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Corneal Refractive Therapy: The Shape of Things to Come

Sometimes the best technology accomplishes its mission through a simple idea.  Take your watch as an example.  Simple in design.  Nothing to learn.  Provides you exactly what you need when you need it.

Treatment for a variety of vision disorders has now taken a turn toward “high tech simplicity” with the advent of corneal refractive therapy or CRT.  Here’s the story.  We know that many of our vision problems are a result of the lens of our eyes not properly focusing light on our retina (the light sensitive back of our eye).  In large part this has to do with the shape of our lens and our usual approach to correcting this problem is to put another lens in front of our natural lens in the guise of eye glasses or contacts.  For many patients this is an ideal solution, but what if, instead of adding a lens, we could reshape a natural part of your eye, the cornea, using a non-invasive natural process?  That’s exactly what Corneal Refractive Therapy is all about.

Corneal Refractive Therapy is the process of wearing a specially designed therapeutic contact lens while you are sleeping.  This specialty lens is designed to gently reshape your cornea which sits in front of your eye’s lens, providing great vision during waking hours. The therapy has the benefit of granting you great vision all day without the need of glasses or contact lenses and without the need for surgery.

Corneal reshaping has been in use since 2002. Eye care practitioners, like Dr. Stephen Adelstein and Dr. Suraj Afshar, are specially trained in the fitting of these lenses and the management of the therapy process for patients.

“Corneal reshaping is for people of any age who are nearsighted,” stated Dr. Adelstein of the Chelmsford Optometric Associates in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. “Patients with astigmatism may also be candidates depending on the extent of their astigmatism.”

Drs. Adelstein and Afshar begin the CRT process by measuring the curvatures of your corneas using a corneal topographer – like making a map of your eye surface. It is a painless procedure that takes about a minute.

Chelmsford Optometric Associates keeps an inventory of lenses available so most patients can begin their treatment immediately. Sometimes, depending on the shape of your eye, custom designed lenses may need to be ordered.

Corneal refractive therapy can reshape a patient cornea and achieve the desired prescription in about two weeks,” reported Dr. Afshar. “During that time some patients experience mild side effects such as glare and halos that will be reduced over time.”

Once your eyes reach the desired prescription, you will need to wear lenses when you sleep to maintain your clear vision.  Contact Dr. Adelstein and Dr. Afshar at 978-256-5731 to schedule an appointment and consultation.



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