Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)

What is a CRT lens?

Usually when you think about wearing contact lenses, it is during the daytime to correct your vision. Corneal refractive therapy, (also called orthokeratology) is the exact opposite. A contact lens is worn during sleep and removed while awake. The lens applies gentle pressure surface of the eye (called the cornea). This pressure actually reshapes the eye, and that new shape allows for one to see well without the need for glasses or contacts.


How are we involved?

Believe it or not this technology has been around for several years. However, a few advancements have made CRT a much more efficient process. Machines called corneal topographers are able to create very accurate maps of the front surface eye, which allow eye doctors to fit the right contact lens to the eye for the desired amount of reshaping. Also, contact lens materials have improved so the risk of sleeping in the lens has been greatly reduced. This allowed for CRT to become FDA approved in 2002. OPMT was a part of the original study to test this technology all those years ago.

We are proud to say that our eye doctors were the first to offer this technology to patients in Middle Tennessee.


Are you a good candidate?

A good candidate for CRT is a moderately nearsighted person looking to rid themselves of depending on glasses or contacts. The CRT lenses will be worn at night while sleeping and the treatment effect last all day. The treatment can also work for those with slight amounts of astigmatism. Unlike refractive surgeries, the effect of the lenses is completely reversible. If one stops wearing the lenses, their eyes will return to their natural shape in a short period. For patients over 40, the treatment may be applied so that one eye sees well at distance, and eye sees well up close. This is called “monovision,” and eliminates the need for reading glasses as well. If you have questions, we would be more than happy to talk to you in either Nashville or Hendersonville about how CRT’s might work for you!


The future of CRT research:

Perhaps the most exciting thing about CRT is the potential to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children. This has been a huge area of research recently and the results are promising. Stay tuned for a coming blog on CRTs use to control childhood myopia.