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Corneal Refractive Therapy - Overview

Corneal refractive therapy is a non-surgical treatment which includes the use of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses. The eye lenses are the basically worn at night and the goal of the treatment is improvement of the vision by reshaping of the cornea. This treatment modality is an alternative to eyeglasses and refractory surgery.

Corneal refractive therapy may be considered as a type of orthokeratology. This treatment modality has advanced and now it includes computerized corneal mapping, computerized manufacturing and oxygen permeable contact lens materials.

How does it Work

It is believed that the lenses used in corneal refractive therapy reshape the cornea by moving its epithelial cells. These cells are compressed and are also relocated. People often mistake if they think that the lens puts too much pressure onto the cornea causing its flattening. On contrary, the lens provides with the force which generates the reverse curve by redistributing of the epithelial cells. There is no pressure onto the eye.

This treatment is excellent for all those who do not want to wear glasses and contact lenses during the day. It can be very helpful for athletes in contact sports where wearing of glasses and contact lenses may be a potential risk. One more advantage is connected to decrease of irritation which sometimes occurs while wearing contact lenses during day. Namely, irritation and dryness are avoided since the eyes are closed at night and during day dust and other pollutants may induce irritation and eye dryness.

The Results of Corneal Refractive Therapy

Some people say they see clearly after only a day. Still, majority of them actually experience improvement in the first few days of treatment. The best results are achieved after 10-14 days. The procedure does not mean the person will simply stop wearing glasses or contact lenses during day. These may be required in some circumstances but what usually occurs is that they might require a new prescription.

This treatment modality is only temporary and if the person stops wearing the lenses regularly during the night the vision will simply return to its original state. This typically occurs within 72 hours.

The Best Candidates for Corneal Refractive Therapy

Corneal refractive therapy is highly suitable for patients suffering from low to moderate myopia (up to - 6.00 diopters) accompanied by astigmatism (up to- 1.75 diopters) or without the presence of astigmatism. Patients suffering from hyperopia are not good candidates for corneal refractive therapy. This also refers to patients suffering from presbyopia. Only the doctor will decide whether the patient can benefit from this type of treatment and the treatment is prescribed after thorough eye exam.

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