LASIK and other forms of refractive surgery have gained popularity over the past decade, but not everyone who qualifies for these procedures can or wants to have them done. If this describes you, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) may offer a safe and effective alternative to surgery!
CRT utilizes the overnight wear of gas permeable contact lenses to gently reshape the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. By wearing the lenses while asleep, the front of the eye is flattened in a manner similar to that of LASIK, but without the permanent effects.
The contacts are worn every night for one to three weeks until the desired visual result is met, and then every few days as needed from then on, similar to a retainer for the teeth. If a patient desires to go back into daily wear contacts or eye glasses, or decides to have surgery, they simply discontinue the use of the contacts and the eye returns to its normal shape after one week.
Orthokeratology, commonly referred to as Ortho-K, is similar to CRT in that it too utilizes a specialty contact lens to reshape the cornea. Ortho-K is not a new technology and has been in existence for over 40 years. The lenses used with Ortho-K were not approved for overnight wear and produced mixed results, so the procedure held limited appeal for many patients.
As the technology of reshaping the cornea with contact lenses matured, the design and lens material improved as well. The CRT contact lens uses a high oxygen permeability material that makes it safe for overnight wear and produces much better results than previously experienced with Ortho-K.
CRT is indicated for patients as young as 8 years old and it is the only form of vision correction that has been shown to slow or even stop the progression of nearsightedness in young people. It is approved to treat patients with mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism and is the only system of its kind having FDA approval for the overnight correction of myopia.
In FDA trials, nearly 70% of participants had 20/20 vision or better, while over 90% had 20/30 or better. Additionally, in this study of 205 patients, no adverse events were reported. This data shows CRT to be a safe and effective alternative to LASIK surgery for patients who are not interested in or candidates for LASIK.
The first step to find out if you or your child qualifies for Corneal Refractive Therapy is to schedule a comprehensive eye examination with an eye care practitioner who is trained and certified in this type of contact lens therapy.
Dr Mulqueeny is friendly yet very professional. He cares about his patients and will take the time to talk and answer any questions. I would tell anyone to go see him.