Sure! Nowadays, there is a variety of contact lens designs to manage keratoconus and give you clear vision. The trick is to make sure that you are fit with the best type of contact lens for your individual condition. You need a professional eye care specialist, such as Dr. Richard E. Hults – your leading optometrist in Canton, OH – to perform a through contact lens eye exam to determine the ideal lens. Contact lenses for keratoconus must provide you with sharp visual acuity, optimal eye health, and comfortable wearing.
Before we explain the different types of contact lenses that may be suitable for you, it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of keratoconus and how it changes the shape of your eyeball. This disease affects your cornea and causes it to thin and bulge into a cone shape, thereby losing its natural round form. This irregular corneal surface leads to poor vision quality. To correct keratoconus so that you can see clearly, your contact lenses need to create a new, smooth corneal surface on your eyeball.
Each type of contact lens has its own set of unique characteristics, which Dr. Richard E. Hults will match to your personal situation. If you have keratoconus, we invite you to visit for a personalized contact lens fitting. Join our many patients from Canton, Akron, and all our surrounding neighborhoods who benefit from crisp vision with contact lenses. To inform you about your possible options, here’s a review of contact lenses used for keratoconus:
Corneal rigid gas permeable contacts
For many years, these GP lenses have been the standard failsafe for treating keratoconus. With their hard construction, they mask the irregular cornea effectively. Although they have been the most commonly prescribed keratoconus, hard gas permeable contact lenses also have some limitations – which is why there was a push to develop alternative types of lenses. Not only is the initial adaptation to these lenses challenging, but also many patients suffer from ongoing discomfort. In addition, when the cornea is extremely cone-shaped and decentered, it is very hard to stabilize these lenses over the eye. If they cannot be fit with enough clearance over the cone apex, rigid gas permeable lenses may also lead to progressive corneal scarring.
Soft contact lenses
When keratoconus is mild and the degree of corneal distortion isn’t too extreme, regular soft lenses can work as a successful treatment. Yet usually, soft astigmatism-correcting lenses are required.
Once keratoconus advances to a more moderate or severe level, you’ll likely need specialty keratoconic designed soft contact lenses. In these contacts, the central optic zone is thicker and the periphery of the lenses is thinner. This enables it to mask the corneal irregularity, while simultaneously providing superior comfort for your eyes. As long as these specialized soft lenses give you quality vision, feel comfortable, and remain in a stable position on your corneal surface, then they can be an excellent solution.
Piggyback/Tandem lens systems
Sometimes a combo of rigid corneal gas permeable lenses and soft contact lenses is required. With this system, we’ll prescribe a thin, soft lens with high oxygen permeability and a low power, which will be placed in your eye first. We will then fit a suitable gas permeable rigid contact lens on top of it. The soft lens will grant you high comfort, and the hard lens will give sharp eyesight. The soft lens may also help to keep the rigid lens centered in the right position.
A”recessed pillow lens system” (RPLS) is a variation on this system. With these specialty lenses, a recess is cut out from a customized soft lens. This recess can hold a hard lens in place firmly on your eye.
Hybrid contact lenses
Hybrid lenses combine the best of both worlds. They have a rigid gas permeable lens center and a soft lens around the edges. The hard lens will correct your vision and the soft periphery will enhance wearing comfort and help to keep the lens centered properly. Sounds great, right? However, while hybrid lenses have many advantages, the cons include an inability to sit well on more advanced cases of keratoconus, as well as difficult removal from the eye. Your potential for eye irritation is thereby higher.
Scleral lenses are the ideal vision solution for many people with keratoconus. We have fit a great deal of patients from Richmond Heights, Cleveland and all over Fairview Park, Cleveland, with scleral lenses at one of our four offices. These contact lenses are extra-large diameter rigid gas permeable lenses that vault over the whole cornea. Due to their wide dimensions, they rest only on the sclera (white part) of your eye and don’t touch the corneal surface.
Benefits of Scleral lenses:
A moist layer of tears is created under the scleral lens, which upgrades your comfort level.
The cushion of tears protects your corneal surface from the potentially negative effects of contact lenses bearing on the eye.
The rigid material of scleral lenses offers crisper optics and sharp vision
Scleral lenses must be fit by a qualified and experienced eye care professional. Dr. Richard E. Hults will examine your eyes and take a scan of the cornea in order to fit your scleral lenses precisely. Your customized scleral lenses from our Canton optometry practice will consider your unique corneal distortions and keratoconus condition.
Whether scleral lenses or a different type is ideal for you, it is our job to fit you with the best contact lenses for keratoconus – and Dr. Richard E. Hults and our entire team takes this responsibility very seriously!