improves the eye’s ability to focus on objects, thus reducing nearsightedness.
The lenses are typically worn at night, while the patient sleeps. They’re taken out when the patient wakes up in the morning and are not worn during the day.
“That day, Dr. LaVallie popped in and spoke with us in the exam room and I was like, ‘Yes, sign us up,’” Terri says, adding that she was concerned that Brogan’s eye woes might lead to “some kind of visual impairment in the future.”
Fast-forward about four months – after a wait for Ortho-K lenses best-suited for patients with higher prescriptions – and Brogan started seeing results.
Brogan could swim, fish, go boating, play sports and more without fear of losing his glasses or, for that matter, having to wear glasses, Terri says.
“He’s just free to do whatever he can and he can see,” she said. “As a mom I feel very blessed that he has been given this opportunity … It’s just been a wonderful thing for him to experience and for myself as a parent to watch.”
Dr. Brad LaVallie sees patients at BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists in Green Bay. Call 877-462-9465 or request an appointment online.
Brad LaVallie, OD, is an optometrist at BayCare Clinic Eye Specialists. He received his medical education at the University of Missouri College of Optometry in St. Louis. In addition to comprehensive optometry, Dr. LaVallie’s special interests include specialty contact lens fittings, low vision evaluation and dry eye treatment.