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What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory eye condition that affects the shape of the front surface of the eye, the cornea. Normally, the cornea has a round shape, like a ball. Sometimes, however, the structure of the cornea is just not strong enough to hold this round shape. The normal pressure inside the eye makes the cornea bulge outward like a cone. This bulging is also known as an ectasia. This results in significant visual impairment by causing large amounts of irregular astigmatism.
Until now, patients with keratoconus had to rely on standard methods of vision correction: eyeglasses, soft contact lenses or RGP (rigid gas permeable) contact lenses. In many cases, these standard methods are woefully inadequate to correcting the vision in these uniquely shaped eyes. Scleral lenses can be life changing for patients with irregular corneas.
Hear what one patient has to say:
The Boston Foundation for Sight found the following visual symptoms in a 2009 study with patients diagnosed with keratoconus and other ectasia(bulging of cornea):
Eyeglasses cannot adequately correct the large amounts of irregular astigmatism. Soft contact lenses drape over the cornea and correct some of the vision but, do not mask the irregular shape of the eye resulting in blur. RGP lenses can mask the irregular shape but due to their small size, can be quite uncomfortable with many patients only able to wear the lenses for a few hours a day.
To illustrate the poor results patient’s get with standard vision correction, The Boston Foundation for Sight also found that in patients diagnosed with keratoconus and other ectasia:
It is obvious that a more suitable option for vision correction is needed. That option may be Scleral devices. We can now give patients better vision, better comfort and more importantly a better quality of life.
A study by Visser (2007) asked 178 patients to rate their successes with Scleral devices vs. their previous corrections. Using a subjective scale and questionnaire the patients reported:
While no single method can achieve 100% success, these results are truly amazing considering the challenging condition of their eyes. These devices can improve all the shortcomings of traditional vision correction.
How do Scleral lenses help in correcting vision in keratoconus?
The Scleral devices are uniquely designed to correct the irregular surfaces created by keratoconus.
These devices perform 3 critical tasks for the patient with keratoconus or other ectasia:
Simulated night vision with blur and ghosting in an eye with Keratoconus.
Scleral lenses create a "new" smooth surface on the front of the eye allowing for a sharper focus.
Simulated night vision with a scleral lens(results vary):
“I’m not just satisfied with the scleral contacts, I’m grateful to be able to see clearly again. I had given up needlework and now I’m back at cross stitching and needlepoint- reading is pleasurable again.”
“The scleral lenses provided a life changing experience. Life is so much simpler for me in terms of completing work and life related activities. I am amazed at the quality of my vision, the comfort level, and the length of time I am able to wear the lenses.”
"Any person who has keratoconus knows that often times you must sacrifice visual acuity for comfort. Since being fit with these contacts, I no longer have "red" eyes, headaches or struggle to see at the end of the day. They are wonderful and the comfort is unsurpassed. My world has opened up with the introduction of these contacts. I am positively thrilled!!!!"
Call our office to schedule your evaluation today!
Keratoconus Birmingham Optometrist, Keratoconus Hoover Optometrist, Keratoconus Vestavia Optometrist, Keratoconus Alabama.
Thank you so very much. These past few weeks you really went out of your way. Please know that I appreciate all the extra work – express order on my glasses, and coming to the office when you weren't planning to.