Keratoconus is a progressive condition of the eye that typically begins in early adulthood or late adolescence. The condition involves the cornea swelling into a cone-like shape and becoming too thin. When this happens, light rays will not focus on your eyes, which will cause fuzzy and unclear vision. Keratoconus can also cause irregular astigmatism and nearsightedness.
If you suffer from mild to moderate keratoconus, specialty contact lenses for keratoconus can help. Over the years, these lenses have been evolving from blown glass contact lenses to RGP lenses. This refers to rigid gas permeable lenses, with variations of custom and soft lenses. If your condition is more severe, however, you may need a corneal cross-linking or surgical procedure.
Specialty contact lenses for keratoconus include piggyback, RGP, hybrid, toric, sclera, vaulting, and soft contact lenses. Depending on your personal details, the shape of your eye, and the severity of your condition one type of lens may work better than another one. You need to follow the recommendations of your eye doctor to choose the lens that is right for you.
The clear dome covering the lens in your eye is the cornea. It should be round; however, when it forms a cone or is too thin, you have irregular astigmatism. This condition makes it harder for you to focus and can lead to light sensitivity. Keratoconus can continue to get worse as you age and may affect one or both of your eyes.
If you suspect that you have this condition, you need to have a comprehensive eye exam. Lens fitting by an experienced eye doctor is important because the condition can vary greatly from one person to another. The doctor will take careful measurements to determine the right lens to fit you for your specific condition.
Keratoconus lenses work by refocusing light so that people can see more clearly. As the condition continues to progress, you may need a new prescription. You may also need a new type of lens. If your condition is mild, a specialized contact lens can fix your vision.
Contact lenses for this condition are highly individual. Certain types of lenses will work better for certain people than for others. The comfort level, the severity of your condition, and the shape of the cone will all determine the type of lens you need. In addition to improving your vision, specialty contact lenses for keratoconus can also minimize or delay the need for surgery.
Rigid gas permeable lenses are some of the most common lenses for keratoconus. Many consider them the first line of defense because they are hard and rigid. Their gas permeable materials allow oxygen to flow to the lens. As a substitute for the irregularly shaped cornea, these lenses form a new refractive surface to sharpen and improve vision.
Designed to manage astigmatism, soft toric lenses are a practical and comfortable option for treating keratoconus. Depending on the severity of your condition, however, these types of lenses may not be specialized enough.
Hybrid lenses have a soft silicone outer ring and an inflexible, gas permeable center. They offer both the firmness and comfort of a soft lens, coupled with the clear vision of the more rigid lenses.
Scleral lenses are wider than normal contact lenses in diameter. They cover the corneal apex and other areas of the eye more completely, which can improve vision and astigmatism. Other common types of specialty lenses for keratoconus include piggybacking lenses and custom soft lenses.
If you need a specialized contact lens for keratoconus that will fit your needs, contact the Houston Dry Eye Clinic. To schedule an appointment, call us at (713)664-4760. You can also visit our offices in Houston, Texas; we offer treatment for eye injuries and infections.