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Non-Surgical Vision Correction:

Myopia Managment, Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT), Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

What exactly is myopia?

Myopia is much more than "just" blurry vision. Nearsightedness is the visual perception that objects at a distance is blurry and clearer up close. Myopia is the condition where the length of the eye is excessively long. Having myopia increases the risk for developming certain eye diseases such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Maculopathy and early onset of cataracts. In the literature, research has shown a direct relationship between the degree of myopia and risk of these serious eye diseases.

In the technological world, our younger generation is now exposed to technology and screens of all types which can indirectly and directly influence the initial onset and progression of nearsightedness - especially during the rapid growing years. Research has shown that it is a growing epidemic and although there are currently no interventions that stop the progression of nearsightedness, there are alternatives to decrease its progression.

What is Myopia Management/Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT)/Orthokeratology?

Corneal Molding or Ortho-K
Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) involves the use of specially designed rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses to alter the shape of the cornea in order to reduce or correct myopia. It can also be effective with low degrees of certain types of astigmatism.

Light, which gives us vision, is focused largely by the front, clear piece of tissue of the eye called the cornea (the first structure light hits is the tear film)

The CRT lens gently moulds the cornea by applying pressure to the tear film, which in turn is applied to the cornea. This is all done while a person is sleeping. Upon wakening, the goal is to create a sharpened image, eliminating the use of spectacle glasses and/or contact lenses. Because CRT is reversible in nature, when the lens is removed, the cornea begins to return to its orignial shape but so slowly that good vision is maintained all waking hours.

Each night the process is repeated although some find they only need to wear their lenses every other night. The elastic tissue of the eye is not harmed by this process. It is not a permanent alteration of tissue.

 Who is a candidate?

The majority of patients with nearsighted correction with healthy eyes can be potential candidates and benefit from CRT. Patients range from as young as seven years to adults in their 60s.

There are many factors to ultimately determine if you or your child is a candidate. In the context of children with good parameters, we make the decision based on their maturity, hygiene and motivation. These patients enjoy the bonus of being able to play, swim, play sports and other routine daily activities without the need for glasses or daytime contact lens wear. We also take into account their history of their myopia, either there is a strong family history of myopia or the patient who already demonstrated rapid progression of their myopia at each yearly visit.

In the context of patients who are older than ~18 years of age, and adults, the purpose is not for the management of myopia. Rather, the purpose is as an alternative to refractive surgery and other correction. Additionally, patients over forty years old will need to consider that near reading vision may be blurred.

How do I start the process of seeing if my child is a candidate?

At Lifetime Eyecare, Dr. Chai has extensive training and experience with CRT, beyond what is required for certification. Using state-of-the-art corneal mapping equipment, Dr. Chai performs a thorough fitting process for the CRT lenses. Each lens is designed to uniquely fit the eyes of each patient. Due to its complexity, only a select few eye doctors pursue an advanced level of training to perform non-surgical vision correction.

Referrals are welcome and Dr. Chai requests the summary from a recent eye exam, and if possible, a summary of the progression of nearsightedness from the previous years to be forwarded to the office. This will help in the initial evaluation of candidacy and to get a snapshot of the patient's eye health and trend of myopia before scheduling a CRT consultation.

What should I expect at the CRT consultation?

Given that the summary of the patient's examination has been forwarded to us, you should expect the visit to be about 30 minutes. The patient will start with specialized corneal mapping equipment and extra screening tests.

Dr. Chai will review the patient's history, prescription and will evaluate the eye health of the patient. The majority of your doctor's visit will be tailored to discussing the candidacy of the patient, educating you more about CRT, and most importantly, discussing expectation and predicting outcomes. Dr. Chai will take the time to answer all your questions and concerns to better help you understand and make the best decision.

Ultimately, if you decide to proceed with CRT, details on what comes next in the process will be discussed regarding custom lens design, CRT lens fitting/training sessions, and all progress check appointments.

For further details, please call our office directly at (780) 462-7500.

Please click here for information on scleral lenses.

Mission Statement:

Our mission is to provide comprehensive, personalized, vision care utilizing state of the art instruments and technology.

Vision Statement:

Our Vision is our patients, whose needs are met by a dedicated, enthusiastic team committed to providing the best professional service possible.

Our Goal:

Our goal is to educate our patients, about their eye health and visual needs for a lifetime.