Keratoconus, a non-inflammatory eye disease, causes the round dome-shaped cornea to thin over time—creating a cone-like bulge. Glasses are not a good vision correction option for those with keratoconus because the misshapen corneas don’t allow them to conform to the shape of the eyes.
As you have probably guessed, we have found the best solution for this disorder is scleral contact lenses. These specialty lenses sit on the sclera without touching the cornea—delivering maximum clarity and feeling quite comfortable in almost all cases. At Innovative Eye Care, Dr. Copeland regards sclera lenses as the best option to improve vision and comfor for those with keratoconus.
Scleral lenses are rigid, gas permeable (RGP) specialty lenses that help patients with irregular corneas achieve dramatic improvements in comfort and visual acuity. They work for keratoconus because they avoid the cornea and rest on the sclera (the white part of the eye). The contact creates a new optical surface on the sclera which provides better clarity than glasses. The edges of the large diameter scleral lenses tuck under the lids making them more comfortable than smaller diameter RGP lenses. As an added bonus, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing for people with conditions like dry eye.
Patients with keratoconus can get clearer vision with scleral lenses than they can get with glasses. In fact, some patients’ vision can improve to 20/30 or even 20/20. Also, since the lenses sit firmly on the eye, vision is much more stable than traditional lenses.
We have found that our patients most often report comfort as the number one feature of the scleral lens. Most patients say that they can’t feel their lenses at all. Traditional RGP lenses are smaller and move as you blink, sometimes causing discomfort. This is not the case with these custom-fitted lenses.
Also, the lens protects the cornea from abrasions caused by external irritants or regular blinking. Because it’s made up of gas permeable materials and provides a soothing bath of artificial tears, the ocular surface is continuously refreshed.
If you would like to learn more about scleral lenses, check out our in-depth blog by clicking here.
Once Dr. Copeland has had you properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to see improvements in clarity and contrast between images or objects within your visual field. Because they’re so comfortable, you will be able to wear your custom-made lenses all day, every day.
Interested in seeing if scleral lenses are right for you? Because every case of keratoconus is different, as are the size of individual corneas, precise customization is required. At Innovative Eye Care, we have the expertise and experience to design the perfect specialty lenses for patients with keratoconus. If you would like to schedule and appointment, you can give us a call at (269) 870-7334 or schedule online by clicking here. We look forward to improving your vision and providing optimal comfort.