Being unable to see clearly without the help of glasses or contact lenses can be very frustrating. Although both of these solutions are highly successful, they can also require the wearer to make a variety of compromises. In the case of glasses this can include needing to remember to take them with you when you leave the house or disliking your appearance when wearing them. In the case of contact lenses this can include the expense of using them and difficulty wearing them when you have allergies such as hayfever.
Many patients with refractive eye errors are turning to laser eye surgery to help correct their vision and enable them to see with less or no reliance on prescription eyewear. However, there is also an alternative that is suitable for some types of patient. This is known as conductive keratoplasty.
Q: What is conductive keratoplasty treatment?
Conductive keratoplasty, also referred to as CK, is an FDA-approved refractive surgical treatment that can help patients who suffer from hyperopia (far-sightedness). It is most commonly given to patients once they reach middle-age and beyond and is a popular way of reducing the need for reading glasses in the older generation.
Q: What happens during conductive keratoplasty treatment?
The procedure itself uses low-level radiofrequency energy to reshape the cornea. This is in comparison to PRK and LASIK which both use laser technology to reshape the cornea. This radiofrequency energy is delivered via a small, hand-held instrument which contains a tiny probe. This probe is thinner than a human hair and is targeted at specific points that form a circular pattern on the outer part of the cornea.
When this energy enters the cornea, it causes the connective tissue that has been targeted to shrink. This enables the circle of points to tighten up, making the curvature of the cornea steeper and correcting the way that light is refracted through it on to the retina.
Q: Is conductive keratoplasty treatment painful?
One of the biggest concerns of any patient undergoing laser eye surgery is whether or not they will experience any discomfort during the procedure. Much like laser vision correction, anesthetic eye drops will be given to patients ahead of conductive keratoplasty treatment. This means that you should not experience any discomfort at all during the procedure. No corneal tissue is removed either, and this means that there is no real healing to take place. You may notice a little mild discomfort in the first couple of days after your procedure, but this should abate, and your vision should improve within a couple of days. Your eyesight will then continue to become clearer over the following weeks. By three to four weeks after your conductive keratoplasty you should have reached the final improvement in your eyesight and be able to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
Q: Is conductive keratoplasty treatment effective?
Studies have shown that the improvement experienced by patients after conductive keratoplasty is nearly always significant enough to enjoy clear vision without the need for prescription eyewear. Nevertheless, it is important to realize that presbyopia, which is age-related vision changes that necessitate the use of reading glasses, is a progressive condition. This means that it will continue to affect your eyes and your sight will almost certainly worsen again. Often this takes time and although you may eventually need reading glasses once more, your intermediate vision may still be fairly good. Your optician will be happy to talk you through what you can expect from conductive keratoplasty treatment.
If you are interested in finding out more about conductive keratoplasty, or if you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your suitability for the procedure, please get in touch with our expert optical team.