Frequently Asked Questions
Perfect Daytime Vision, Without Glasses, Soft Contacts, or Surgery!
Orthokeratology (Ortho-K) is an amazing treatment for nearsightedness that is not generally well-known. Our office has eye doctors who are experts in this groundbreaking field of optometry and employ this science using Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT).
The basic method of this treatment involves patients wearing a custom small contact lens on their eyes during the night while they sleep. The lens acts as a mold that gently reshapes the surface of the eye. When the lenses are removed in the morning, the eye has the perfect shape to provide perfect vision during the day without the use of daily contacts or glasses. The therapy is completely safe, painless, FDA approved and reversible.
CRT can also help slow the natural progression of nearsightedness in children. Imagine if your child could see clearly during the day and their vision was protected from the constant fluctuation of eyesight associated with growth and puberty. While CRT lenses aren’t for everybody, our highly experienced eye doctors will help you decide if you or your child are good candidates.
Get Your CRT (Ortho-K) Lenses at The Eye Doctors
CRT is especially effective for children with mild to moderate nearsightedness but is also a viable solution for cases of farsightedness or astigmatism. It can work for adults as well as an alternative to glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
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 means 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
How Does Ortho-K Work?
CRT lenses are custom-made contact lenses that are worn overnight while you sleep. During this time, the surface of the eye is reshaped to the mold that the contact lens forms. Upon awakening, you simply remove the contact lenses and enjoy a full day of quality vision without the use of glasses. The shape of the eye is temporary, generally lasting one to two days. The temporary nature of the therapy means two things:
- The therapy is reversible, making it an ideal alternative to surgery.
- CRT is a commitment that the patient has to make, since the lenses are recommended to be worn every night to maintain good eyesight on a daily basis.
Our office uses CRT lenses made by Paragon Vision Sciences, which are completely safe and FDA approved.
Am I A Candidate for Ortho-K?
Ortho-K is an ideal solution for children who are too young for LASIK surgery and have a family history of nearsightedness. The main factors determining candidacy are that the eye is in overall good health and the lens prescription is suitable for correction. CRT lenses are also widely popular amongst athletes who have difficulties wearing contact lenses or glasses during their sporting activities.
Call our office to find out if your prescription is within the range that can be successfully treated with Ortho-K.
How Good Will My Vision Be with CRTs?
FDA trials show that over 65% of patients who are compliant with the treatment were able to see 20/20 after wearing the lenses overnight. More than 90% were able to see 20/40 or better (the legal vision requirement for driving without glasses in most states).
Our eye doctors have rates that are significantly higher than the numbers determined by the FDA. Part of this is simply based on the experience of our eye doctors. The other part is based on the technology we use in the office to take more precise scans of the eye to design the lens mold to fit your unique eyes.
What Exactly Goes into the Fitting Process of the Lenses? Does It Hurt?
The insertion of CRT lenses is totally painless and safe. The first night of wearing them is often reported as being “unusual” and a little uncomfortable. Your initial visit will involve many special scans of the front of the eye so that the eye doctor can map out the areas that need to be reshaped. The eye doctor will also have you try on one or two lenses to check for the preemptive fitting of the mold. There will also be a one on one training class to go over how to handle the lenses. This instruction will include how to safely insert, remove, and clean the lenses.
The first year of Ortho-K treatment includes 8-10 visits to the office to take scans of the eye and to have your lenses chemically cleaned by our technicians. These visits are extremely important. After the initial training session, we’ll schedule your next visit for the 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 (and all others after) you’ll also need to come in for several visits.
Your CRT will be effective as long as you are following the treatment as prescribed by your eye doctor. If you stop wearing the lenses, even for a few days, the shape of the eye will rebound back to its original shape. Having a backup pair of lenses is critical in cases of accidents or loss.
Will My Insurance Pay for CRT?
Many vision insurance companies give some discounts and allowances towards Ortho-K and CRT lenses. Our office typically sees insurance companies cover approximately $200-300 per year. Our team can help determine what type of coverage you are eligible for. Additionally, you can use FSA dollars towards your lens purchase.
Many patients of The Eye Doctors utilize a 12-month, interest-free payment plan to help spread out the investment over time. This is done through Care Credit.
The biggest expense associated with CRT comes in the first year. The initial cost of $2050 includes two sets of lenses, all visits related to the corneal reshaping (usually 8-10), an hour and a half training session on how to use the lenses, and four follow-up appointments.
Having two pairs of lenses is important because if the treatment ever stops, the eye will revert back to its normal shape. Having two in your possession ensures that in the case of lost or broken lenses, you can maintain treatment.
The cost for the second year of Ortho-K treatments is $400 for a total of four visits.
Because Ortho-K lenses last one to two years and maintain the eyes’ shape, replacement lenses usually aren’t necessary. Your first pair of replacement lenses are free if purchased within your first year of treatment only. If your lenses are never lost or broken, you’ll only need to purchase replacement lenses every other year for $600.
With an approved application for a 12-month credit plan through Care Credit — including no-interest financing — your payments will be as low as $170 per month.