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Did You Know That There Are Different Contact Lenses Available for Keratoconus?

There are a variety of contact lenses available for keratoconus, depending on the stage of your condition. It is important to schedule an eye exam so that your optometrist can recommend the best contact lenses for you and your stage of keratoconus.

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What Lenses Are Used To Treat Keratoconus?

Contacts are a standard intervention for improving vision in keratoconus patients. While moderate cases can often be treated with standard lenses, most patients require specialty types as the condition advances. These will invariably require more complicated fitting sessions to match the eye's curvature. There is no perfect type of contact lenses to match every patient. The best pair of lenses will provide improved vision and comfort for an individual’s specific needs, without compromising eye health.

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Lenses for Keratoconus 

Early Stages:

  • Soft lenses: These offer the most comfortable option in early cases of keratoconus. 

Advanced:

  • Rigid Gas Permeables (RGP): As the condition deteriorates, Rigid Gas Permeables (RGP) provide the best option. Though lacking the comfort of soft contacts they are durable and provide sharper vision. They also permit oxygen flow to the eye. Some optometrists prefer trying scleral lenses on patients before switching to rigid gas permeables.
  • Hybrids: These offer the comfort of soft contacts with the benefit of a RGP. "Piggybacking" is a method of placing one lens over another to combine the benefits of each. 
  • Post-Surgery: Scleral lenses create a new ocular surface. They are often used when corneal scarring prevents the use of standard contacts, particularly following a corneal transplant surgery.
Additional Information

Additional Information

While fittings become more difficult as the condition deteriorates into severe keratoconus, corneal topography (mapping), and keratometry (a means of measuring corneal curvature) and other advanced technologies have refined the process. A fitting may require more than one session as the condition advances.

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Common Questions

The latest advancements in lenses for keratoconus often involve hybrid and scleral lenses. These options provide comfort while maintaining the rigid structure needed to reshape the cornea. A consultation with an optometrist will provide information on the latest lens technology suitable for the patient.
Contact lenses can be an effective solution for keratoconus, offering improved vision and comfort compared to regular eyeglasses. The best type varies by individual, and a contact lens exam with an eye doctor specializing in keratoconus is essential for determining the optimal choice.
Yes, alternatives to scleral lenses include rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses, hybrid lenses, and custom soft lenses. Each type has its benefits and potential drawbacks, and a consultation with a keratoconus specialist can guide patients to the best option based on the specific needs and condition of their eyes.
The cost of scleral lenses can vary widely based on factors such as geographic location, the complexity of the fit, and whether a comprehensive contact lens exam is included. Prices may range from $1,000 to over $4,000 for a pair. Insurance coverage and consultation with your optometrist can provide a more accurate estimate based on individual circumstances.
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Treating Keratoconus With Contacts

Contacts are an essential part of treating keratoconus and improving visual acuity. While soft contacts may be suitable in moderate cases, as the condition advances, the patient will likely be prescribed some form of specialty contacts such as gas permeable, hybrid, and scleral contacts. 

Speak with your optometrist to find out more about the different options to treat keratoconus with contacts, and the process of fitting them to match your eye's precise measurements. You can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit to schedule an eye exam. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.

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