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Lens that lets you see without wearing them.

DON'T LIKE glasses? Don't like contact lenses either? Here's good news for you.

You could soon be able to use a special lens known as CRT or Corneal Refractive Therapy lens.

You don't have to wear the lens to be able to see clearly, unlike glasses or contact lenses.

Rather, you only have to put it on when you go to sleep and take it off when you wake up.

For the next 70 hours or so, you can go about your day as someone with perfect eyesight.

The only drawback is that people suffering from myopia or short- sightedness -- or those who can see objects nearby clearly but not ones far off -- can use the lens. Those suffering from long- sightedness -- who can see objects far off clearly but not ones nearby -- cannot use the lens.

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS) here may soon approve the use of CRT lens in the country.

The lens, when approved, will initially be available at the premier healthcare institute.

Thereafter, chemists and ophthalmologists will be allowed to stock the lens supplied by a USbased company. The company is already in talks with AIIMS. The CRT lens is based on Corneal Refractive Therapy. A non- surgical procedure, the lens reshapes the cornea as one sleeps.

Well, here's how it helps. The cornea bends light reflected from objects in a manner that the image of the object is formed on the retina. That's how we are able to see. But in people with myopia, the image of an object forms in front of the retina, resulting in blurred vision.

The CRT lens will correct this by reshaping the cornea, altering its light- bending qualities so that the image forms on the retina.

" The CRT lens is similar in appearance to standard contact lenses. We are using it on some people to see the results and they haven't complained of any infection so far. Infection is a major worry for us," Dr Rajesh Sinha said.

He is assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS. Though the lens is in use in Western countries, Indians still have to go through several tests before they can use it.

" It might suit people in the West but Indian corneas are different.

Our weather and environment are different as well.

So, it needs further research and trials. We have done a study and the results are encouraging.

Yet, it is too early to allow its use," Dr Sinha said.

" We have to look at feasibility and, more importantly, the long- term safety of people. It will take another six months to approve the use of the lens. The concept will be absolutely new to India," he added.

The lens has some limitations, though. It is designed for people with low to moderate myopia ( nearsightedness up to -- 6.00 diopters) with or without astigmatism ( up to -- 1.75 diopters).

The lens is not useful for those who use bifocal glasses.

Besides, the user will have to buy a new lens every year.

The advantages are many. You can keep your spectacles at home and go about your work.

Plus, the vision is generally very clear.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 30, 2010
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