The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye that covers the iris, pupil and anterior chamber. Its purpose is to refract light that enters the eye, focusing it onto the retina at the back of the eye which then transmits signals to tell us what we can see. If light isn’t refracted perfectly, it can cause us to experience blurred vision and refractive eye errors occur because of problems with the shape of the cornea.
In an ideal world, the cornea should be evenly domed on all sides. However, changes within the lens of the eye can occur that cause it to be too flat or too steep, causing light to fall in front of or behind the retina rather than onto it. By correcting the shape of the cornea, it is possible to eliminate refractive eye errors and enable patients to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses. This can be achieved using corneal reshaping therapy.
Corneal reshaping therapy, or CRT for short, is a non-surgical treatment that is designed to alter and improve the shape of the cornea in order to correct refractive vision errors that require the patient to wear prescription lenses to see clearly. Many people consider it a highly effective alternative to laser vision correction.
Corneal refractive therapy can be used to address any refractive eye error including myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. It can even be used to correct presbyopia – corneal shape changes that result from age-related malformations developing in the cornea.
Orthokeratology is an innovative treatment that uses bespoke contact lenses to gentle exert force over the cornea whilst you sleep, reshaping it so that refractive eye errors are corrected. It is one of the most common types of corneal reshaping therapies.
Ortho-k lenses are made from gas-permeable material which makes them safe and comfortable to wear overnight, and when you remove them the next day, you will be able to see clearly for a number of hours without using prescription eyewear. The improvement you see in your vision will be progressive, and if you wear your ortho-k lenses every night, you will soon be able to see clearly for up to 24 hours during the daytime. If you want to cease treatment, you simply stop wearing your lenses and your cornea will return to its original shape. Some patients particularly like the non-permanence of this solution.
There are multiple brands of orthokeratology treatment available, but all are slightly different. Our expert eye care team would be happy to advise you which is the most suitable for you.
Corneal reshaping therapy is suitable for a wide range of different patients. It is particularly effective for people who:
- Are mildly to moderately nearsighted
- Are mildly to moderately affected by farsightedness, astigmatism or presbyopia
- Have stable vision with no significant prescription changes
- Are not good candidates for laser vision correction
- Are unable to wear contact lenses or glasses or for whom these solutions aren’t practical
- Have healthy eyes
Corneal reshaping therapy has also been found to be an effective way of controlling myopia in young children, preventing it from worsening and leading to other ocular problems in the future.
If you would like more information about corneal reshaping therapy, please get in touch with our expert team today.