Many patients who suffer from corneal disease or from post-corneal transplant complications go through a series of contact lens fits by various eye doctors. There is a range of different types of contact lenses that differ in cost, comfort, and effectiveness.
Optometrists often utilize rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses with patients who are first using specialty contact lenses. RGPs are effective in treating visual errors and will give a patient decent vision. This makes them far superior to soft contact lenses and eyeglasses, which can only effectively treat lower prescriptions and less problematic corneas. They are cheaper and longer-lasting than other specialty lenses. In addition, many insurances will cover almost the entire cost of the lenses. However, RGPs are considered to be the starting contact lens among specialty contact lens fits, and they can be uncomfortable depending on the shape of the cornea and severity of the eye disease.
Better: Scleral Lenses
Scleral lenses tend to be more comfortable and advanced than RGP lenses and are a better fit for severe cases of eye disease. They can last a couple of years, which is a relatively long amount of time. Scleral lenses are rigid, but they are wider and larger than regular lenses, allowing them to fit over the cornea and onto the sclera, the white part of the eye. Since there are fewer nerves there, the lenses are more comfortable and less likely to irritate the eye.
The ideal solution for patients who need specialty lenses is EyePrintPRO. This type of lens is made from a custom mold and is in no way generic. Some patients will find that they have difficulty being fitted for scleral lenses, and they are best suited to EyePrintPRO lenses. These lenses are the most costly option, as they are typically not covered by your insurance provider. However, for those who want contact lenses that are most suited for their eyes, including those who have undergone multiple surgeries and are willing to invest in their best chance for effective and comfortable vision, EyePrintPRO can be the solution. Because so few practices utilize EyePrintPro, we serve patients throughout the state.
Make an appointment at Eyesymmetry Vision Center, and we can help you decide which contact lenses will best serve your vision.
Ever wonder how common is keratoconus? Do people simply develop keratoconus overtime? Is it genetic?
Keratoconus has been a very complex and elusive eye disease that continues to baffle the world of eye health. Although recent advanced surgical procedures and specialty contact lenses can help keratoconus patients achieve relatively normal vision, the costs are generally high. Plus, post surgery can leave a patient out of work for weeks or longer placing strain on the rest of the family.
Estimates suggest that 1 out of 2000 people suffer from keratoconus, although some optometrists who work with keratoconus patients speculate the ratio to be higher. Since the disease is somewhat rare, there aren’t many indications that pinpoint which person is more likely to develop keratoconus.
Keratoconus is most commonly diagnosed with:
- African Americans
Keratoconus means that the cornea has developed an irregular shape, often leading to light sensitivity, blurry vision, and the inability to wear soft contact lenses.
However, most optometrists during an eye exam don’t necessarily perform digital imaging of the cornea to assess the health of the eye’s surface. Often, digital imaging checks inside the eye to review blood vessels, the retina, or macula to ensure the critical aspects of the eyes structure is healthy. Therefore, patients with only mild signs of keratoconus can go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years.
In order to ensure the best care and earliest detection for keratoconus or any corneal irregularity, schedule your next eye exam with our keratoconus specialist in Owings Mills, Maryland today.
Scleral Lenses for Comfort & Superior Vision.
“I’m finished with RGPs. I want a better solution.”
10 years I have been wearing are GP lenses as far as I can remember having vision problems. Everything began when I kept getting pain in my eye and glasses aren’t really providing enough Focus. Dizzy spells and struggling with bright lights or glare was common.
The first eye doctor that I went to said that I had an astigmatism, and he fitted me with gas permeable lenses. They weren’t very comfortable and they were annoying To put in each day but I didn’t. after about a year of that, my eyes changed and they were causing a lot of discomfort to the point that I couldn’t wear them. I decided to try a different optometrist and the second guy didn’t do a good job trying to have me jumping around different lenses like another gas permeable, even hybrid lenses. And then, I stumbled across Dr. Schwartz’s office. he was very thorough doing measurements on my eyes, show me the various options, and within one session, he fit me with scleral lenses. how many years short time dr. Schwartz has accomplished what other doctors took years and failed. I’m sure I’ll be sticking with Dr. Schwartz for all my eye care needs from now on. Over a year now, and I’m seeing 20/15 with no signs of discomfort.
From Gas Permeables and a Corneal Transplant to Scleral Contact Lenses
For a long time, I thought I had the worst eyes on the planet. when I was 19 I was diagnosed with keratoconus and the eye doctor said there was nothing she could do for me. From there, I went to an ophthalmologist who said there wasn’t much they could do either. Over time, my keratoconus got to the point where is the ophthalmologist recommended I go through a corneal transplant. I had suffered enough for the few years that I decided to go through with the procedure. The surgeon confirmed that cornea transplantation is very safe and a widespread surgery for the most part.
The outcome of the surgery was really not so bad. I was fitted with basic gas permeable lenses and could get around after my corneal transplant with clear vision. I had thought the worst was behind me, but I soon discovered that the gas permeable contacts that I wore caused my eyes to burn & turn red. While my cornea transplant helped a lot of the major problems, my cornea wasn’t going out without a fight. My vision was still a problem.
I was fitted with a pair of eyeglasses as the contacts weren’t usable. I tried my best at work, I struggled to recognize people at a distance, and driving was out of the question.
I decided to try my luck and make some calls with other eye doctors. Finally, a practice I met made the recommendation that I connect with Dr. Schwartz as he is a cornea and contact lens specialist. It was the first time I had heard that there some even a title for my condition! Dr. Schwartz spent a number of hours with me, and I could tell he understood everything that I had undergone. After a few months, he presented me with a pair of customized scleral lenses for my eyes. The scleral lenses turned my vision from awful to amazing. I only wish I had met Dr. Schwartz earlier and gotten the help from a true cornea specialist!
Recently diagnosed with Keratoconus?
Post-refractive surgery or corneal transplant?
Learn from our eye care expert, Dr. Modhe Schwartz, about modern techniques and approaches to handling cornea irregularities like Keratoconus.
In one night, discover how you can achieve comfortable, clear vision without surgery.
Build Knowledge, Confidence, and Trust from EyeSymmetry Vision Center
Dr. Moshe Schwartz O.D. FAAO is a Diplomate of the Section on Cornea, Contact Lenses and Refractive Technologies by American Association of Optometry.
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Corneal transplants provide a solution to recover loss of sight for those who have damaged corneas, when standard corrective eyewear is simply no longer an option. Although thousands of corneal transplant surgeries are performed annually by ophthalmologists, there are various considerations to take before stepping into eye surgery. While corneal transplants often restore vision, they are never a perfect replacement, and for some patients, even after a corneal transplant, prescription eyewear may be required and, in severe cases, another corneal transplant may be necessary.
Any corneal transplant is best left to be discussed between you and your eye doctor, and depending on your condition, you may have the opportunity to invest in alternatives. Patients with keratoconus are often listed as candidates for a corneal transplant, yet many researches & studies have found that scleral lenses and custom specialty contact lenses are a viable alternative treatment that can restore vision without the need for eye surgery. In addition, keratoconus is a disease that results in a thin & irregular cornea, so eye surgery becomes more complicated to perform.
Contacts like scleral lenses not only help treat keratoconus but have the added benefits of reducing dryness and can achieve 20/15 eyesight, which is better than 20/20. Custom contact lenses can treat keratoconus safely, provide clear vision, and achieve results that outperform some surgeries.
For more information on specialty contact lenses and alternatives to corneal transplants, speak to Dr. Moshe Schwartz, O.D., F.A.A.O of EyeSymmetry Vision Center. Schedule a consultation today.
The above video was from 2017’s EuCornea Medal Lecture by François Malecaze, MD, PhD. Although the development of keratoconus and progression are “mysterious” so that we are unable to pinpoint why the changes in the cornea occur, researchers know that keratoconus is an eye disease that affects many people worldwide.
Although many people view glasses and contact lenses as simply vision correction, eye doctors consider nearsightedness, farsightedness, irregular corneas, and practically any vision loss as a challenge to their profession. Discovering which treatment that stops any eye problem is an advancement in eye health & modern science. Aside from the unmet needs and future perspectives concerning pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of keratoconus, Dr. Malecaze mentions that as far as keratoconus is concerned, scleral lenses and other specialty contact lenses are certainly treating the disease & allowing people to return to normal vision.