Lens Options for Keratoconus
At Corneal Associates of New Jersey, Dr. Steven Sorkin focuses a large portion of his practice in difficult-to-fit contact lens patients (such as those with keratoconus) and post surgical cases. Corneal Associates of New Jersey offers a wide variety of contact lenses for such patients.
Keratoconus, (KEHR-ah-toh-KOH-nus), is an uncommon eye condition where the typically round, oval-like cornea becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge. This abnormal shape prevents the light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and causes distortion of vision.
Keratoconus cannot be corrected with eyeglasses. However, there are contact lenses that have been designed that provide excellent visual acuity for patients that have mild or even moderate stages of keratoconus.
In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. It is typically diagnosed in the patient's adolescent years and attains its most severe state in the twenties and thirties. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow in its progression. Each eye may be affected differently. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges more and vision may become more distorted. If afflicting both eyes, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient's ability to drive a car or read normal print. However, despite the disease's unpredictable course, keratoconus can often be successfully managed with little or no impairment to the patient's quality of life.
Specialized contact lenses may be prescribed to correct vision adequately. These contact lenses must be carefully fitted by a knowledgable and experienced eye specialist. Frequent checkups and lens changes may be needed to achieve and maintain good vision.
Specialty Soft Contact Lenses
These lenses often work well for patients with mild keratoconus by fitting the steep curvature of the patient's eye. They can also correct for mild astigmatism brought on by keratoconus.
Gas Permeable Contacts
These lenses stay comfortable and centered, and helps reduces visual errors, allowing for sharper vision. Gas permeable contact lenses provide a regular surface over the cornea to neutralize the distortion brought on by the irregular cornea. They are generally smaller in diameter then regular contact lenses.
Scleral Contact Lenses
A scleral lens is twice the size of a gas permeable lens and much larger than a standard soft contacts lens. These lenses create a tear-filled vault over the cornea and they take pressure off of the cornea by placing it on the less sensitive sclera. Scleral lenses are designed to treat a variety of eye conditions, which do not respond to other forms of treatment, including keratoconus.