For people looking at alternatives to laser eye corrective surgery, a safer and less permanent option is being offered in Ahwatukee Foothills.
It is a procedure called Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT). The upsides can be just as good as laser surgery, said Dr. Mark Page of Arizona's Vision, and it doesn't involve permanently modifying the eye.
A user puts in what is like a hard contact lens before they go to sleep and takes it out when they wake up. The lens redistributes corneal tissue and actually molds the curvature of the eye.
"When we are nearsighted, the eye ball is too long," Page said. "This procedure makes the eye shorter. It is just like LASIK but we don't cut the eye."
Just like LASIK the change is immediate.
"There is usually about a 50 percent change the first night, you might go from a (minus) seven (prescription) to a four," he said. "Usually it takes four to 10 nights to get (20-20 vision)."
Although the cost is about the same as laser surgery, Page said it averages about $2,100 for the first year, there is maintenance involved, which includes several office visits early on to make sure it is adapting smoothly. Patients should expect to pay around $500 each year after for new lenses and office visits.
As the eye changes nightly in the first week, patients must also get several different soft contact lenses to keep up with the change.
A big part of being successful, Page said, is consistency.
"The best results come from people who get about seven-and-a-half hours of sleep every night," he said.
Page will be hosting an information session about CRT on Oct. 2. at Arizona's Vision, 15215 South 48th St.
For more information, call 480-706-3937 or visit www.ArizonasVision.com.