Until recently, if you were one of the millions of people with a refractive error, eyeglasses and contact lenses were the only options for correcting vision. But with the development of refractive surgery, some people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism (a cornea with unequal curves), can have their vision improved through surgery.
Conductive keratoplasty (CK) is a minimally invasive thermal refractive procedure used to correct mild to moderate farsightedness in people over age 40. With CK, your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) uses a tiny probe that releases controlled amounts of radiofrequency (RF) energy to apply heat to the peripheral portion of the cornea. The heat then causes the sides of the cornea to shrink and to tighten like a belt, increasing the steepness of the central cornea and increasing its optical power. This refocuses the light rays on the retina and improves vision.
CK can also be used to achieve “monovision.” With monovision, CK can be used to improve close-up vision in a presbyopic eye that has good vision but has difficulty focusing up close. To maintain good distance vision, usually only one eye (the non-dominant eye) is set to near-focus vision, while the other is left alone or set at good distance vision. It may be a good idea to try monovision with a special contact lens or eyeglass prescription before opting for surgery. CK does not offer permanent correction; for some patients, farsightedness may return over time.
As with any surgery, there are certain risks associated with CK. Be sure to discuss these possible risks with your ophthalmologist.