Whether for eye disease or eye injury, some people may require a cornea transplant in order to restore their vision. Corneal transplants that are performed come in two forms: one known as penetrating keratoplasty or PK, where the full thickness of the cornea is corrected, and the other is known as endothelial keratoplasty or EK, where the back layer of the cornea is corrected. Thousands of corneal transplants are performed every year, often as a result of eye diseases going unmanaged or uncorrected, such as cataracts, glaucoma, or age-related macular degeneration. Eye disease can lead to blindness without proper care from an optometrist. Even keratoconus is acknowledged as a cause of cornea transplants, depending on the severity. Although many people go through a cornea transplant successfully, there are conditions that may remain to leave the eye with poor vision and require further correction.
Recovery from a cornea transplant can last over a year since the eye has to get used to the new cornea, and since this adjustment is unpredictable, nearsightedness or astigmatism are common refractive errors. Often eye doctors will prescribe eyeglasses during this in-between period to help one’s vision, and even after the eye has fully healed, prescription glasses may still be required.
However, cornea transplants also tend to result in irregular corneas as the transplant can’t adapt fully to the eye. All this means is that your eye doctor may recommend rigid gas permeable lenses or RGP’s, hybrid contact lenses or scleral lenses to provide you with clear vision and comfort without the need of any further surgery. Scleral lenses, for example, have an advantage over other contact lenses since they vault over the cornea, which, in turn, allows one’s cornea to remain hydrated as well as establish clear vision. This is a safe alternative that won’t negatively affect the cornea.
Although eye surgeons may recommend LASIK surgery, depending on the care, and, in certain cases, another cornea transplant may be necessary if a previous one failed, speak to Dr. Moshe Schwartz, O.D., F.A.A.O. about specialty contact lenses. See whether further surgery is necessary, or if there is a contact lens alternative that can provide you with clear vision, today.