Keratoconus Treatment in 2020: What Should We Expect?
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that involves the cornea becoming thin and misshaped, bulging into a cone. This condition can result in blurry or distorted vision because your eyes can no longer focus light rays the way they should.
Keratoconus can cause nearsightedness (myopia) as well as irregular astigmatism. Older teens and young adults are the most likely age group to begin noticing signs of keratoconus.
Treatment for keratoconus usually involves the use of lenses that have been custom-fitted to the patient’s eye to sharpen their vision. Keratoconus lenses have evolved over the past few decades, from blown glass lenses to hard lenses to several types of custom soft lenses. These lenses are often the right option for individuals with mild to moderate keratoconus; those with more severe forms of the disease may require different treatments, such as surgery.
When it comes to choosing the right treatment for you, several factors affect what will work best, including the shape of your eye, the severity of your condition, and other personal details about you, your health, medical history, and lifestyle. Your eye doctor can help you make the best choice.
Treatment options for Patients with Keratoconus
Contact lenses, especially those designed for specific conditions such as keratoconus, are highly individual. Specialized contact lenses for keratoconus can improve your vision and possibly even delay or eliminate the need for surgery. Here are some of the newest and best options today for keratoconus lenses.
- Rigid gas permeable lenses. RGP lenses are among the most widely prescribed treatments for keratoconus. These lenses are hard, but they are made of gas permeable materials, which means that they allow oxygen to flow through. RGP lenses create a replacement refractive surface that can sharpen vision.
- Soft toric lenses. Soft toric lenses are those designed to address astigmatism. Over the years, these lenses have advanced considerably to become the comfortable and effective option they are today. However, depending on the severity of your disease, they may not be a viable treatment option for you.
- Custom soft contact lenses. Custom soft contacts are an upgrade on soft toric lenses because these lenses are created specifically to fit your unique eye. These lenses can be pricier than other lenses for keratoconus, but they are the most comfortable option, and they offer the best vision correction and most precise fit.
- Hybrid lenses. Hybrid contact lenses are lenses intend to provide the best features of two types of lenses. These lenses are a hybrid of “hard” lenses and “soft” lenses. As a result, they provide the easy wear and seamless comfort of soft lenses while delivering the crisp, clear vision of rigid gas permeable contacts.
- Scleral lenses. Scleral lenses are wider in diameter than regular RGP lenses. They are also designed with a vault over the cornea to correct refractive errors, irregular astigmatism, and cover larger areas of the eye. Scleral lenses are an especially good option for athletes and other very active people. They are completely custom-designed and permeable to oxygen. Their high level of comfort and personalized fit make scleral lenses one of the best treatment options for keratoconus. (Related post: Am I a Good Candidate for Scleral Contact Lenses?)
If you have noticed signs of keratoconus, such as blurry vision, sensitivity to light, or eye redness, contact us today. We’ll schedule an appointment for a thorough eye exam to get to the bottom of your symptoms and get you started on an effective treatment plan.