Corneal refractive therapy (CRT) is nothing new, but it's only within the past few years that most nearsighted people have heard about this treatment option. Patients using CRT, also known as "corneal reshaping," put a special pair of contacts in their eyes every night and, over the course of a few years, they should naturally achieve 20/20 vision.
While this may sound too good to be true, corneal reshaping has already made a huge difference in the lives of many patients across the UK. Eye doctors are now working on increasing awareness of CRT lenses as a valid treatment option for myopia patients.
Ortho-k CRT contact lenses are designed to be worn every night and taken out in the morning. While the wearer sleeps, these contacts apply gentle pressure on the cornea.
The Ortho-k CRT contacts are extremely breathable and won't disturb a patient's sleep, but they are not to be worn during the day. The eyes need time to breathe, and the contacts need to be cleaned thoroughly to ward off infections. Every pair of Ortho-K CRT contacts lasts for one year.
Believe it or not, eye doctors actually have a scientific term for the study of this corneal correction therapy. "Orthokeratology" is the official branch of ophthalmology concerned with correcting corneal vision overnight. As you probably could have guessed already, this is also where "Ortho-k" gets its name.
Nearsighted patients tend to have the best results with this nightly therapy. Both adults and children have had success using CRT contacts nightly.
In fact, most of the patients who use CRT contacts tend to be young athletes. Glasses are a big inconvenience for children involved in various high contact sports, but many youngsters don't want to go through a costly and/or risky surgical procedure to get rid of their myopia. Therefore, many child athletes are opting for CRT lenses nowadays.
As mentioned above, these contacts work best for myopia patients, but that doesn't mean they only work for nearsighted cases. Anyone at any age who wants to ditch their glasses without surgery should talk about CRT lenses with their doctor right away.