Scleral lenses can provide many benefits for our New Orleans patients with keratoconus.
Eye diseases can cause serious damage and even blindness if left untreated. That’s why a comprehensive evaluation of your eye health is so important.
One such disease is keratoconus, which affects your cornea. Our New Orleans optometrist employs both proven techniques and the latest technology to help detect it early and to help you control the condition. We are experts at fitting specialty lenses that help address keratoconus and reach your optimal ocular health through its stages.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus occurs when your cornea (the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye) thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape. This change can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light and glare. The condition typically begins to show between 10-25 years of age and can progress slowly over a decade or longer. A cone-shaped cornea usually appears in both eyes, but can affect one eye more than the other.
Signs of keratoconus change as the disease progresses. Distorted vision and sensitivity to light might be followed by clouding of vision and eventually lead to astigmatism, causing problems with night driving and requiring frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions. If diagnosed early, keratoconus may be surgically corrected to prevent progression. The exact causes of keratoconus are unknown, but genetic and environmental factors play a role.
Scleral Contact Lenses for Keratoconus
Patients with irregular corneal surfaces caused by keratoconus may find that the soft and the rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are no longer effective. The next option to consider is scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses can help protect the corneal surface of your eyes and keep it smooth and wet.
Scleral lenses are large-diameter gas permeable lenses designed to cover the entire cornea and rest of the white part of the eye (the sclera). Since it creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea, the scleral contact lens must be filled with saline before being placed on the eye.
Scleral lenses can provide many benefits for our New Orleans patients with keratoconus:
- Corneal health. The layer of tears in the vault of the cornea keeps it moist and protected from dehydration and irritation — a must for maintaining a healthy ocular surface.
- The large size of scleral lenses protects the eye well from dust and foreign particles. They also don’t dislodge easily — a bonus for athletes and others with active lifestyles.
- The key is proper fitting, and those can be worn for long periods of time, which is not always the case with soft lenses.
- Visual acuity. Because they are customized, scleral lenses will improve your vision. Along with astigmatic correction, they can also incorporate multifocal designs.
- Delayed corneal transplant surgery. Unfortunately, at the advanced stages of keratoconus, surgery might be necessary, but wearing scleral lenses may delay, or even eliminate, the need. This is a less costly option with no recovery period and no frequent follow-up care.
Scleral Contact Lenses Fittings in New Orleans
Every scleral lens is custom-designed to fit the patient’s eye. This ensures that the lens vaults over the cornea safely and effectively. It might take more than one fitting to get it right, and to get used to them, but once you’re accustomed to the feel, it will be like the lenses aren’t even there.
To get a proper fit of a scleral lens, our eye doctor will conduct a diagnostic fitting and evaluation of the thickness of the tear film with an optic section to ensure full corneal clearance. Then, the clearance of the limbal border between the cornea and the white of the eye is evaluated to avoid irritation and redness. Last is creating a landing profile to produce an effortless, gentle landing. If you experience any lens awareness or discomfort, adjustments could be made in the lens diameter, edge lift, or limbal clearance.
EOC offers the most advanced and progressive care you can get in New Orleans. We use proven diagnostic techniques and the latest technology to help detect and treat vision problems such as keratoconus. Also, eye care practitioners need specific training to fit the scleral lens. Our optometrist specializes in these types of contacts and already has extensive training as an RGP/GP and scleral lens fitter.
Schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting and be happy with the decisions you make for your eye health.