CRT: Corneal Refractive Therapy
Even though eyeglasses and traditional contact lenses are proven to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and other visual problems. Some people will always seek the freedom & convenience of wearing no corrective lenses of any kind during their daily activities. While many are willing to go ahead with long-term solutions such as laser surgery, others would prefer a less invasive, more reversible answer. There is a solution to this known as corneal refractive therapy, or CRT — overnight reshaping lenses fit and dispensed at The Eye Doctors in Tampa, FL.
The idea for CRT stems from the late 1950s, when eye doctors noticed that nearsighted patients who wore hard contact lenses sometimes experiences a temporary improvement in their unaided eyesight. That’s because the shape of the cornea plays a critical role in how light is refracted and how images are delivered to the retina. An abnormally-shaped cornea can cause myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism. But the cornea is also malleable — it can conform to a new shape for a short period of time. This discovery led to the development of corneal refractive therapy, also known as orthokeratology or Ortho-K.
CRT involves the use of specially designed contacts that you wear to bed at night. As you sleep, the lenses apply just enough gentle pressure to reshape your corneas into your ideal vision prescription. Upon awakening, simply remove the lenses and enjoy the entire day with clear vision without glasses or contact lenses. The effect can sometimes last for days at a time — because the CRT lenses are worn overnight, you can achieve uninterrupted vision correction with them. The fact that the effect is temporary means that you can always change your mind and take up glasses or traditional contacts whenever you feel like it. Many patients regard this flexibility as a great advantage over refractive correction surgery.
Get Your CRT lenses at The Eye Doctors
No single form of vision correction is equally right for everyone, and that goes for CRT as well. It is especially effective for children with mild to moderate nearsightedness, but it can also work for adults too. CRT is a viable solution for some cases of farsightedness or astigmatism. Severe cases of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism may not be fully correctable with CRT, in which case our team at The Eye Doctors in Tampa, FL will be happy to provide you with other options for the best possible eyesight (which, after all, is the primary goal). CRT is an ideal solution for individuals who play sports or participate in other activities that make wearing lenses impractical. They may even help slow the progression of myopia in younger patients, which might mean that CRT is an amazing choice for your kids. Contact The Eye Doctors today to learn more about our CRT services and schedule an initial evaluation. 813-632-2020
Ortho-K at The Eye Doctors in Tampa and New Port Richey, FL
You might have just heard about something called orthokeratology or ortho-k but what is it exactly and is it right for you or your children? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that we get about ortho-k:
How Does Ortho-K Work?
Ortho-k lenses are specialty contact lenses that are only applied at bedtime and worn overnight. While you sleep, the lenses gently reshape the front surface of your eye (the cornea) to correct your vision, so you can see clearly without glasses or contact lenses by the time you’re awake. The effect is temporary – generally enough to get you through a day or two, so you will need to wear the ortho-k lenses each night, to be able to see clearly the next day.
Currently, there are two brands of orthokeratology lenses that have been approved by the FDA. These are the Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) lenses from Paragon Vision Sciences and Vision Shaping Treatment (VST) lenses from Bausch & Lomb.
Who is a candidate for ortho-k?
Orthokeratology is frequently a good option for nearsighted individuals who are too young for LASIK surgery or for some other reason are not good candidates for vision correction surgery. Because it can be discontinued at any time without permanent change to the eye, people of any age can try the procedure, as long as their eyes are healthy.
Ortho-k is particularly appealing for people who participate in sports, or who work in dusty, dirty environments that can make contact lens wear difficult.
How Well Will I Be Able to See With Ortho-K?
The goal for ortho-k is to correct your vision to 20/20 without eyeglasses or contact lenses during the day. In FDA trials of both CRT and VST lenses, more than 65% of patients were able to achieve 20/20 visual acuity after wearing the reshaping lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).
Success rates for ortho-k tend to be higher for mild prescriptions. Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with ortho-k.
How Long Does Ortho-K Take?
Though you may see some improvement in your vision after a day or two of overnight ortho-k, it can take several weeks for the full effect to be apparent. During this time, your vision will not be as clear as it was with glasses or contacts, and you are likely to notice some glare and halos around lights. It’s possible you may need a temporary pair of eyeglasses for certain tasks, like driving at night, until your vision is fully corrected by the ortho-k lenses.
Is Ortho-K Going to Hurt
Some people have comfort issues when attempting to wear gas permeable contact lenses during the day. But since ortho-k GP lenses are worn during sleep, comfort and lens awareness are generally not a problem.
How much does ortho-k cost?
Ortho-k is a longer exam than a regular contact lens fitting. It requires a series of office visits and potentially multiple pairs of lenses. Also, GP lenses used for ortho-k are more costly than most regular contact lenses. Therefore, fees for orthokeratology are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. The cost is offset due to the simple fact that prescription glasses and daily wear contacts are not needed for Ortho-k patients at all.
What If I Decide I Want Lasik After Ortho-K
Yes, it’s possible to have LASIK surgery after orthokeratology. But because ortho-k lenses reshape your cornea, you must stop wearing the lenses for a period of time (usually several months) so your eyes can return to their original shape and stabilize. Be sure to tell your LASIK surgeon that you’ve worn ortho-k lenses, so they can advise you how long you should wait before having the surgery.
For more information on orthokeratology, visit All About Vision®.
Ortho-K Pricing & Insurance
Ortho-K (Orthokeratology) is a procedure that works to reshape the curvature of the eye using non-surgically implanted, specially designed contact lenses. It effectively eliminates the need for contact lenses during the day because the lenses gently reshape the eye as a person sleeps. Users insert the contact lens into their eye prior to bed. When they wake in the morning, their vision is significantly improved eliminating the need for glasses or contacts.
Who Can Benefit From Ortho-K?
This treatment can impact many people including those with:
- Presbyopia (Blurred near vision)
Individuals who have high prescriptions may still qualify for Ortho-K. Additionally, this procedure may be ideal for those who want the benefits of a surgical procedure such as LASIK, but do not want the risks.
Pricing for Ortho-K in New Tampa & Trinity
At The Eye Doctors, our doctors perform Ortho-K procedures to give individuals back the ability to see clearly without the use of contacts or glasses. It’s important to see the long-term benefits of correcting vision in this manner. Our pricing is as follows.
The initial fee fit is $1900, which includes two sets of lenses. Using Ortho-K, your vision improvement is only effective as long as you are using the treatment. If you stop the treatment, even for a few days, your eye will revert back to its original shape. Having a backup pair of lenses is critical in cases of accidents or loss. Your initial fee also includes all visits related to corneal reshaping for the year (usually 8 to 10 visits) as well as an initial 1.5-hour training on the lenses.
Keep in mind, your visits are very important. After the initial training session, we’ll schedule your next visit for the first morning after the first night of wear. Then, you’ll need an appointment after a full week of wear, after one month of wear, and then quarterly to continuously check your progress.
The second year, you’ll also need to come in for several visits. Typical costs during this year are about $400. Most people have four visits during this time.
If you should need to replace your lenses, the feel for doing so is $600 for a single pair or $950 for two pair. The way Ortho-K works, there is no need to change your lenses regularly. These lenses keep the corneal reshaping from changing shape, minimizing the need for new lenses. Most lenses last 1 to 2 years of wear each. The length of time these last is directly related to the way you take care of them and clean them. Unless you lose them or break them, most people will spend $600 every other year to replace lenses.
Many people do qualify for insurance coverage for Ortho-K. If you have eye insurance, it may cover a portion of these fees. Insurance covers a portion of the fees usually $200-300 per year. Additionally, you can use FSA dollars towards your lens purchase.
In addition, The Eye Doctors offers our patients a 12-month, interest-free payment plan to help you. This is done through Care Credit. Let us know if you are interested.
Ready to improve your vision and get rid of annoying contacts and glasses for good? Call us at our New Tampa office at 813-632-2020 or in Trinity at 727-372-2020.
- Orthokeratology, or “ortho-k,” is the process of reshaping the eye with specially-designed rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The goal of ortho-k is to flatten the front surface of the eye and thereby correct mild to moderate amounts of nearsightedness and astigmatism.