CRT in Clio, MI
Orthokeratology, commonly called ortho-k, is a method used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) by wearing rigid gas permeable contact lenses overnight, so that no vision correction is needed during daytime hours.
Gas permeable (GP) lenses specialized for ortho-k are inserted at bedtime and worn as you sleep. Throughout the night, the lenses reshape your cornea gently so that your vision becomes clear on the following morning. The correction is temporary, and ideally no eyeglasses or contact lenses will be needed on the next day or two. In order to maintain sharp visual acuity on a daily basis, you need to wear the ortho-k reshaping lenses every night.
At present, three brands of orthokeratology contact lenses are approved for use by the FDA. Euclid Emerald, usually prescribed for myopia control, Paragon Vision Sciences, who produces “Corneal Refractive Therapy” (CRT), and Bausch and Lomb, who manufactures “Vision Shaping Treatment” (VST).
Frequently Asked Questions about CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy)
aka Corneal Molding
Q: WHAT is CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy)?
A: This is an exciting non-surgical method of reducing nearsightedness and astigmatism. This is achieved by using FDA-approved therapeutic corneal reshaping lenses that gently correct your vision while you sleep. This allows clear vision all day with freedom from daytime contact lenses, glasses, or surgery.
Q: WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE?
A: CRT is most effective on children and adults who are moderately nearsighted. Ideally, your prescription should be in the range of -1.00 to -6.00 with no more than -1.00 of astigmatism. If you have been unable to wear contact lenses for any reason (discomfort, allergies, inconvenience, dryness, etc.), you may be a great candidate for CRT because the lens is only worn while you sleep.
Unlike the age limits imposed on Lasik surgery, Dr. Belill can fit children as young as eight and there is no upper age limit. A comprehensive exam will give Dr. Belill a better idea of your chances for success.
Q: WHY ARE CHILDREN GOOD CANDIDATES?
A: Studies from around the world have indicated that CRT could possibly keep your children's nearsightedness from getting worse. Currently, an ongoing five year national multi-center study (S.M.A.R.T.) is seeking to confirm previous studies and prove this as a fact.
This could reduce a child’s future risk of nearsighted-related diseases such as glaucoma and retinal detachments. Your child is an especially good candidate if wearing glasses or daytime contact lenses interfere with their activities such as swimming or basketball.
Q: DOES CRT HAVE ADVANTAGES OVER LASIK SURGERY?
A: Yes! For instance, the fee for CRT is less than half of the fee for Lasik surgery. Perhaps the most important attributes are that it is non-invasive and reversible. If your vision changes over time, the CRT lenses can be changed to account for it.
Lastly, in 2009, due to numerous complaints about Lasik side effects, the FDA launched a three-year study evaluated the safety of Lasik and its potential harmful effects on someone’s quality of life. For anyone less than 21years old, Lasik is not an option regardless. Lasik is not recommended for anyone with untreated dry eyes.
Q: HOW SAFE ARE THE CRT LENSES?
A: They are very safe and have been approved by FDA since 2001. However, there is a small risk of infection or abnormal blood vessel growth when CRT lenses are worn. This is no different than conventional contact lens wear, and may indeed be less.
This risk is minimized by adhering to suggested disinfection and care procedures, by wearing your retainers only as instructed, and by coming in for annual CRT corneal evaluations.
Q: HOW SUCCESSFUL IS CRT?
A: The rate of success is very high, but it depends on your original prescription and treatment goals. During your initial evaluation Dr. Belill will give you information about your potential outcome.
Q: CAN I SEE WHILE WEARING MY CRT LENSES?
A: Yes. This allows you to read in bed or watch TV before falling asleep.
Q: DO CRT LENSES HURT AND ARE THEY DIFFICULT TO INSERT AND REMOVE?
A: When the CRT lens is on your eye, it will feel scratchy when you blink. This is mild and usually not an issue since they will only be worn five minutes or so before going to sleep.
The CRT lenses are easier to put in and remove, even more than most GP lenses, and much easier than soft contact lenses. We offer an initial 30-day trial period to make sure that CRT is the right choice for you and your child.
Q: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO ACHIEVE GREAT VISION?
A: During the first few days of the CRT process, you may find that your vision is quite good for a few hours, and then may begin to slowly diminish. Dr. Belill may fit you with a soft lens to wear that will improve your vision when it begins to fade.
Often these are only worn as needed and may be reduced in strength as your vision improves. Most patients are seeing clearly in as little as one night of retainer lens wear.
Although vision improves rapidly in most cases, the full visual effect does not take place until about two weeks of wear. During this transition time, temporary lenses may be used to correct any distance blur during the day.
Q: HOW LONG WILL THE CLEAR VISION CREATED BY THE CRT LENSES LAST?
A: Patients who wear their lenses as prescribed find that they have great vision well into the evening. However, if you stop wearing your lenses, your vision will return to its original state. CRT is temporary and reversible – meaning anyone can stop at anytime and pursue other means of correction like glasses, conventional contact lenses or Lasik surgery.
Q: WHAT IF I SLEEP LESS THAN MOST PEOPLE?
A: Great results can be achieved in as little as four hours of sleep each night. Some people prefer to sleep for several short time periods rather than one consecutive period. This isn't a problem, just insert your retainer lenses when you sleep and remove them when you wake.
Q: IF I WEAR BIFOCALS OR PROGRESSIVE LENSES, AM I CANDIDATE?
A: If you are over 40 your reading correction may be addressed with monovision CRT (this involves correcting one eye for great distance vision and the other eye for near vision; your brain automatically chooses the appropriate eye for the task). Dr. Belill will inform you if this is an option for you. Another alternative is to have both eyes corrected for distance vision and wear reading glasses whenever you want to do near work.
Q: I KEEP HEARING DIFFERENT TERMS FOR CRT, DO THEY ALL MEAN THE SAME THING?
A: Yes! CRT may also be known as: Corneal Refractive Therapy, Ortho-K, orthokeratology, Vision Shaping Treatment, VST, Gentle Shaping System, The Gentle Vision Shaping System, Corneal Molding, Wave Front Corneal Molding, and Gentle Molding.
Additionally, the treatment devices used to achieve corrected vision may be referred to as: CRT lenses, Retainer Lenses, Vision Retainers, Retainers, Ortho-K Lenses, Corneal Molds, Molds, and Wave Lenses.
Q: CRT SOUNDS GREAT, BUT WHAT ARE THE COSTS INVOLVED?
A: There is an initial fee plus ongoing annual fees with CRT. Using CareCredit, the initial fee is $125 per month for 12 months interest-free. Using cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, or Discover the initial fee is $1500.
This covers the testing and time necessary to design the CRT lenses, instructions for lens care, an initial pair of CRT lenses and all follow up office visits with Dr. Belill as needed within three months. After this, annual preventative eye health examinations along with CRT evaluations must be performed.
The annual fee for CRT portion of these visits will range from $100-$400 depending on whether replacement CRT lenses are needed. CRT, similar to Lasik surgery, is a premium specialty procedure. Because of this, insurance plans will not be billed for the initial procedure, annual evaluations, or future replacement lenses.
Is CRT right for you or your child?
- Do your child’s eyes require a stronger eyeglass prescription for nearsightedness each year?
- Do you feel contacts or glasses inhibit you or your child’s ability to enjoy sports, working out, hiking, swimming, skiing, or other activities?
- Are you unable to wear contacts due to allergies or other sensitivities?
- Are you interested in LASIK, but not quite ready or afraid?
- DO YOU WANT CLEAR VISION, FREEDOM FROM DAYTIME CONTACT LENSES OR GLASSES, and NO SURGERY?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, consider CRT.
For more information visit:
A: Speak To Our CRT Ortho-K Specialist In Clio, MICall Belill Eye Care for a consultation at (810) 564-2000 to determine if you are a candidate. This consultation is not in place of a comprehensive eye health and vision evaluation.