Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT) or orthokeratology is a breakthrough FDA approved therapy to correct your vision so that you do not need your glasses or contacts to see during the day! These lenses are worn overnight and they gently reshape your eyes to correct your vision. In the morning, upon removal of the lenses, patients have clarity of vision all day long…all without the need for daytime contact lenses, surgery or glasses. This FDA approved therapy, has also shown promise to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. For this reason, Dr. Bhakta treats many young patients with nearsightedness to prevent the worsening of their vision.
For adults and children, CRT is an excellent option for patients desiring freedom from glasses and contact lenses. Call our Lake Worth eye care office today to speak to our corneal reshaping specialists.
The Orthokeratology Process
While the theory behind Corneal Refractive Therapy has been around since the early 1940s, the treatment became possible only a few decades ago when computers began to be able to map the cornea and advanced manufacturing allowed for the development of oxygen permeable contact materials. Those who are nearsighted suffer from blurriness caused by light focus in the front of the retina. The CRT lenses are able to safely reshape the cornea, flattening it so light focuses on the retina and the blurriness diminishes.
Orthokeratology involves a three-step process:
- the initial examination, where your optometrist or ophthalmologist will use a Topograph to determine the refraction error of the cornea,
- the fitting, which may happen on the same day, where your eye care professional will select a series of up to three strengths of custom Ortho-k prescription contacts, and
- the one-to-two-week treatment phase where candidates use their prescription contacts while sleeping for at least six to eight consecutive hours each night.
While the majority of patients can begin to notice positive changes in vision within the first few days of treatment, full results can take anywhere from 10 to 14 days. Patients should note that discontinuing nightly wear of the lenses can cause vision to return to its original state in as little as a few days.
Candidates will wear disposable soft lenses or glasses throughout the day during the correction phase. On completion of the treatment, only the prescribed overnight contacts need to be worn. Occasionally, candidates experience mild glaring and haloes around bright light. Remember, there is always the risk of infection without proper eye and lens care, so practice good hygiene and schedule routine follow-up eye appointments!
Orthokeratology, Myopia and the Case of Overnight Vision Correction
Let’s begin with “Myopia.” Exactly what is it? Myopia is the medical term for “nearsightedness,” a condition affecting nearly three million Americans a year, where a refraction error of the cornea hinders light to bend properly, making objects far away appear blurry. While this condition is technically chronic, recent advancements in the eye industry have made it possible for people with low Myopia to temporarily correct their vision through a process called Orthokeratology, or “Ortho-k.”
Orthokeratology—What is It?
Corneal Refractive Therapy is a non-surgical treatment that uses special contact lenses to reshape the cornea of the eye while you sleep, without altering the physiology of the eye.
These oxygen-intense, “breathable” lenses work to temporarily reverse the effects of Myopia during the night so the wearer can experience clear vision the following day—without the use of glasses or contacts. Ortho-k is used primarily to slow the progression of mild Myopia in adults and children, although it can aid in the temporary correction of low-degree astigmatism, hyperopia, and presbyopia as well.
What To Expect From CRT?
Those who start CRT may begin to notice better vision in as little as just a few days, however, most patients will want to allow up to two weeks to gain the full results of treatment. It is important to note that the results of CRT are reversible and will only remain as long as the wearer continues nightly use of the contact lenses.
CRT is a perfect solution for individuals who have mild to moderate nearsightedness, may not be candidates for LASIK surgery, or who do not want to undergo a surgical procedure to correct their vision. Patients who are active and wish to have sharper vision without having to worry about the daily use of glasses or contacts during the day, have found CRT an ideal solution.
Dr. Bhakta at Planet Vision Eyecare can discuss whether CRT is appropriate for you. If you like the idea of waking up each morning with clearer vision without having to wear glasses or contacts during the day, call our Lake Worth eye doctor and find out more about how you can safely correct your vision – all while you sleep!
Is CRT Safe?
CRT was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2002 and has been approved for use in all ages of patients. While there have been no serious adverse risks related to wearing CRT lenses, those who have trouble using contacts should discuss their concerns with their eye doctor before proceeding with treatment.
How long do the lenses last?
Dr. Hetel Bhakta recommends replacing your CRT lenses once a year. During your visit to our Lake Worth eye care office, our eye doctors and orthokeratology experts will discuss with you the proper care techniques for your lenses so that they will last as long as possible.
Why Choose Orthokeratology?
For those with mild or moderate Myopia, Ortho-k is a great option, especially for sports-related activities or when working in environments containing debris or dust. Ortho-k can also be an effective pre-LASIK treatment that can temporarily stall the need for corrective eye surgery. In addition, the fast, painless and safe process makes Ortho-k a practical solution for children who have Myopia.
How Costly is Ortho-k?
Unfortunately, most insurances do not cover the total cost of Ortho-k. Additionally, costs will vary depending on your eye doctor and your unique prescription. The general, two-set lens and appointment package can range anywhere from $900 to $1,800.
Am I a Candidate for Ortho-k?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for CRT lenses. Only those individuals who have low to moderate nearsightedness (with or without astigmatism) can benefit from CRT treatment at this time. The best candidates for Orthokeratology are children between the ages of eight and 12 who have progressive Myopia. If early stages of nearsightedness are caught soon enough, Ortho-k can sometimes help with restoring vision in children, because the custom lenses “mold” the eyes overnight to hinder or encourage the growth of cells. Ortho-k also works well with adolescents and young adults with mild or moderate Myopia, or for adults under the age of 40 who aren’t interested in LASIK or other eye corrective surgery. If you suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome or have severe Myopia, Ortho-k is not recommended.
If you are curious about benefiting from this FDA-approved vision treatment, contact our Lake Worth eye doctor, Dr. Bhakta, today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.
Ask Your Doctor
If you have questions or concerns about Ortho-k, schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. He or she will be able to help you determine your candidacy, costs, benefits, and risks of the process.