Millions of people wear contact lenses daily to correct myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Some, however, prefer not to wear contacts during the day and are reluctant to opt for corrective eye surgery.
For those that have low myopia (nearsightedness), one option that doesn’t require wearing glasses or undergoing a more invasive procedure is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). Also known as orthokeratology – ortho-K for short – it involves wearing special rigid gas-permeable contact lenses designed to gently reshape the cornea during the night, providing temporary clear daytime vision when lenses are removed.
What You Need to Know About Corneal Refractive Therapy
1) CRT lenses are not one-size fits all and are designed for each eye based on the results of the patient’s eye exam. Your eye doctor prescribes the lenses based on the curvature of the cornea from a topographical map of the surface of the eye and your eyeglass prescription.
2) The corrective effect of CRT lenses can last up to 72 hours once patients are regularly wearing them.
3) CRT is the most advanced form of ortho-K, FDA-approved for overnight and accelerated treatment. Only practitioners that have CRT-certification can prescribe CRT. Older Ortho-K would require the daytime wear of a series of different lenses, which took longer and did not work as effectively.If you stop wearing CRT lenses, your vision will eventually revert back to its prior state before the corrective therapy.
4) You can see with the corrective lenses on, even though the CRT lenses are really designed to give good vision without wearing them.
5) The aim of Corneal Refractive Therapy is to provide good natural daytime vision with many able to read the 20/20 letters on the eye chart. It can take up to two weeks of regularly wearing CRT lenses to produce a maximum correction of daytime vision.
6) Corneal Refractive Therapy is suitable for children and teens as there is no age restriction on the FDA approval.
7) Sometimes your doctor will have you wear different CRT lenses before arriving at the right prescription for optimum vision correction. Your eye doctor may request frequent visits in the early days of the treatment to measure effectiveness and make adjustments accordingly.
8) CRT treatment generally cost in the region of $1,000 to $2,000 for both eyes, but in some cases, they can cost as much as $4,000.
9)While patients that have had previous LASIK eye surgery are not ideal candidates for Corneal Refractive Therapy, it is sometimes a possibility. Conversely, patients using CRT lenses can discontinue wearing them and potentially undergo LASIK.
10) Corneal Refractive Therapy provides many advantages, from being non-surgical to offering a great alternative to wearing daytime contacts. ReVision Optometry is a CRT-certified practice n San Diego where you may receive an evaluation to determine your CRT eligibility during our comprehensive eye exams. Book your comprehensive eye exam at ReVision Optometry today.