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Health // Doctor in the House
Rasa Fournier

Corrective Lenses Worn At Night

Dr. Lea Young
Optometrist at Kapolei Eye Care

Where did you receive your schooling and training?

I received my B.S. in biology from University of San Francisco and my Doctorate of Optometry from University of Houston.

How long have you been in practice?

Five years.

What encouraged you to go into the field of optometry?

I chose optometry because every day I am able to work with different people of all ages and help them to see the world clearly. From a first-grader who can’t see the board at school to a retired veteran who needs cataract surgery, every day is rewarding to me.

What is CRT?

CRT stands for corneal refractive therapy, which is a unique, hard contact lens used to correct vision while you sleep, so that there is no need for daytime contact lenses or glasses. The CRT contact lenses should be worn a minimum of six hours per night, every night, and removed immediately from the eyes upon waking for great vision for the entire day.

Traditional soft contact lenses and glasses work only to correct vision but do nothing to slow the progression of nearsightedness or myopia. It has been reported that up to 80 percent of urban Asian children suffer from some form of nearsightedness, and the rates continue to rise with the increased use of handheld electronic devices such as iPads and iPhones. Nearsightedness is a problem because it is associated with serious retinal conditions, including retinal detachment.

CRT is great for children, people with dry eyes and adults who do not want to have eye surgeries, such as LASIK or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy, a laser eye surgery). Unlike LASIK or PRK, CRT is completely reversible. Once you stop wearing the hard contact lenses, vision returns to pre-treatment perimeters in as little as 72 hours.

What does CRT do to a person’s eyes while they sleep?

In nearsightedness, which is difficulty seeing at a distance, light focuses in front of the retina (the back of the eye), making distant objects appear blurry. When eyeglasses or daytime contacts are worn, light is focused on the retina so you can see clearly.

CRT contact lenses provide a new option for patients with nearsightedness. CRT lenses correct vision by gently and safely reshaping the cornea while you sleep. When CRT lenses are removed in the morning, the treated cornea allows light to focus on the retina. The result is clear, natural vision for your waking hours. When getting up during the night, CRT lenses will enable you to see clearly with the lenses on.

Is anyone who wears contacts or glasses a candidate for CRT?

CRT is not meant for all prescriptions. A complete eye exam is needed to determine if you are a good can-

Does CRT replace wearing glasses, regular contact lenses or getting LASIK surgery?

When in the CRT program, it replaces wearing glasses and traditional contact lenses, and can be thought of as an alternative for patients who choose not to undergo LASIK or PRK but who want the option to be free of daytime contact lenses and glasses.

Is there any downside?

There is a small risk involved when any contact lens is worn. It is not expected that CRT lenses will provide a risk that is greater than traditional hard and soft contact lenses.

Are CRT lenses reusable?

CRT lenses are replaced once a year.

Do all optometrists fit CRT contact lenses?

Most optometrists fit traditional hard and soft contact lenses, but there is an additional certification needed to fit CRT.

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