Corneal Refractive Therapy:  The state of the art in Ortho-keratology (Ortho-K)

Do you suffer from nearsightedness, astigmatism or another type of refractive disorder? When the cornea assumes a less than optimal shape, it cannot refract light accurately enough for the brain to interpret clear visual images. While glasses, contact lenses and laser surgery can all correct your vision beautifully, you may not like the ritual of wearing corrective lenses every day, or the prospect of undergoing any kind of surgical procedure. But there’s another option that might allow you to see well, unaided, during the day. It’s a kind of corneal reshaping called Corneal Refractive Therapy — and we offer it here at De Anza Vision Center.

Ortho-K Services at De Anza Vision Center.

Many common vision disorders begin in the cornea. This transparent component at the front of the eye bends incoming light, focusing it so that it passes through the lens and hits the retina perfectly. This give the brain a sufficiently sharp image to translate into vision, allowing you to see clearly. But if the cornea is not ideally spherical or unblemished, it can’t give that incoming light the proper “shape.” Congenital or acquired malformations in the cornea typically produce myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (a stretching or squeezing if the image), or all of the above.

Instead of compensating for refractive oddities through the use of corrective lenses that you must constantly wear, corneal refractive therapy corrects the shape of the cornea itself. But it doesn’t do this permanently, like surgery does.  Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), employs contact lenses that you wear only at night.  These lenses are specially designed to gently reshape your corneas into the necessary shape required for 20/20 to 20/40 vision.  Simply wear your CRT contacts to bed, and take them out when you wake up — and you’ll be able to see clearly!

CRT’s effects can vary in duration from person to person, but generally you expect to get at least a day’s worth of corrected vision out of your lenses, which should correspond to the normal sleep-wake routine easily enough that you’re always seeing clearly. Since the process reverses itself naturally, you can always go back to conventional glasses or contacts any time you like — or even opt for laser surgery at some point in the future.

CRT  isn’t necessary right for everyone. You’ll need to get used to wearing the contacts to bed, and there might be some visual fuzziness during the initial adjustment period. CRT works best for mild to moderate refractive disorders. Make an appointment with De Anza Vision Center  to find out if CRT is right for your needs. If it is, we’ll perform the necessary corneal mapping to create your custom lenses, and advise on how to use them for terrific everyday vision.