Primary Eye Care Associates

Corneal Refractive Therapy vs. LASIK

By Dr. Steven Chander on March 22, 2019

A woman sleeping in bedThere are so many ways to enhance your vision at Primary Eye Care Associates. LASIK remains extremely popular with patients, and can work wonders for your eyesight. There is also Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), a non-surgical treatment for myopia (nearsightedness). You may be wondering which one would be right for you.

Dr. Steven Chander would like to compare CRT and LASIK procedures. During a consultation at our Chicago, IL eye care center, we can help you figure out the right vision correction solution for your needs.

What Is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)?

Also known as orthokeratology (ortho-K), CRT involves the use of rigid gas permeable contact lenses to reshape the corneas and improve a patient’s vision in the process. These hard contacts are ideal for treating nearsightedness as well as mild cases of astigmatism.

The Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) Procedure

At night, patients wear special rigid contact lenses while they are asleep. During this time, the CRT contacts will safely reshape the cornea, which is the transparent front part of the eye. By altering the shape of the cornea, light passes through better and patients experience clearer vision in the process.

Good Candidates for Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)

Good candidates for CRT are people who suffer from myopia who would like to reduce dependence on corrective lenses during their waking hours but would prefer to avoid undergoing surgery.

CRT is also a good option for children with myopia who are currently ineligible for LASIK due to their age but would like to avoid wearing glasses or contacts during daylight hours.

Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) Results

The results of CRT can be quite positive. One set of trials by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that 90 percent of CRT patients were able to achieve 20/40 vision or better.

What Is LASIK Surgery?

Also known as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, LASIK is the most popular laser eye surgery in the world. By reshaping the cornea with a safe surgical laser, a patient is able to see clearly without the aid of prescription glasses or contacts.

The LASIK Surgery Procedure

During LASIK surgery, a small flap is created in the topmost layer of the corneal surface (the epithelium). Working through this flap, an eye surgeon uses a laser to reshape the contours of the cornea to ensure proper passage of light through the eyes. The corneal flap is set down and allowed to heal.

Good Candidates for LASIK Surgery

Good candidates for LASIK are adults who experience myopia, hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. They should understand the risks can benefits of surgery and have realistic expectations about the procedure and how it works.

LASIK Surgery Results

The results of LASIK are excellent, with 90 percent of patients achieving 20/20 vision or better, and 99 percent of patients achieving 20/40 vision or better. The overall LASIK patient satisfaction rate is around 96 percent.

When Is Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) More Ideal?

CRT is usually more ideal for people too young to get LASIK, and for people who would like to avoid the risks of eye surgery. Some children may undergo CRT treatment for years until their eyes have matured enough for LASIK surgery.

When Is LASIK Surgery More Ideal?

LASIK is more ideal for people who would prefer a more permanent solution to their refractive errors and would prefer to avoid wearing contact lenses, even during sleep.

Contact an Experienced Eye Care Specialist

For more information about CRT, laser vision correction, and other options for vision enhancement, be sure to contact an experienced LASIK surgeon and eye care specialist. The team at Primary Eye Care Associates is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (773) 735-6090.

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