Corneal refractive therapy is a non-surgical process that reshapes the cornea of your eye while you sleep, and improves your vision so you don’t need eyeglasses or contact lenses to see during the day. It may be a good vision correcting option to consider during your next comprehensive eye examination.
Corneal refractive therapy, or CRT as it’s referred to, works very well for the right individual. It involves being fit with a specially designed therapeutic rigid contact lens that is worn while you sleep at night. While you are sleeping, the lens gently changes the curve or shape of your cornea (the clear front surface of your eye), improving your vision. When you wake up, you simply remove the lenses and go the entire day without any other vision correction like eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Most concerns about CRT focus on comfort and eye health. Even though the lenses are rigid gas permeable lenses, comfort is rarely an issue. Many people report they hardly notice them, especially since they wear them when they’re sleeping. Comfort, if it’s an issue, also improves very quickly.
CRT lenses are FDA approved for overnight wear and allow plenty of oxygen to pass through to your eyes. This means there’s less risk of eye health problems. And since the lenses aren’t worn during the waking hours, your eyes will receive more oxygen all day compared to standard contact lenses. As with any contact lens, there’s always some risk of problems. But if fit properly, worn and cared for properly, and proper follow-up examinations maintained, these risks are minimal.
CRT is effective correcting mild to moderate degrees of myopia (nearsightedness) and minimal amounts of astigmatism. It works extremely well for children who don’t like wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. Most patients experience a dramatic improvement in their vision within the first few days, but it usually takes a week or two to achieve the full vision correction effect.
Vision correction with CRT is not permanent. The therapeutic lenses must be worn every night, or every other night. If you do not wear your lenses for several days, your vision will begin returning to your normal degree of myopia, making everything seem far away and blurrier.
CRT lenses usually last for one year, then need replacing. If your vision is still changing, the power and shape of your lenses will also need to be changed. Yearly eye health and vision examinations are critical.
Before offering CRT, doctors must perform additional course work and become certified, so not all eye doctors offer this treatment modality. CRT requires additional clinical expertise and close patient follow-up. It is not inexpensive, but well worth the value and peace of mind of not having to wear eyeglasses or traditional contact lenses to see well during the day.
Ask your eye doctor if you are a candidate for this exciting, non-surgical way to have great vision without eyeglasses or daytime contact lenses. It’s the vision correction therapy that works while you sleep.