A new type of contact lens is helping to revolutionise the eyecare market by providing people with an effective alterative to surgery, one expert has pointed out.
Dr John Jacobi, developmental optometrist and principal owner of Suburban Eye Care in Livonia, Michigan, said that corneal refractive therapy (CRT) can offer people who are nearsighted the chance to stop wearing glasses altogether.
The expert pointed out that there are many circumstances in which wearing glasses can be uncomfortable, with people who work outdoors finding that the frames can slide down their nose when it gets hot.
Equally, water sports are almost impossible if you want to be able to see properly when swimming, skiing or surfing, while skiers are often forced to get special prescription lenses for their goggles.
Furthermore, if a person has dry eyes or another irritating condition, wearing glasses can exacerbate the situation, but Dr Jacobi says CRT can change all that.
Corneal refractive therapy involves wearing a special kind of contact lens while people are sleeping, which, over a period of ten to 14 days, gradually flatten the cornea, enhancing the person's ability to focus on objects in the distance.
The lenses are removed in the morning and, because the cornea has changed shape, the person can see all day without using corrective lenses, the expert noted.
"This kind of eyecare can make a huge difference in someone's quality of life and make it possible for them to do things they haven't been able to do in years, if ever," he said.
He added that patients have generally been pleased with the results: "Speaking as someone with dry eyes, it was difficult for me to wear my contacts during the day. Just the act of blinking over them was uncomfortable. With CRT, I just put in the contacts and go to bed. Perfect."