We are one of the only optometry practices in Pennsylvania that offers corneal reshaping therapy (CRT). CRT is a relatively new evolution of orthokeratology, which is method of gently reshaping the cornea in the eye (and thus providing clear vision). In a lot of ways, CRT is the natural evolution of contact lenses.
While almost everyone is aware of how eyeglasses and contact lenses correct vision, CRT is such a new process that its benefits (and use) is still relatively unknown. This is too bad, because CRT can benefit many people and provide comfortable, convenient all-day vision correction.
When someone requires vision correction, it’s usually because of a refractive error. A refractive error – myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism– is the term used to describe the effect that a physical abnormality of the eye/lens has on your vision. Refractive errors are physical in nature, and correction vision in people with them requires that the refractive error itself is corrected.
Light enters the eye by passing through the cornea/lens and reaching the retina (the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye). The retina transmits this sensory information to the brain via the optic nerve.
Vision impairment from refractive errors changes where light focuses inside the eye. In a normal eye, light enters the cornea/lens and focuses directly on top of the retina. When this happens, vision is crisp and clear- no problem! However, a refractive error changes where light focuses inside the eye, and that’s where problems begin.
When light comes to a focal point in front or “behind” the retina, the resulting images look blurry and out of focus. Correcting this focal point is the purpose of corrective lenses, which change the way light enters the eye and thus change its focal point as well.
Corrective lenses, laser eye surgery, and corneal reshaping therapy all work to correct the refractive error, though each method utilizes a different process to achieve their goal.
CRT is another tool in our toolbox. Unlike glasses or contact lenses, corneal reshaping lenses are not worn every day. Unlike laser eye surgery (such as LASIK or PRK), no surgical procedure is needed to correct vision. CRT is a unique process all on its own.
You wear your CRT lenses at night when you sleep, removing them during the day. While you wear the lenses they gently reshape the cornea. The reshaped cornea provides improved vision, with 9 in 10 people reaching 20/32 vision (or better), and 2 in 3 people reaching 20/20 vision (or better). In effect, the CRT lenses temporarily correct the refractive error in the eye.
The results from CRT are temporary and require the lenses to be worn nightly. However, when removed during the day, the user can expect 10 – 14 hours of corrected vision.
We’d love to talk to you about whether or not CRT is an ideal solution for your need. Visit us in Butler or Cranberry for a consultation- we’ll assess your eyes, prescription, and walk you through appropriate next steps.