If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, you may have questions about what type of contact lenses are best suited for your condition or if you can even wear contact lenses anymore. Fortunately, there are various types of contact lenses available that are not only appropriate, but are actually the gold-standard of vision correction options for patients with keratoconus. Contact lenses can provide patients with keratoconus a new smooth optical surface which improves visual clarity and minimizes distortions. There are also many designs, such as scleral lenses, which improve comfort and vision.  In this blog, we will be discussing the different types of contact lenses that can be used for patients with keratoconus.

Scleral Contact Lenses For Keratoconus

Scleral lenses are often considered the best option for keratoconus as the lenses provide a smooth optical surface, comfort, and clear vision. Scleral contact lenses are still hard lenses, but they are much bigger in size compared to regular gas permeable contact lenses. They do not touch the cornea but instead, they land on the white part of the eye. The purpose of scleral lenses is to vault over the cornea, providing patients with visual clarity with minimal to no distortions. They are much more comfortable than gas permeable contact lenses and work best for patients who have severe cases of keratoconus.

Soft Contact Lenses For Keratoconus

Initially, for patients who have mild cases of keratoconus, soft toric contact lenses can be used. There are also custom-made soft contact lenses available for patients with keratoconus. One of the examples is the NovaKone® brand that has been known to provide clear vision with minimal distortions. However, as the keratoconus progresses over the years, soft toric contact lenses may not be the best option to correct the visual distortion coming off of the cornea. This is because patients with keratoconus have a cornea that is not a clean round dome-shaped cornea, but rather a coin-shaped one. This makes it difficult for soft contact lenses to stay stable on the cornea.

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses For Keratoconus

When soft contact lenses do not work well for patients with keratoconus, the next option would be gas permeable contact lenses. Gas permeable contact lenses are hard lenses that are much smaller in size compared to soft contact lenses. They can provide patients with visual clarity and minimal distortions. However, they are most effective for patients who have mild to moderate cases of keratoconus. As keratoconus progresses, even gas permeable contact lenses may not work well on the cornea.

Hybrid Contact Lenses For Keratoconus

Hybrid contact lenses (piggyback) are another type of hard contact lenses that can be used for patients with keratoconus. They are a combination of hard lenses and soft contact lenses. A hard contact lens sits in the center of the cornea, and it is surrounded by a soft contact lens that provides better comfort and centers the lenses better. However, hybrid contact lenses may not work as effectively for patients who have severe cases of keratoconus.

Finding the Right Contact Lenses for Keratoconus: The Role of a Comprehensive Contact Lens Exam

For patients diagnosed with keratoconus, finding the right type of contact lenses can be a challenging task. It is important to understand that a comprehensive eye exam is the first step towards identifying the appropriate contact lenses for patients with keratoconus. During a comprehensive eye exam, our optometrist will conduct a thorough assessment of your eyes, which includes examining the curvature of your cornea, the thickness of your cornea, the health of your eyes, and your visual acuity.

A comprehensive eye exam will also help to determine the severity of your keratoconus, which will guide our optometrist in identifying the appropriate type of contact lens. Different stages of keratoconus require different types of contact lenses, and a comprehensive eye exam will help your optometrist to identify the best possible option for your specific case.

Prescribing contact lenses for keratoconus requires specialized knowledge and technology, but it can be life changing work. Working with a qualified optometrist who has experience in fitting contact lenses for patients with keratoconus can provide you the vision with comfort. Inaccurate, poor modalities, or improper fitting of contact lenses can lead to discomfort, visual distortion, and other serious complications such as infections or corneal scarring.

Schedule an appointment for an eye exam for keratoconus at our trusted optometry clinic in Valencia, attracting patients from Santa Clarita, Palmdale, and San Fernando Valley. Call (661) 775-1860 or fill out this form to make an appointment today.
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