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Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)

Corneal Refractive Therapy is a special non-surgical vision correction procedure in which your cornea is reshaped as you sleep by specially designed gas permeable contact lenses. Dr. Ann Gallagher of Eyes on 40 in Ellicott City, Maryland explains, “This technology is founded on the principle that if the cornea, the front part of your eye that helps shape light as it enters, is not shaped correctly, images will become blurry and hard to discern. Therefore, the gentle reshaping of your cornea gives it the proper shape to bend light in a way that gives you the best sight possible. Since this procedure takes place while you sleep you are able to wake up each morning, take out your contact lenses and enjoy improved eyesight up to 20/20 all day.”


Risk for Corneal Refractive Therapy is also quite minimal, since the effects of Corneal Refractive Therapy are reinforced only if the lenses are worn every night, and if wear is discontinued, your eyes return to their original shape. Therefore, patients can discontinue at any time, if they choose, without fear of adverse effects of any kind. Corneal Refractive Therapy also does not rule out LASIK in the future, as a result of this same reversibility.


Although Corneal Refractive Therapy is primarily prescribed for those with mild to moderate nearsightedness, with or without astigmatism, they also may be used to correct farsightedness and, in some cases even presbyopia. This is even true if you are not an ideal candidate for other types of vision correction such as refractive surgery, either because of age or other eye conditions like dry eyes.


During your specialized Corneal Refractive lens fitting, your eye doctor will ensure you are a good candidate, and make sure that the lenses are properly fitted for comfort and safety. Dr. Gallagher explains this process, “Your eye doctor will start by obtaining measurements of your “corneal topography,” a procedure which is painless and takes only about a minute, and gives the doctor a detailed picture of the unique topography of your eye. After obtaining this important measurement, your doctor will either fit you from an in-office inventory of Corneal Refractive lenses, or may order a custom pair for fitting at a later appointment. The first pair or two of lenses are usually temporary, in order to start the process of re-shaping your cornea. By the third pair, most people can expect to reach their fullest level of vision correction.”


It is important to note that Corneal Refractive lenses are highly specialized and only specially certified optometrists are able to provide fittings for these lenses. For more information, and to see if Corneal Refractive lenses are a suitable solution for you, contact Dr. Gallagher today.