CK (Conductive Keratoplasty)Reduce Your Dependency on Reading Glasses
Sometime around age 40, most people begin facing the inevitable need for corrective lenses in order to see clearly at close range. But now, thanks to a new advancement in eye care, qualified patients can undergo a simple outpatient procedure to improve near vision. For good candidates, the surgery will reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses in people whose eyesight has grown weaker due to the natural effects of time.
This procedure, known as Conductive Keratoplasty, or CK, involves using localized radio frequency waves to gently reshape and “firm up” the aging cornea. The radio frequency is applied in a circular pattern along the outer edges of the cornea, minimizing interference with your line of sight. The heat from this treatment shrinks collagen in the cornea, effectively changing the cornea’s shape to correct your near vision without requiring the removal of tissue or the use of a laser.
Prior to surgery, the cornea is mapped to give your doctor a precise measurement of its unique structure. Because contact lenses can actually temporarily alter the surface of the cornea, patients are asked to discontinue wearing their contacts approximately two weeks before the procedure. Immediately before beginning the surgery, anesthetic eye drops are applied, and a treatment pattern is imprinted with a safe, temporary dye.
The surgery itself is virtually painless and usually takes five minutes or less. The hair-thin tip of a radio-frequency probe is inserted at the plotted points along the cornea, gently reshaping the tissue. Because the procedure does not involve actually cutting or removing any tissue, the possibilities of side effects and complications are minimal.
While the procedure is permanent, the beneficial effects of CK can lessen with time. The procedure can be repeated to continue to improve near vision. Patients will generally notice improvement in their vision immediately following the procedure, though it can take several weeks for the eyes to adjust completely.
Typical candidates for CK are 40 years of age or older, have enjoyed good vision for most of their life and are now frustrated by their dependence on reading glasses.
The Next Step
The LASIK procedure is the right answer for most patients who are considering refractive surgery to improve their vision. However, in patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness or farsightedness, the cornea may be too thin to allow full refractive correction.
In these cases, surgical implants may be the best alternative. These special devices are placed in the eyes to improve their focusing ability.