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What Is CRT?
CRT, or corneal reshaping therapy, is a reversibly effective way to treat mild near-sightedness (myopia). Contacts are worn tightly around the eyes while you sleep to gently shape the cornea. The result is good, unaided vision in the morning. The results are good, clear vision that is good throughout the day. Most people wear CRT lenses every night to support their visual health during the day.
CRT allows you to be completely free of all kinds of glasses and contact lenses for 24 hours. CRT is an ideal way to avoid having to wear glasses while you are doing activities that may cause you to be very tired or if you work in a noisy or dusty environment. CRT helps to avoid common problems that often occur with wearing contact lenses, such as drying out and things falling off or under the lenses.
Who Is a Good Candidate for CRT?
Generally, it is recommended for people who have mild and moderate astigmatism or near-sightedness. Patients with more serious near-sightedness or astigmatism can be helped to improve their vision, but they will need to have some vision correction done. Also, it does not work well on some corneas, due to their unusual shape. There may be factors that are difficult to determine, for instance, whether a patient's cornea is flexed or not. Because patients respond differently to CRT, the speed of the CRT also relates to their age.
It is safe for all people to undergo CRT, regardless of their age. It can be used safely by children as well as by adults. Studies have shown that it may prevent children from developing any more near-sightedness. Even though the success rate for vision retainers is very good, it is not always assured because many people have health problems that prevent them from properly adjusting the spectacles.
First, it is recommended that you have a complete eye exam. After that, a cornea topographer helps the doctor get a very accurate map of the shape of the cornea. This data is used to generate an exact image of the eye. This is then entered into the CRT software, and if you are deemed a good candidate, a retainer is made and put on your desk. If it becomes clear that you are a perfect candidate for CRT, you can order a set of personalized vision retainers. It may take up to a week to make and deliver your retainers.
After you pay for your retainers, the doctor will tell you how to use them and how to look after your retainers. Maintenance of your retainers is easy and requires just a single bottle of solution. If your retainers are fitted correctly, you will be able to wear them that night. You will be able to see clearly when you wear your vision retainers on.
Most visible changes occur within a few days. If the surface of your cornea is changing and your vision becomes better, doctors will adjust the vision retainers (if necessary). During the time the eyes are healing, doctors supply you with soft contact lenses that you can wear during the day. They are not expensive, and are needed only for the first few days. These should only be worn for a few days. For many patients, a single set of retainers is all that is required.
Many patients have perfect vision in just a few days – some even within a few hours of waking up. Even if you have perfect vision, doctors will regularly check to see if your eyes have adapted well to wearing the retainers. Most patients finish with treatment in one month or less, but some of them need more or less time. When all the treatments are complete, the last retainer will be used, which means that it will be used every night.
Cost of CRT Lenses
There are three different payment plans available that will cost you anywhere from $2000 to $3600. This covers all the visits to the eye doctor and any required retainer lenses to allow you to see clearly and any necessary temporary hard lenses. Cost of replacing lost, damaged or missing eye retainers is $150 per eye.
Advantages of CRT
CRT costs about less than half of the price of laser vision correction surgery. It is not painful for the patient after a CRT procedure, and there is no scarring. Also, having blurry vision after laser surgery is not possible with CRT. CRT can be done on both eyes at the same time. With CRT, it is easy to change your prescription with minimal discomfort. There is no need to take strong sterol or antibiotic drugs after using CRT, as there is with laser surgery.
Disadvantages of CRT
You should be able to schedule 3 – 5 visits to this property each month. If you decide to stop using your retainers, your vision will gradually be restored. New procedures called ‘Corneoplasty' are being studied. It is possible that the visual effects that you experience from CRT will remain for a very long time (or, at least, permanently), but that is not always the case. It is very unlikely that a patient will be able to have CRT performed successfully. Improvement in vision will vary widely depending on the person.