By Jeremy Baumfalk O.D., Orthokeratologist Lincoln Vision Center
Athletes demand good vision.
Optimal performance depends on many skills including visual acuity, peripheral vision, eye tracking, fixation, and depth perception. A lack of any of these skills can severely limit performance.
Many athletes require some form of vision correction in order to maximize clarity and performance on and off the field and even low to moderate amounts of uncorrected myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism can limit their ability to excel.
Now, new technology offers an exciting option. Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT), also known as orthokeratology, can free athletes from glasses and contacts without undergoing surgery.
CRT is an FDA-approved, non-surgical means of eliminating myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. It’s safe and fully reversible, making it an ideal option for athletes who are too young for LASIK. It works by wearing therapeutic lenses only at night while sleeping. The cornea (the clear part of the eye) is gently molded overnight and the lenses are then removed in the morning, resulting in clear, comfortable vision during waking hours.
Most patients see a dramatic improvement in the first few days of treatment with complete vision correction occurring within 1-2 weeks.
When it comes to traditional means of vision correction, most athletes prefer contacts over glasses because of better peripheral vision, the reduced chance of fogging or smudging, more stable vision, and better compatibility with safety equipment. Glasses frames can also obstruct athletes’ peripheral vision, decreasing awareness and slowing reaction time.
Contacts remain clear despite rain or snow and don’t bounce while running, or become displaced with a quick turn of the head. Contact lenses also won’t interfere with the fit or comfort of safety glasses or headgear in sports that require them. Despite these benefits, wearing contact lenses for sports can have drawbacks. Contacts can dry out, especially during winter sports like skiing, resulting in discomfort and variable vision. Allergy sufferers may also struggle with contacts in the spring, summer, and fall.
Some sports, in particular, make contact lens wear difficult or impossible. Contacts can easily become dislodged during a basketball game, or while boxing or wrestling. Dust and debris from any outdoor sport can become trapped under contacts, causing severe discomfort.
The new CRT option answers all these concerns.
Athletes who suffer from chronic dryness or allergies, or wear toric lenses, and experience fluctuating vision, are especially good candidates for CRT.
Many athletes who have undergone CRT report superior central and peripheral vision, improved comfort, and greater confidence in their vision. The freedom from glasses or contacts also means athletes don’t have to bring spare glasses, contacts, and solutions to practice and games, or worry about glasses or contacts getting knocked off or out during competition.
OrthoK Patients | Success patient stories – coming soon!
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