What are options are there other than laser surgery?
Apr 06, 2008
Patrick Ayres, OD, PC

Q: I donít like wearing glasses or contact lenses but donít want to have laser surgery.  Do I have any other options?

A: Yes.  While refractive laser surgery (i.e. LASIK) is a relatively safe procedure for certain patients, many people are hesitant to commit to a surgery that permanently changes the anatomical structure of their eyes.  Fortunately, there is a procedure available that is completely reversible at a fraction of the cost of LASIK.  It is called CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) and consists of being fit with a pair of rigid contact lenses that are designed to be slept in.  The lenses temporarily reshape the cornea while you are sleeping so that when you awake and take the lenses out the vision is clearÖ kind of like retainers worn to straighten teeth.  The effect typically lasts for 12-36 hours, depending on the amount of prescription being corrected; the lenses are worn only at night and are generally well tolerated.  CRT is FDA approved to treat myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism.  It is a great option for those patients that want to enjoy clear distance vision during the day without the hindrance of glasses or contact lenses but donít want to go to the lengths of a permanent surgery.

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