Understanding the Working of Contact Lenses for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that affects the cornea, causing it to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. It results in distorted vision and can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. Fortunately, contact lenses have proven to be an effective solution for many individuals with keratoconus.
Contact lenses for keratoconus are different from regular soft or rigid lenses. They are specially designed to correct the irregular shape of the cornea caused by keratoconus, providing better vision and comfort. Let’s dive deeper into how these specialized contact lenses work.
The primary goal of contact lenses for keratoconus is to create a new smooth surface on the cornea, compensating for its irregular shape. This helps to improve vision by focusing light more accurately onto the retina. Different types of lenses are available for keratoconus, including gas permeable lenses, hybrid lenses, and scleral lenses.
Gas permeable lenses, also known as hard lenses, are made of a rigid material that allows oxygen to pass through. These lenses provide a smooth surface over the irregular cornea, reducing the distortion and improving the quality of vision. Due to their rigid nature, these lenses require some adaptation time, and some initial discomfort may be experienced.
Hybrid lenses combine the advantages of both gas permeable and soft lenses. The central portion of these lenses is rigid, providing the required correction, while the outer ring is made of soft material for added comfort. Hybrid lenses offer excellent vision correction without the discomfort often associated with rigid lenses.
Scleral lenses are larger in diameter and vault over the entire cornea, resting on the white part of the eye called the sclera. These lenses create a tear-filled reservoir between the lens and the cornea, promoting continuous hydration and providing a smooth surface for clear vision. Scleral lenses are especially beneficial for individuals with advanced cases of keratoconus.
To ensure the best fit and vision correction, contact lenses for keratoconus need to be custom-made. An eye care professional will take precise measurements of the cornea’s shape using topography or tomography machines. This information is then used to manufacture lenses that specifically address the individual’s unique requirements.
Regular follow-up appointments with the eye care professional are essential in monitoring the progress of vision correction and ensuring the lenses continue to fit properly. Adjustments to the lens design may be made if needed to maintain optimal vision and comfort. It is crucial to adhere to the recommended wearing schedule and care instructions provided by the eye care professional.
While contact lenses provide an effective solution for many individuals with keratoconus, it is essential to recognize that they may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as corneal scarring, severe dryness, or other eye conditions may limit the use of contact lenses. In such cases, other treatment options, including corneal transplantation, may be considered.
In conclusion, contact lenses designed specifically for keratoconus provide a great source of relief and improved vision for those who suffer from this condition. These lenses work by creating a smooth surface on the cornea, compensating for its irregular shape and enabling better visual clarity. Various contact lens options are available, including gas permeable lenses, hybrid lenses, and scleral lenses, each offering its own unique benefits. However, it is essential to consult with an eye care professional to determine the most suitable option and ensure proper fitting and care. With the right contact lenses and appropriate follow-up, individuals with keratoconus can reclaim clear vision and enhance their quality of life.