Keratoconus Hard Contact Lenses – Keratoconus is a disease of the cornea that causes thinning and swelling of the cornea. Since the cornea is an important part of the eye responsible for giving you clear vision, any irregularity or change in its shape will cause your vision to deteriorate. If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, your eye doctor will likely recommend special contact lenses for keratoconus to help improve your vision.
In the video presented below, Dr. Jackie Garlich tells you what you need to know before you qualify for keratoconus.
Keratoconus Hard Contact Lenses
These lenses usually do not work well for people with keratoconus. Why? Why? Soft contacts cover the cornea unnecessarily, and people with keratoconus usually need harder contact lenses to correct corneal irregularities. A soft lens is too flexible to do this.
The Hard Facts On Gp Contact Lens Care
These lenses work better than soft lenses in the keratoconic eye because of their rigid shape. Keratoconus patients have an irregular cornea, so using a rigid lens that fits over their irregular cornea creates a smooth surface. This gives them clearer vision than soft contact lenses.
These lenses have a hard rim in the middle and a soft skirt surrounding them, making them generally more comfortable than conventional rigid gas permeable lenses.
These are rigid contact lenses that are placed on the white part of the eye and are significantly larger than standard contact lenses. They generally look like a small bowl that needs to be filled with preservative-free saline before applying to your eyes. These lenses retain (or lose) the irregular cornea to provide clearer vision than any soft contact lens or standard RGP option.
Depending on the severity of your keratoconus diagnosis, one lens may be a better option than another. Talk to your eye doctor to find out which contact lenses for keratoconus will work best for you.
Things To Know If You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Keratoconus
Wondering if you qualify for any of these keratoconus solutions? What are you waiting for? Be sure to make an appointment with your local eye care professional today.
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If you’ve been told in the past that you can’t wear contact lenses because of an irregular cornea or other problems, you may want to get a second opinion and ask your eye doctor about scleral contact lenses.
Scleral contact lenses are large diameter gas permeable contact lenses https://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/rgps.htm that are specially designed to cover the entire surface of the cornea and to be placed on the “white” (sclera) of the eye. In doing so, scleral lenses functionally replace the irregular cornea with a perfectly smooth optical surface to correct vision problems caused by keratoconus https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/keratoconus.htman and other corneal irregularities.
A Keratoconus Patient Struggles With Scleral Lenses
Also, the space between the cornea and the back surface of the scleral lens acts as a fluid reservoir to provide comfort for people with severe dry eye https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/dryeye.htm who cannot otherwise tolerate contact. lens wear.
Scleral contacts are significantly larger than standard gas permeable (GP) contacts and have diameters equal to or larger than soft contact lenses. The smallest sclerals are about 14.5 mm in diameter, and the largest can be up to 24 mm.
Large-diameter scleral and semi-scleral GP lenses fit over the sclera and malformed cornea of a person with keratoconus to improve vision.
The average diameter of the human cornea is about 11.8 millimeters, so even the smallest scleral contacts are designed to cover the entire surface of the cornea.
Increased Epithelial Backscatter: A Novel Finding In Subclinical And Clinical Keratoconus
In contrast, most traditional GP contact lenses are 9.0 to 9.5 mm in diameter and cover only 75 to 80 percent of the cornea.
Another category of gas permeable lenses bridges the size gap between regular GP lenses and mini-sclerals. These lenses, called corneo-scleral lenses, are usually about 13 to 15 mm in diameter.
Corneo-scleral lenses are often a good choice for people who need larger-than-usual GP lenses for extra comfort. They are also often used when contact lenses are needed after LASIK or other corneal refractive surgery to correct irregular astigmatism.
Often the size of the lens used is determined by the complexity of the situation. Milder forms of keratoconus and irregular astigmatism caused by corneal transplants and refractive surgery are usually easily managed with scleral lenses at the smaller end of the spectrum.
Care Of Scleral Lenses
Smaller scleral and mini-scleral contacts may be easier to apply, less expensive, and require fewer maintenance products.
More complex conditions, including advanced keratoconus, pathological dry eyes, or severe ocular surface disease that may require a large tear reservoir, are often fitted with larger scleral lenses because they can retain fluid or bridge large changes in corneal curvature.
During your contact lens examination and fitting, your eye doctor will determine the best type and size of lens for your specific needs.
Many optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend scleral contact lenses for a variety of difficult-to-wear eyes, including eyes with keratoconus.
Provide Specialty Contact Lenses And Thrive
A standard GP lens can be used in early cases of keratoconus. However, if the lens is not fully centered on the eye or flickers excessively and causes discomfort, switching to a large-diameter scleral contact lens may solve the problem.
Because scleral lenses are designed to hug the surface of the cornea and rest on the less sensitive surface of the sclera, these lenses are usually more comfortable for a person with keratoconus.
In addition, scleral lenses are designed for little or no lens movement during blinking compared to conventional corneal gas permeable lenses.
In addition to keratoconus, scleral contact lenses can be used in cornea transplant eyes and in people with acute dry eye caused by conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome, graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), and Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
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Advances in lens design technology allow manufacturers to design scleral lenses that can correct more conditions than ever before, including bifocal sclerals to correct presbyopia.
Sometimes the term “scleral lenses” (or “scleral lenses”) is also used to describe special effect contact lenses that dramatically change the appearance of the wearer’s eyes.
However, these costume contact lenses (also called theater contact lenses, Halloween contact lenses, or gothic lenses) are usually soft lenses that bear little resemblance to scleral gas permeable contacts, other than their larger diameter to completely mask the cornea. Also, soft theater contacts are usually only for cosmetic purposes and not for vision correction.
Scleral contact lenses are custom made for each wearer, so wearing scleral contacts requires more experience and more time than wearing standard soft or GP contact lenses.
When Presbyopia & Astigmatism Collide
Often, computerized maps of the curvature of the entire cornea are created to facilitate lens fitting, and several trial lenses of different sizes and angles may be applied to the eye during the implantation process.
Additionally, depending on the complexity of the problem and how the individual eye tolerates the scleral lens, the lens parameters may need to be adjusted, requiring additional lenses to be made and replaced. The entire scleral lens fitting process may take several visits to determine the most suitable lens for each eye.
Although most scleral lens wearers have worn soft or corneal GP lenses in the past, the process of inserting and removing scleral lenses can take some practice. Due to the larger size of the lenses and the fluid reservoir at the bottom of the lenses, the additional time needed to overcome this must be factored into the fitting process.
For these and other reasons, scleral contact lenses can cost much more than standard contact lenses; In fact, it’s not uncommon for scleral contacts to cost three or four times as much.
Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses
Most insurance plans do not automatically cover the full cost of scleral contact lenses. In some cases, vision insurance can reduce the cost of your lenses and/or fitting. In other cases, it may be helpful to contact your health insurance provider and ask what steps are required to obtain coverage.
NEW PATIENTS GET $10 OFF FIRST CONSULTATION! REGISTER USING THE FORM OR CALL 616-951-7115 TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL OFFER. Contact lenses are usually considered the main treatment for keratoconus. The main types are soft and RGP (rigid gas permeable) lenses. There are many options for both soft and RGP lenses, some more suitable for early keratoconus and others more suitable for advanced keratoconus.
Because of the complex nature of the keratoconic eye, it’s worth checking if your optometrist is experienced in wearing contact lenses for keratoconus.
New Zealanders with keratoconus may be eligible for a Department of Health (SB) subsidy for the fitting and supply of contact lenses. Although the subsidy will not usually cover all costs, it will significantly reduce patient costs. The subsidy is administered
Rigid Contact Lens Insertion & Removal
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