Contact Lenses for Keratoconus, Astigmatism, Dry Eyes and Other Eye Disease

If you have actually had problem using contact lenses or have been told you’re not a great prospect for contacts, you simply may have eyes that are “difficult to fit.”

However do not stress — this does not mean you cannot use contact lenses. You just have to understand your choices and how to find an eye care specialist (ECP) who has unique knowledge in contact lens fitting.

Contacts for Keratoconus, Astigmatism, Dry Eyes and Other Eye Disease

Any of the list below conditions can make contact lens fitting and comfortable contact lens wear more challenging:

If you have (or believe you have) any of these conditions and you wish to wear contacts, check out an eye care professional who focuses on contact lenses and welcomes hard-to-fit patients. Contact lens professionals typically are more familiar with the current contact lens innovation and options than a basic optometrist. Numerous likewise use sophisticated equipment that can measure your cornea more exactly to achieve the best contact lens fit possible.

Contact Lenses For Keratoconus

If you have keratoconus and can not view as plainly as you want to with glasses, you typically will see better if you are fitted with contact lenses specifically developed for irregular corneas. Contacts for keratoconus improve vision by optically changing the irregular shape of the cornea with a smooth, uniform surface area that enables light to form a sharper concentrate on the retina.

Today several types of contact lenses can fix vision issues brought on by keratoconus. They consist of:

Gas permeable contact lenses. For mild to moderate keratoconus, lots of contact lens experts suggest stiff gas permeable contact lenses. These lenses — also called GP or RGP lenses — are made of a stiff oxygen-permeable product, so they keep their shape on the eye and do not adhere to the shape of the underlying cornea. Because of this function, GP contacts eliminate blur brought on by abnormalities in the cornea and therefore supply sharper vision than glasses.

Piggybacking contact lenses. In some cases, GP lenses will supply excellent vision for a person with keratoconus, however the user discovers the stiff lenses uneasy and can not wear them for a whole day. In these cases, a fitting strategy called piggybacking might be used. In piggybacking, a soft contact lens is worn under the gas permeable lens, serving as a cushion to decrease or remove any discomfort triggered by the GP lens.

Scleral contact lenses. Often the bulging of the corneal surface area in keratoconus makes it impossible for a traditional GP lens to fit correctly on the center of the eye and/or causes a GP lens to remove from the eye during blinks. For these situations, a contact lens expert may recommend large-diameter GP lenses called scleral contact lenses.

Scleral lenses rest on the white sclera of the eye and vault over the irregularly shaped cornea. In addition to providing a more stable fit, scleral lenses often are more comfy than smaller GP lenses on a keratoconic eye because they do not exert any pressure on the delicate corneal tissue.

Hybrid contact lenses. Hybrid contacts are large-diameter lenses that have a stiff gas permeable central zone, surrounded by a peripheral zone made from soft or silicone hydrogel material. The function of this style is to offer the visual clarity of GP lenses, integrated with wearing comfort that is similar to soft lenses.

Hybrid contacts for keratoconus have a special style that enables the central GP zone of the lens to vault over the irregularly shaped cornea. Hybrid lenses likewise are readily available for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism in healthy eyes.

Soft contacts for keratoconus. Today there are even customized soft contact lenses that can correct moderate to moderate keratoconus. These unique, made-to-order soft lenses in some cases are more comfy than gas permeable or hybrid contact lenses for individuals with keratoconus or irregular corneas.

Custom-made soft contacts for keratoconus usually have a larger diameter than regular soft lenses and have either a medium or high water material. Examples include KeraSoft IC lenses (Bausch + Lomb) and NovaKone contact lenses (Alden Optical).

Sometimes custom soft lenses are recommended for individuals with keratoconus who take pleasure in outstanding vision with GP or scleral lenses however can not use stiff lenses conveniently throughout the day. For instance, customized soft lenses might be used for leisure activities during the day, and GP or scleral lenses might be worn for night driving and other activities that require sharper vision.

Contact Lenses for Keratoconus, Astigmatism, Dry Eyes and Other Eye Disease

Contact Lenses For Astigmatism

Toric contact lenses are specifically developed contacts that fix astigmatism. Toric styles are available in both soft and stiff gas permeable lens materials, however soft toric lenses are far more popular than GP lenses for astigmatism. This is since they generally are right away comfy and do not need a “breaking-in” period.

Keep in mind that routine GP contact lenses can remedy common types of corneal astigmatism without the requirement for a toric style. However toric GP lenses are sometimes necessary to correct higher amounts and/or less common types of astigmatism.

Fitting toric soft lenses is more difficult than fitting regular soft lenses. In some cases, numerous toric lenses need to be attempted to obtain the best possible fit, vision and convenience.

Custom-made toric contact lenses for astigmatism are readily available for individuals with unusual types or high quantities of astigmatism. Since they are custom-made, these lenses can cost considerably more than standard toric lenses and may require a longer delivery time.

Hybrid contact lenses likewise are a good solution for astigmatism correction, particularly for individuals who desire the clearness of GP lenses however desire a lens that feels more like a soft lens.

Contact Lenses For Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a typical problem, often triggering contact lens pain or making contact lens wear difficult for some people. Inning accordance with a poll performed by Harris Interactive, nearly half (48 percent) of all U.S. adults routinely experience several symptoms of dry eyes.

Common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Red, inflamed eyes
  • A scratchy feeling, or the sensation something remains in your eye
  • Watery eyes

(It might sound strange that a dry eye condition can cause your eyes to obtain watery. This production of very watery tears is a protective mechanism of the body in response to eye inflammation. But these “reflex” tears do not have the oils and mucous discovered in normal tears, which help the tear movie spread evenly throughout the eye and keep normal tears from vaporizing too easily.)

To prevent or decrease dry eye-related contact lens pain, soft contacts that have been designed specifically for people with dry eyes are now readily available. These lenses retain moisture much better than contacts made of other lens products, for higher wearing comfort.

Lots of contact lens specialists prefer fitting gas permeable contact lenses on individuals with dry eyes. GP lenses are smaller sized and don’t soak up moisture from your eyes like soft lenses do, and therefore might cause less dryness-related discomfort.

Your eye care professional might recommend treating your dry eye condition prior to get in touch with lens fitting. Treatment might involve making use of synthetic tears, medicated eye drops to help you produce more tears and dietary supplements for eye nutrition.

Your eye doctor likewise might consider punctal plugs as part of your dry eye treatment. These small collagen or silicone devices are placed into the tear drainage ducts near the inner margin of your eyelids to obstruct tears from leaving the surface area of your eyes. By keeping more tears on your eyes, punctal plugs frequently can improve contact lens convenience.

The procedure, called punctal occlusion or lacrimal occlusion, takes just a few minutes and is painless. When the plugs are inserted, many people can’t even feel them.

Contact Lenses For Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is an inflammatory response triggered by proteins produced in your tears. This inflammatory response causes lid glands to produce substances that create a cloudy coating on contact lenses, making them unpleasant and producing vision issues.

Professionals have numerous alternatives to fit an individual who has GPC. Often soft day-to-day disposable contact lenses will suffice. Since you dispose of these lenses after simply a single day of wear, there’s not much time for protein deposits to accumulate on disposable lenses.

Gas permeable lenses also are a great alternative. Proteins don’t stick to GP lenses as quickly as they do to soft lenses, so gas permeable lenses remain cleaner and are less likely to cause an allergy. Daily cleaning of gas permeable lenses usually will keep them devoid of residue, whereas soft lenses tend to keep protein deposits over time, even with appropriate care and cleaning.

A professional also may recommend medicated eye drops to reduce the allergy that causes GPC.

Contact Lenses After LASIK

It might seem odd even to consider contact lenses after restorative eye surgery. After all, aren’t LASIK and other treatments expected to remove the need for glasses or contacts?

In theory, yes. But LASIK does not always supply twenty-twenty. And often, a 2nd surgery to sharpen vision is not an option. In these cases, contact lenses might remain in order.

For example, if you have very high astigmatism prior to LASIK, you may require toric lenses to fix a lesser degree of astigmatism that might stay after surgery. Soft lenses can work well for this, and specifically created gas permeable and hybrid contact lenses are likewise a choice.

If you’ve had actually LASIK carried out in a monovision fashion — with one eye remedied for range and the other for near — sometimes you might wish to use a contact lens on the “near eye” so both eyes can see plainly in the range for sports, owning at night and other activities that require the best possible vision.

See also: Recovery Time and Complications after LASIK Eye Surgery

Contact lenses likewise can assist to attend to LASIK complications, such as indistinct vision from higher-order aberrations after surgery. Gas permeable or hybrid contact lenses generally are the preferred lenses for this problem.

Extreme glare is another prospective issue following LASIK. Here, too, GP contact lenses and hybrid contacts normally are your best choice. These lenses typically offer sharper night vision than soft contact lenses after surgery.

Remember that fitting contact lenses after refractive surgery might require more trial lenses and a longer period of time than fitting contact lenses on an eye that hasn’t been surgically modified.

Contact Lenses For Presbyopia

Bifocal contact lenses and monovision are contact lens choices for people who are difficult to fit because of presbyopia.

Like bifocal and progressive spectacles lenses, bifocal and multifocal contact lenses have a more intricate design than regular lenses, and accurate fitting is necessary for good results. Therefore, finding the best contact lenses to remedy presbyopia normally is a more lengthy and expensive process than a routine contact lens fitting. The very same holds true for monovision contact lens fittings.

But the result normally deserves the additional time and expenditure. Improvements in multifocal contacts have increased satisfaction with these lenses over the last few years, and a lot of wearers are very happy about how the lenses decrease their dependence on reading glasses.

Cost Of Contacts For Hard-To-Fit Eyes

Expect to pay more when you check out an eye care professional who specializes in contact lenses for hard-to-fit eyes. You’re paying for the extra time required to fit these lenses, the practitioner’s unique knowledge and the innovative type of lenses you’ll get.

A fitting cost of several hundred dollars is not uncommon, and fitting fees frequently do not include the cost of your lenses.

Also read: Buying Contact Lenses Online

In many cases, such as fitting contact lenses for keratoconus, health insurance or vision insurance may cover some of the associated expenses. Ask your eye care professional or insurance coverage agent for information.

Dr. D.Roberts / author of the article
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Ophthalmology: Health of Your Eyes
Comments: 1
  1. Eddie Atkinson

    I have astigmatism, am incredibly nearsighted, and use soft contact lenses for riding. I truly like them and my depth understanding is much better than when using glasses.
    Contact lenses that fix astigmatism are called toric lenses.
    I use BIOMEDICS toric lenses (ocufilcon D) and they are comfortable, no problems with dust or anything else getting in them. I use them for riding only, and due to the fact that they are soft, I can just use them any time, even if I haven’t used them for a week– no modification duration.

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