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Exploring Custom Soft Lenses for Keratoconus




In this blog post, we will delve into the world of custom soft lenses for keratoconus, exploring their benefits, technology, and impact on the lives of patients.


Understanding Keratoconus


Keratoconus is a relatively rare eye disorder that primarily affects young adults. The cornea, which should be round and dome-shaped, gradually thins and bulges into a cone shape, resulting in distorted vision. Individuals with keratoconus often experience progressive nearsightedness, astigmatism, and increased sensitivity to light. While the exact cause is not fully understood, genetic predisposition and environmental factors are believed to play a role.


Challenges with Traditional Correction Methods


Traditionally, glasses and standard contact lenses have been used to correct vision problems. However, these methods fall short in addressing the complex and irregular corneal shape caused by keratoconus. Glasses may not provide the necessary level of visual clarity, while regular contact lenses might be uncomfortable and fail to stay in place due to the irregular corneal surface.


Custom Soft Lenses for Keratoconus


Custom soft lenses are used as one option in the vision correction management of keratoconus. These lenses are tailor-made to fit the unique shape of the individual's cornea, providing a level of comfort and visual acuity that was previously unattainable.


Unlike rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, which are sometimes prescribed for keratoconus, soft lenses offer enhanced comfort due to their flexibility and ability to conform to the eye's shape.


Custom soft lenses for keratoconus include brands such as NovaKone and use a thicker plastic to “fill in” some of the irregularities of the cornea.


Key Advantages of Custom Soft Lenses for Keratoconus:


  1. Personalized Fit: Each lens is designed to match the patient's precise corneal shape, ensuring optimal comfort and vision correction. Complete customization of the lens is needed.


  1. Improved Comfort: The soft and flexible material of the lenses enhances comfort, making them suitable for extended wear. These lenses are helpful in patients who have failed out of scleral lenses or gas permeable lenses due to comfort.


  1. Visual Clarity: Through using a thicker plastic, the soft lens maintains more of its spherical shape, using the thick plastic to “fill in” the irregularities of the keratoconic cornea. You can modify the thickness of the plastic


  1. Reduced Discomfort:Unlike RGP lenses, which can cause discomfort and irritation, custom soft lenses tend to be more comfortable for daily wear.


  1. Stability: Custom soft lenses have a higher likelihood of staying in place on the irregular corneal surface, reducing the risk of dislodgement. They are manufactured with specific stabilization methods to make this achievable.


Technological Advancements


Creating custom soft lenses for keratoconus involves sophisticated technology and precise measurements. Corneal topography, a technique that maps the corneal surface, is used to generate detailed images of the cornea's shape. These images guide the design and fabrication of the lenses to ensure a perfect fit.


Limitations


Custom soft lenses are most commonly used for patients with mild to moderate keratoconus, as well as other corneal disorders. For patients with advanced conditions, a scleral lens offers much sharper vision due to the lens vaulting over the cornea, instead of adhering to the shape of it.


To find out if you are a candidate for scleral lenses, click on “Request an Exam” and come in for a consultation!


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