What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy?

What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy?

What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy?

What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy?

Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) offers a non-surgical solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia. Also called orthokeratology or ortho-k, CRT uses specialized rigid contacts to reshape the cornea overnight. This temporarily reduces refractive errors for clear vision the following day without eyeglasses or contacts.



How CRT Corrects Vision


CRT lenses are custom-designed and fitted for your unique corneal topography. You wear them while sleeping at night. The lenses painlessly mold specific areas of the cornea into a more regular shape. When removed in the morning, light focuses better on the retina for crisper vision.


The corneal reshaping effect lasts temporarily. Your cornea gradually reverts to its original shape without the lenses. So you must commit to wearing CRT lenses nightly to maintain the results. You can wake up to clear vision every morning with consistent overnight use.



Who Can Benefit From CRT?


You may be a good candidate if you have symptoms of any of the following:


  • Nearsightedness up to -6.00 diopters

  • Astigmatism up to -1.75 diopters

  • Farsightedness up to +3.00 diopters


CRT can also correct presbyopia and slow progressive myopia in children. Ideal candidates have healthy corneas and reasonable expectations. An optometrist examines your eyes to advise if CRT is suitable.



CRT Advantages Over Other Options


Compared to eyeglasses, contacts, and laser surgery, CRT offers:


  • Noninvasive, reversible vision correction

  • Clear daytime vision without lenses

  • Slowed childhood myopia progression

  • Cost savings over time

  • No surgical risks



The CRT Process


The first step is an initial consultation to see if CRT sounds like a good fit. Your optometrist will do a comprehensive eye exam and use advanced technology to map the unique topography of your corneas. They will assess your candidacy based on your degree of refractive error, general eye health, and unique corneal shape.


If you are deemed an appropriate candidate, your optometrist will take precise measurements of your eyes to design custom CRT lenses engineered specifically for you. The custom lenses take two to three weeks. You will receive instructions on properly inserting and removing the lenses at night. Your optometrist will also demonstrate proper lens care, including disinfection and storage. They will also schedule frequent follow-up appointments to monitor your vision progress.



Adapting to CRT Lenses


The first one or two weeks of adapting to CRT lens wear may feel slightly uncomfortable. As your eyes adjust to the lenses, you may experience mild irritation, excessive watering, or blurred vision. This is normal. Your optometrist can suggest lubricating eye drops and solutions to ease the adjustment.


After this initial period, most people feel entirely comfortable wearing CRT lenses overnight. You will remove them first thing in the morning and should notice sharper vision immediately. You will likely experience significant improvements after one to three months of consistent CRT lens use every night.



CRT Results and Maintenance


With disciplined, nightly CRT lens wear, many patients achieve near 20/20 vision. The duration of clear vision after removing CRT lenses in the morning differs between individuals. Many report up to 14 hours of sharp sight before some regression begins to occur. Your optometrist will assess and seek to maximize your particular timeframe of clear post-lens vision.


To sustain CRT benefits, you must consistently wear the prescribed lenses for the recommended overnight hours. Skipping nights allows regression as your corneas gradually revert to their original, irregular shape. But getting back on track rapidly restores the improvements from CRT.



Is CRT Right for You?


If you want crisp vision without relying on glasses or daytime contacts, ask your optometrist about CRT. This innovative treatment could free you from lenses during your productive waking hours.


Contact Everything Eyes in our Delray Beach, Florida, office to learn more about achieving clear natural vision with CRT. Call (561) 499-2055 to schedule an appointment today.

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