Specialty Contact Lenses for Keratoconus
In a healthy eye, the corneas have a relatively standard spherical shape. When a patient has keratoconus, though, the corneal surface thins and begins to bulge outward into a cone-like shape—hence the name of the condition. A protrusion of the cornea affects how light enters the eye and reaches the retina, which can lead to blurred, distorted, or otherwise decreased vision.
The bad news is the keratoconus is relatively common. Studies have shown that one in every 2,000 people is affected by this condition. The good news is that there are ways to treat keratoconus so that patients can continue enjoying relatively unencumbered vision. The best treatments for keratoconus are specialty contact lenses, which are our core expertise at Miami Contact Lens Institute.
Keratoconus, similar to other corneal conditions, creates an irregularly shaped ocular surface that makes fitting regular contact lenses difficult. Patients with keratoconus usually cannot wear standard contact lenses because the shape of the lens doesn’t match their eyes. Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition, which means it worsens over time. Early on, patients might be able to get away with standard lenses, but that will become more difficult as the corneal surface continues to bulge into the cone-like shape. As the cornea continues to protrude, in order to correct the vision, specialty lenses will be required
Types of Specialty Contact Lenses for Treating Keratoconus
One option is the scleral lens. Scleral lenses are often the go-to lens for irregularly shaped corneas, due to the simple fact that these lenses are not designed to sit on the corneal surface at all. Instead, scleral lenses rest on the sclera (or the white of the eye) and have a shape that vaults over the entire corneal surface. The space between the lens and the surface of the eye is filled with a fluid solution, to keep the eye hydrated and helping to compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea. The majority of keratoconus patients report that scleral lenses not only improve their vision but also deliver much more comfort and visual stability than standard contact lens types.
At Miami Contact Lens Institute, we will also sometimes prescribe keratoconus patients with UltraHealth hybrid contact lenses from SynergEyes. The hybrid design of these lenses utilizes characteristics of both “hard” lenses and “soft” lenses to create a lens that is more comfortable for individuals with irregularly shaped corneas. The standard UltraHealth lens pair a hard gas permeable lens center with softer edges. This design provides the comfortable fit and easy adaptation of a soft lens without losing the crisp vision quality of hard GP lenses. SynergEyes has also taken care to ensure that its UltraHealth lenses keep the eyes hydrated and allow plenty of oxygen flow to the eyes.
Get Fitted for a New Set of Lenses by Visiting Our Team at Miami Lens Contact Institute
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus and can no longer comfortably wear standard contact lenses, give us a call at Miami Contact Lens Institute to set up an appointment. We’ll take a look at your eyes, figure out the best strategy for treatment, and fit you with a new set of specialty contact lenses.