There is an option to correcting to nearsightedness that is non surgical in nature. It is a procedure called orthokeratology. This procedure involves the special design and fitting of contact lens that would remold the shape of the patient’s cornea. As a steep cornea characterizes myopia, orthokeratology will flatten the eyes so that light can be focused better on the retina. The result is a clear vision even after the lens has been taken off.
The result however is only temporary, though it will be sufficient to allow the patient to leave out his contacts or glasses for a couple of days. After that, the patient has to wear the orthokeratology lens once more to get the cornea back into its correct shape again. Take note however that the lens cannot be worn overnight.
Only a relatively small group, however, practices orthokeratology. Skepticism on its safety is highlighted by a perceived lack of scientific studies on the procedure’s effectiveness. Instead, most evidences are anecdotal in nature.
Paragon Vision Sciences has addressed these concerns.
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)
Around 10 years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of a lens for corneal reshaping on an overnight basis. It is called the Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) lens, owned and patented by Paragon.
CRT uses the same theory as orthokeratology, and advances it further. For one, it makes use of a material that is highly permeable, thus allowing it to be worn overnight as the cornea is reshaped while the patient is asleep. The lens can then be removed in the morning, meaning the patient can go through the entire day seeing clearly without the hassle of wearing anything on the eyes.
It also works well with patients suffering from myopia of up to -6.00 and/or astigmatism of up to 1.75D. This is a significant mark up to orthokeratology’s range of treating those with nearsightedness of only up to -4.00 and/or astigmatism of less than 0.75D.
Vision improvement can be felt in just a few days, with the optimal level reached in just a couple of weeks. The lens itself, if taken cared of properly, needs to be replaced only once a year.
So Is CRT Different from Orthokeratology?
Mr. Joe Sicari, the president and Chief Executive Officer of Paragon, has acknowledged that the company differentiation of CRT from orthokeratology is a marketing decision. This is intended to make CRT a major part of eye care, something that practitioners have been loathed to let orthokeratology be.
The difference also lies in the fact that CRT addresses concerns regarding predictability and scientific and clinical data to support its claims. An FDA study showed that 93% of patients achieved at least 20/32 vision, and 67% achieved 20/20 or better.
At The Eye Practice we use a number of types of Orthokeratology lenses. CRT is one but even though it is great it is not the best option for every patient. We also use TABB Move lenses and GOV lenses. Most myopic prescriptions now can be managed with Orthokeratology. Call now for an appointment on (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK an APPOINTMENT ONLINE.