Seeing The Ball: Corneal Refractive Therapy For Athletes

Corneal refractive therapy, or CRT, is an alternative way for those with less than perfect vision to see clearly each day. Special contact lenses are worn overnight as you sleep and then removed each morning. During the night, the rigid nature of the lenses gradually reshapes your cornea, which improves your vision dramatically. If you are an athlete that suffers from poor vision, corneal refractive therapy may be a great fit for you. Here's what you need to know about how CRT can help improve your game.

The Need To See

Participating in a sport requires perfect vision. You can't score points if you can't see the ball or if you are distracted and hindered by glasses or day-time contact lenses. Freedom from traditional, restrictive corrective eyewear means you always have a clear view of the field and the court. Your peripheral vision is better as well. As your activity level increases during a game, that vision remains stable despite the movements of you head and body.

Better Than Contact Lenses

Normally, athletes settle for day-wear contact lenses to improve their vision during a game. Here are some reasons why contact lenses are inferior to CRT.

  • If you are required to focus your concentration for a long time, you probably find that your lack of blinking makes your contacts too dry. If you play while wearing dry lenses, they can move off center or become dislodged from your eye entirely.
  • If you wear lenses for astigmatism, your active body and eye movements during game time means the lenses rotate around on your eye. The middle of an important game is not the time to suddenly see double or blurry vision.
  • Contacts often feel irritating to the eye, especially during allergy season. Plus, you should bring extra contacts and solution with you in case something happens.
  • If your sport is particularly wet or muddy, splatters in the eye are worsened by the presence of contacts. Sweat that drips into your eyes affects the performance of lenses as well.
  • Getting hit in the eye or the face while wearing contacts can damage your eye.

What About Lasik?

Lasik may seem like a good alternative, but this is not always so. Because Lasik surgery is just that – a surgery – there are complications and risks. Some patients experience dry eyes, light halos, and a sensitivity to contrast. Often there is no guarantee for a perfect outcome. Finally, Lasik is not recommended for children under the age of 18, which eliminates this option for many athletes still in high school. Unlike Lasik, CRT is completely reversible – simply stop wearing the corrective lenses at night and your eyes return to their original shape.

Find Out If You Are A Candidate

You may be a good candidate for CRT, but here's who usually benefits from CRT the most:

  • Athletes too young for Lasik or other refractive surgery options that want to be free from glasses and contacts. CRT can be performed successfully on children as young as 12. They may only need help at first inserting the lenses each night and removing them in the morning.
  • People with mild to moderate near-nearsightedness and astigmatism. Usually CRT can correct up to -4.00 diopters of myopia and -1.50 diopters of astigmatism.

Your doctor will examine your cornea and evaluate your prescription for your glasses or contacts. Over 90% of CRT patients end up having 20/40 vision or better, the minimum vision requirements for a driver's license. CRT has been allowing athletes to see better both on the field and off. It frees you from contacts and glasses and gives you better vision confidence during games and practices. Visit a site like to learn more.