CK - First Minimally Invasive Procedure for Baby Boomers Who Struggle With Reading Glasses
CK (conductive keratoplasty) was originally approved by the FDA to correct mild to moderate farsightedness. It is also being used in the treatment of presbyopia, a condition that results from the natural process of aging that affects 60 million Baby Boomers. Presbyopia compromises near vision, requiring most people over the age of 45 to use reading glasses to read the newspaper, menus, price tags and other fine print. CK can help you see clearly again by steepening the cornea and correcting the way your eye focuses light on your retina. With CK, you can "turn back the hands of the clock" and reduce your dependence on reading glasses for another 5-10 years.
You're a CK candidate if you are over 40 and:
- are tired of the hassle of reading glasses
- have difficulty focusing on things up close
- have had good distance vision most of your life
- have no health issues affecting your eyes
- have not had previous vision correction surgery
- are not pregnant or nursing
CK uses radiofrequency energy, instead of a laser or scalpel, to reshape the cornea
Unlike LASIK and some of the other laser vision correction procedures, CK uses minimally-invasive radiofrequency (RF) energy instead of a laser to change the shape of the cornea. The surgeon uses a small probe, thinner than a strand of human hair, to apply controlled RF energy to the edge of the cornea in a ring pattern. This circular pattern creates a band of tightening that increases the overall curvature of the cornea. The procedure takes less than 3 minutes per eye and is painless, involving only topical anesthetic administered by eye drops. CK does not require any cutting or removal of corneal tissue and meets the needs of patients who may not like the thought of traditional LASIK surgery. Although CK eye surgery is relatively new, RF energy has been used in other types of surgery since the 1950s.
Most patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision after CK, like the ability to clearly see the face of their watch or to read a newspaper. However, it may take several weeks for the eyes to adjust to their final correction, resulting in fluctuating vision for a week or so. For the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery, your eyes may water and you may experience some discomfort and a feeling of irritation in your eyes. You may also experience a slight over-correction of your vision, allowing you to see better up close, though your distance vision may be blurry. This will stabilize during the following weeks. Although the results from CK seem permanent, your eyes will continue to age and you may need additional vision correction (surgery, reading glasses, or bifocals) at some point.
Blended Vision - The Best of Both Worlds
CK takes advantage of a technique called Blended Vision. Unlike monovision (where one eye is treated for near vision, leaving the untreated eye for distance vision), Blended Vision improves your ability to focus on near objects without dramatically affecting distance vision in the treated eye. Data collected in FDA clinical trials on the CK Blended Vision procedure have shown relatively little effect on depth perception or the ability to distinguish contrast under day and night conditions. After the CK procedure:
- 97% reported 20/20 distance vision and read newspaper print
- 75% reported 20/20 distance vision and read phonebook-sized print
- 96% reported being satisfied with their outcome
If you have not been able to tolerate monovision in the past, Blended Vision may be a good choice for you.