Posts Tagged ‘ClearKone’

Christian’s Keratoconus Story – “ClearKone Changed the Way I See Life”

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

My vision challenges began in junior high school when I started to wear glasses. Although my vision was fine at that time, things started to change when I entered high school. I began to notice that I wasn’t able to read the chalkboard. Even though I sat in the front row, I found it difficult and frustrating to read the teachers’ notes. I went back to my optometrist, who gave me another pair of glasses with a stronger prescription. Unfortunately, the new glasses only helped for a period of time. By the time I was in my junior year, my vision was a problem again. The new glasses no longer corrected my vision. I decided it was time to see a new optometrist. 

In my senior year of high school my new optometrist, Dr. Barry Leonard, diagnosed me with keratoconus. While I was glad to have found out the cause of my vision problems and learn that contact lenses could improve my eyesight, I could never have imagined the contradictions that came with contact lens wear. My doctor fit me in RGP lenses, which did improve my vision, but the lenses were so uncomfortable. My eyes were often irritated, so I would try to function without wearing the lenses. Unfortunately, my vision was so poor without them that I could not drive, see faces of friends at a distance, or read a book with small font. Keratoconus was truly affecting my daily activities!

Dr. Leonard then recommended that I try the ClearKone lens from SynergEyes. He explained that the rigid center would give me the visual acuity I needed, while the soft skirt would keep my eyes comfortable throughout the day. It sounded like a great option! As we began the fitting process, it was difficult for my lids to open wide enough for the lenses to be inserted. My eyes were so sensitive that my lids would close whenever the lens got near my eye. Thankfully, Dr. Leonard was very patient with me, and after many attempts, was able to insert the lenses.

Once I began wearing the lenses, I was amazed. My vision was clear and crisp, and the lenses were so comfortable that I could wear them all day long without irritation. It really was the best of both worlds!

I have now been wearing the lenses for several months, and my life has changed in so many ways. I can distinguish faces from a distance and see their expressions, which is so wonderful! I am also able to drive, use the computer, and read books with small font. I feel like I now have a normal life without the frustrations of poor vision. ClearKone lenses have truly changed the way I see life!

Melanie’s Keratoconus Story – “Life Inside an Impressionist Painting”

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010


ClearKone Sharing Vision Grant Recipient

Melanie's Keratoconus Story

I live inside an impressionist painting, where colors smear across the canvas and ghost images hover around any large object I can actually identify. At night, my world is ablaze with eight-pointed stars that spring from every source of light – headlights, streetlamps, neon signs and even candles on the altar at church. When I try to focus on your face, I see a double image of your features; your eyes and nose and mouth run together like melting wax. Like a blind person, I focus on your voice, your height and weight, and the way you move. I miss seeing you smile and roll your eyes and grimace – all the nuances that nurture communication. Because I can’t see you clearly, I often misunderstand. I’m a writer and graphic designer, but I can’t read the words on the monitor as I type them. I can’t read a letter or take legible notes when I talk on the phone. The more I enlarge the letters on my monitor, the more they smear. I squint. I turn my head, and try to capture a pinpoint of light that will fall on my retina at just the right angle and reflect a clear impression of what’s before me.


I’ve lived for 39 years as a classic myope, “seeing” new places and people and experiences through my enormous collection of novels, reference and business books, textbooks, biographies, and books on art, psychology and spirituality. At one time, I could take out my contact lenses before I went to bed, put on a pair of bottle-bottom glasses, and settle under my down comforter to read myself to sleep. Since having RK surgery some 17 years ago, however, there’s not a lens in the world that can filter light through my damaged corneas and hit the sweet spot on my retinas. If I want to read these days, I must wear both contact lenses and reading glasses, and maintain a powerful squint.

Now I’m locked into a smeared world filled with beautiful works of art and brilliant literature, as well as the simple pleasures and necessities of sight – the daily newspaper, the buttons in the elevator, the menu at the meat-and-three, the birthday card from a friend, the calorie count on a carton of yogurt. I can’t see any of them clearly enough to use them. Bursts of light are excruciating for my damaged corneas. Sometimes it’s seemed easier just to stay in bed in despair and sleep the days away.

To adequately explain why ClearKone® lenses made such a difference in my life, I have to explain the impact of my RK surgery. I started wearing glasses when I was eight and contacts when I was 12. I could always read without correction, but the glasses and/or contacts were critical if I needed to see anything beyond my books. When RK surgery came to the forefront in the early 1990s, I jumped on the bandwagon and had one major procedure and one “touch-up” performed on each eye by one of the city’s most prominent ophthalmologists. For a few weeks, I lived the miracle of 20/10 vision. I could see the lighted display on my clock in the middle of the night. I no longer had to baby expensive contact lenses or endure the pain of getting debris caught under them. I could move from reading to driving to computer work seamlessly, ride freely in a convertible without worrying about dirt flying into my eyes or my contacts drying out, swim and see at the same time, and best of all – my vision was better than it had ever been in my whole life!

My 20/10 days lasted for about a month, and then the unthinkable happened. My vision began to deteriorate, both at near vision and at a distance. My new crystal-clear world slipped away from me day by day, and I began what would be a 17-year quest to regain my sight. My doctors tried every contact lens available. While I could see fairly well with gas permeable lenses, they were pure misery to wear, rubbing against my RK incisions and forcing me to take them in and out, over and over, every day. My vision fluctuated so much in the course of a day that no prescription glasses ever gave me clear vision at any distance. With menopause, my dry eyes dried out even more. I had my tear ducts cauterized. I tried wearing nothing but glasses for months in hopes that my vision would stabilize and adapt to the glasses, but it didn’t work I moved to another city and new optometrists tried to help me. We tried various soft lenses, but they only draped themselves over my flat cornea and many incisions and did little to help me see, although they were more comfortable than gas perms. My optometrist tried piggy-backing a gas perm lens over a soft lens, but the lenses wouldn’t center. I spent endless hours on the internet and phone, talking with specialists throughout the country, trying to find the one doctor who might have a rare and unpublicized solution for failed RK procedures.

Finally, with the dawning of the new century, the first hybrid lenses came on the market, and after weeks and weeks of fittings and trial and error, for the first time, I had decent vision and decent comfort with monovision Soft Perm lenses. I still couldn’t be corrected with glasses, so I was heavily dependent on my contacts to read, drive, and work. Because my RK incisions were so prone to irritation, the hybrid lenses would periodically cause one or more of the incisions to open up. That was agony, both because of the pain and because I would be unable to wear the lens (and thus become visually disabled) until the incision healed enough for me to tolerate it again. This year I developed yet another problem with my hybrid lenses. Almost as soon as I’d insert them, they would cloud over with a thick, gluey substance. I spent more time taking them out and cleaning them than I spent actually wearing them!

Having moved back to Birmingham, I went back to UAB Eye Care and met Dr. Adam Gordon, who told me about ClearKone® hybrid contact lenses. From the first moment I felt that lens on my eye, I knew it was the answer I’d been searching for. Because the lens floated on a layer of fluid above my RK incisions, they were incredibly comfortable, and my visual acuity was better than it had been since my one-month bout of 20/10 vision 17 years earlier.

SynergEyes Grants Life Changing Gift for Holidays: Ability to Distinguish Family Faces Keratoconus Patients Granted New Hybrid Contact Lens Technology

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Carlsbad, CA (December 20, 2010) – This holiday season patients are receiving the life-changing gift of clear and comfortable vision thanks to the Sharing Vision Grant Program sponsored by SynergEyes, Inc. This program was created to bring the new technologically advanced ClearKone® hybrid contact lens to keratoconus patients who may otherwise not have access.  Keratoconus is a degenerative eye disease that occurs 1 in 1,000 people causing substantially distorted vision and in many cases changes how they live their lives. Patients can apply for the program on at www.TreatKeratoconus.com.

Cassidy Randle was a successful college student looking to go to nursing school, after graduation. Just as any young girl, she wanted to get rid of her glasses and therefore underwent refractive eye surgery in 2003. Initially her vision was okay and then it started deteriorating. In no time she was almost blind in her left eye and had poor vision in the right eye.  She had seen many cornea specialists and tried many type of lenses, but unfortunately, none of the lenses gave her the comfort or the vision back. It came to a point that she was unable to drive a car and her hopes of nursing school were fading.  “I began to worry and think to myself: ‘How will I be able to focus in school if I am unable to see?’” Cassidy said.  And her worries were more personal as well. “The worst feeling imaginable is being unable to distinguish my family’s faces and see their expressions.”

After Dr. Gupta at the University of Texas Medial Branch (UTMB) Eye Center volunteered her time and provided a free fitting for Cassidy in ClearKone® lenses, provided free by SynergEyes, Inc., Cassidy is now able to see again. “When I tried on the lenses for the first time I knew the difference in my vision was going to be life-changing,” said Cassidy.  Thanks to the Sharing Vision Grant Program and Dr. Gupta, Cassidy can see her father’s face again and she can pursue her dream of becoming a nurse.

Currently, over 15 patients are enrolled in the program; receiving free lenses from SynergEyes and free fitting from participating eye care practitioners. One of these patients is Melanie LeMay who is working with Dr. Adam Gordon to achieve clear vision for the first time in 17 years. “I can’t think of a better Christmas gift than a pair of ClearKone® lenses!” said Melanie. “These lenses will be life changing for me and for others as well.”


The ClearKone® hybrid contact lens is the only hybrid lens of its kind for keratoconus and is having a significant impact on thousands of patients.   Available for less than a year, this new technology offers both clear vision and comfort for patients who would otherwise have to compromise their vision.  SynergEyes is the only company that makes a hybrid lens which has a “hard” center for the clear vision, and a soft outer skirt that provides comfort.

About SynergEyes®:

SynergEyes®, Inc. was founded in 2001 with a recognized need for a hybrid contact lens that combined the superior visual acuity of a rigid gas permeable lens with the comfort of a soft contact lens. The patented SynergEyes® hybrid technology with FDA market clearance is providing comfortable clear vision through the services of more than 5000 eye care practitioners throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.

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Contact Lens Options for Keratoconus

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Author:  Dr. Anderson, OD, FAAO

Keratoconus is a bilateral, progressive corneal thinning disorder which manifests as irregular, asymmetric astigmatism. Symptoms include blurred, subacute distorted vision which is usually more pronounced in one eye than the other. Refraction is often difficult and patients may not be adequately corrected with spectacles. Contact lenses are the best form of visual correction in most cases of clinically significant keratoconus. There are many different types of contact lenses available for keratoconus. Depending on the degree of clinical significance, lifestyle and ocular health, the optimal contact lens can be determined for each patient. This article describes the different design options currently available, along with the goals to keep in mind when fitting these patients.

Soft Toric Lenses

Many times, patients in the early stages of keratoconus do well with soft lenses. A satisfactory baseline refraction, which will most likely have a moderate amount of cylinder, is necessary in order to determine the soft lens prescription, which will most likely be toric. Occasionally, a spherical equivalent will produce good visual results. Patients with forme fruste keratoconus may also do well with soft toric lenses since adequate spectacle refraction is often possible.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses

RGPs are the most commonly prescribed lenses for keratoconus. Traditionally, these lenses were fit with small diameters, three-point touch and variable edge lifts to improve comfort. However, this type of fit often results in a low-riding lens, decentered inferiorly over the pupil which induces aberration. More recent RGP designs for keratoconus have incorporated aspheric or biaspheric optics to decrease aberration, along with larger diameters to improve centration.

Piggyback Systems

Keratoconus patients who are currently fit with RGP lenses oftentimes experience discomfort and decreased wearing time as their condition progresses. The cone steepens and the apex thins to the point of inflammation, abrasion and irritation from RGP bearing. A simple way to halt this cascade of events is to place a soft lens beneath the RGP. Using a low minus power will flatten and protect the corneal surface as well as improve the comfort and wearing time. High Dk soft and RGP materials work well to maintain corneal integrity by decreasing the incidence of neovascularization.

Hybrid Lenses

These lenses consist of an RGP center with a soft skirt edge. They combine the benefits of rigid lens optics, including better lens centration and decreased aberrations, along with the comfort of a soft lens. The results are improved vision and increased wearing time. This is especially beneficial in keratoconus patients whose cone apex is very steep, thin and decentered. Traditional small diameter RGP lenses tend to decenter downward over the apex, inducing bothersome aberrations over the pupil. SynergEyes is currently the only manufacturer of hybrid lenses in the U.S. The designs available for keratoconus include the SynergEyes A, KC and ClearKone. Patients with mild to moderate keratoconus may fit into the A lens which has a spherical RGP center. The KC lens has an aspheric RGP center and is reserved for more advanced cones. ClearKone consists of a reverse geometry RGP center which is fit upon elevation or sagittal depth rather than base curve. This allows for clearance, centration and stabilized vision over a decentered cone. Because it achieves clearance by vault, ClearKone offers lower powers and reduced aberrations as compared to lenses fit according to base curve.

Scleral/Semiscleral Lenses

Rigid gas permeable lenses with diameters of 13mm or greater fall into this category. The benefits of these large diameter RGPs in keratoconus are a large,well-centered optic zone, minimal movement with blink, stabilized vision and improved comfort. Fitting these lenses requires a great deal of skill, which is acquired from experience. The dynamics are quite different from corneal lenses. The parameters of the larger periphery determine the patient’s ability to wear the lens comfortably and must be fit independently of the central base curve. The ultimate goal in fitting any keratoconus patient with contact lenses is good vision and comfort. This is relatively easy to achieve in early cones and becomes more difficult as corneal thinning and steepening progress. Determining the best lens to fit in order to achieve these goals is as much of an art as it is a science. For example, a patient who has worn small diameter RGPs unsuccessfully may do better in a hybrid or semi-scleral design. Regardless of lens design, finding the best lens begins with careful measurement of corneal curvature and diagnostic lens fitting.

Contact Lenses vs. Surgery for Keratoconus

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

Contact lenses with a rigid surface are the undisputed gold standard for restoring vision in keratoconus.  Despite recent advances in surgical treatment — including collagen cross-linking, intracorneal ring implants (Intacs), and partial-thickness corneal transplants — none of the currently available surgeries can make the distorted keratoconic cornea quite as smooth as the surface of a rigid contact lens.  The uniform surface of a rigid lens masks the distorted, irregular cornea in keratoconus, allowing light to properly focus into the eye.  Simply put, the rigid surface neutralizes the optical turbulence of the keratoconic eye.  This is why many of the top corneal surgeons first refer their keratoconus patients to a contact lens specialist before operating.  Of course surgical treatment has its place.  However surgery for keratoconus often has a secondary role in relation to less invasive contact lens treatments.

A historical challenge with rigid or “hard” contact lenses is that some wearers, even those without keratoconus, have difficulty overcoming the initial awareness of the lens edge interacting with the eyelid.  If you have keratoconus and can’t wear even optimally prescribed rigid lenses, you may be stuck between a rock and a hard place.  That’s because glasses and corneal surgery by themselves can’t approach the quality of vision afforded by rigid optics, at least not typically.  Furthermore, while soft contacts are initially more comfortable than their rigid counterparts, the soft material conforms to the irregular “peaks and valleys” of the keratoconic cornea, leaving the visual distortions largely unaddressed.

So what can your eye doctor do in the aforementioned situation?  Your doctor may recommend UltraHealth or ClearKone® hybrid contact lenses which combine the clarity of a rigid center with the comfort of a soft outer skirt.  These  lenses were designed specifically for keratoconus.  For selected patients, properly prescribed UltraHealth  lenses can afford a new-found freedom that no other treatment can approach.  UltraHealth  is an important option for some keratoconus patients who are unable to wear rigid lenses.  Yet UltraHealth  also has a role for many other keratoconus patients, especially those active in sports where resistance against lens dislodgement and visual stability are desirable.  Many of the contact lens specialists at the forefront of keratoconus treatment are certified to prescribe UltraHealth.  These contact lens specialists tend to interact regularly with corneal surgeons, using a team-approach to treat keratoconus both non-surgically and surgically as dictated by the particulars of each case.

Another alternative is scleral lenses, which are rigid contacts that are unusually large — larger in diameter than most soft contacts.  Scleral lenses often provide improved initial comfort over smaller diameter rigid lens designs, however they can require greater expertise by the practitioner and patient for successful wear.

For those already wearing more common rigid lenses, but who are experiencing the unavoidable rubbing on the sensitive corneal surface from the lenses, your eye doctor may prescribe a “piggyback” system.  In piggyback systems, breathable soft lenses are worn underneath the rigid lenses not for improving vision, but for protecting against mechanical chaffing and the resulting discomfort.  Your eye care professional can determine the appropriate contact lens modality for your specific circumstance, including whether lens wearing discomfort is due to sensitivity of the lens edges, lens chaffing of the cornea, or some other reason.

Ultimately, the practitioner’s experience and skill are more important than the contact lens design used for treating keratoconus.  Many eye doctors do not routinely prescribe medically-necessary contact lenses and will refer you to one of their colleagues with such expertise.  Since the pattern of corneal distortion in keratoconus is as unique as a fingerprint, there isn’t a single lens design that works for every eye.  Contact lens prescribing for keratoconus is a process which can span many visits before all refinements to the lens parameters are completed.  Due to the chair-time required and custom nature of the prescribing, it’s not uncommon for the services and lenses to cost over $1,500 without third party coverage.  Many medical insurances fail to understand that contact lenses for keratoconus are non-elective and medically-necessary for rehabilitating vision.  Consequently, keratoconus patients often shoulder most of the financial responsibility for their contact lens treatment.

Patient Success Stories

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

“I saw for the first time – the world as it really looks”

“I have SynergEyes UltraHealth Contact Lens in both eyes. I have worn them daily at least 15 hours, even once 22 hours straight.

I have been wearing them now for over 6 months and my vision is superb, comfort supreme, not cloudy, not blurry, and no pain. I am 66 years old, was diagnosed with Keratoconus over 50 years ago, had a corneal transplant in my left eye 40 years ago, and still working great. I have only worn hard contact lenses (no glasses) my entire working life with a full career.

My words of wisdom to all you “Keratoconiacs” out there – “Your Fitter is your key to success!”

Theresa W.,   Age 66

Questions Keratoconus Patients are Asking

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Q: I am a Keratoconus patient and have been wearing Soft Perm contact lens for over 10 years. I have now been fitted with the new ClearKone Synergeyes lens in both eyes. I get great vision with these contacts and comfort for the most part however my contacts cloud up at times, especially my left eye.  I know that these lenses are high in oxgyen – like 7 times more oxygen is received by the conrea compared to the Soft Perm – could this be the adpatation period? Shak

A: Shak, you bring up a very common issue faced by SynergEyes and other contact lens patients: “cloudy vision.”  There are several reasons for cloudy vision including an improper contact lens fit.  Please tell your contact lens fitter about this issue so that he/she can check the fit and make sure that it is correct.   More commonly, many patients experience cloudy vision because of the surface of their lens drying out or hazing over.  The surface of contact lenses requires extreme care in order to keep it wetable.  There are several steps that you may want to take in order to enhance the surface of the lenses.  1. Use the proper soap.  The soap that we use can have oils that cause the surface of the lens to become non-wetting.  Use lanoline free soaps that are free of perfume and fragrances.  2. After washing your hands, rinse your fingertips with the contact lens solution that you use prior to handeling your contact lenses (Unless you use a hydrogen peroxide solution such as Clear Care) 3. If you are getting cloudy vision consider switching to a different contact lens solution that creates a more wettable surface.   As always consult your contact lens fitter on any changes that you make to your lens wearing routine or solution use. Dr. Kading


Q: Since part of the hybrid lens is rigid, will I feel the lens in my eye?

A: If you’ve never worn contact lenses before, or if you have only worn soft lenses, there may be a period of adaptation. Typically this adaptation period lasts for 3-5 days.

Your practitioner may want to build up your wearing time over a few days, and they will be able to recommend a wear schedule customized for you.

Q: I have had keratoconus for 4 years and it continues to get worse.  At what point should I consider surgery?

A: Approximately 20% of patients with keratoconus will have progression to the degree where corneal surgery is necessary.  The most common procedure performed is a full thickness corneal transplant also known as a penetrating keratoplasty (PKP).  In this surgery the diseased cornea is removed and replaced by a human donor cornea.  Luckily, transplantation of the cornea is the most successful of all organ transplants with a low rejection rate.  Many patients will still need the assistance of glasses or contact lenses for optimal vision. This is why many of the top corneal surgeons first refer their keratoconus patients to a contact lens specialist before operating. Answer by: Dr. Chou

Q: I’ve thought about getting Intacs, but I’ve heard that you still need to wear contact lenses after you’ve had Intacs surgery. Is this true?

A: Intacs is a relatively newer surgical method to address the corneal irregularity found in keratoconus. It involves the implantation of tiny plastic segments within the cornea. The result is to make the optical surface of the cornea relatively more regular, thus reducing the degree of vision distortion. This technology is only indicated for keratoconic corneas without scaring, yet have become contact lens intolerant. Results with Intacs have been encouraging, but once again are not a total solution for this disease. As with PK, patients who have had Intacs implanted most often still require contact lens correction for maximum vision. By making the corneal surface more regular contact lens fitting may be more successful following Intacs.

Keratoconus patients contemplating Intacs surgery should first consult with a qualified contact lens practitioner to investigate less invasive and potentially more effective treatment. Click here for an article on surgical options.  Answer by: Dr. Eiden.

Q: What is the best solution to use with my ClearKone® lenses?

A: There are several care systems approved for use with hybrid contact lenses.  You should always follow the instructions provided by your eye care professional with regard to caring for your lenses.  SynergEyes, the manufacturer of ClearKone lenses also has some recommendations that you can find on this website.

Q: Can I sleep in ClearKone® lenses?

A: ClearKone lenses are approved by the FDA for daily wear only.  Therefore you should never sleep in your lenses.   You should remove your lenses at the end of the day clean them and store them overnight.

Q: What do you suggest for dry eyes?

A: Use re-wetting drops approved for soft lenses like Optive to help with dryness.  It is also very important to digitally clean your lenses – ignore the “no rub” on solutions. Also using the non preserved products for insertion does seem to help as well, rather than using a multipurpose solution.

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Ask an Expert!

To submit a question, please send an email to askanexpert@synergeyes.com. We will review all questions and post an answer each week.

Please note: If you have an urgent question about your eye health, contact your eye care practitioner immediately. This page is designed to provide general information about vision, vision care and vision correction. It is not intended to provide medical advice. If you suspect that you have a vision problem or a condition that requires attention, consult with an eye care professional for advice on the treatment of your own specific condition and for your own particular needs.

How is Keratoconus Diagnosed?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

The initial symptoms of keratoconus include frequent and significant changes in a patient’s eyeglass prescription, especially in the amount of astigmatism. This is often followed by progressive vision problems such as halos, glare symptoms, ghost images, double and multiple images perceived by each eye individually, and by numerous attempts at obtaining a good glasses prescription without success.

Early diagnosis is very important in the management of keratoconus. New advanced technologies allow eye doctors to detect and treat the condition very successfully. The most sensitive diagnostic method available for keratoconus detection is corneal topography. This allows the doctor to evaluate the shape of the cornea. The most commonly used topography instruments only measure the front surface of the cornea; however more advanced forms of topography evaluate both the front and back surface of the cornea as well as corneal thickness profiles. This is critically important since the earliest abnormalities found in keratoconus will develop initially on the back surface of the cornea and tend to always be more advanced than the front surface irregularities. Other diagnostic tests may also detect keratoconus at very early stages and also discover progression early on. These include aberrometry techniques which measure various forms of visual distortion, and corneal optical coherence tomography (OCT) which provides exquisitely detailed imaging of the cornea.



Pentacam Corneal Topography

Click to enlarge




Pentacam Corneal Topography measuring both the front and

back surface of the cornea as well as corneal thickness profiles.




Aberrometry

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Aberrometry measures vision distortions in keratoconus




Optical Coherence Tomography

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Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) keratoconus



« READ “What is Keratoconus?” | READ “Non-Surgical Treatment Options” »

Non-surgical Treatment Options for Keratoconus

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Treatment strategies for the management of keratoconus are expanding as new technologies are being developed. The choice of what treatment to consider is based on the severity of the disease. As stated previously, early or mild cases of keratoconus can be easily treated with traditional eye glasses. Many of these patients can achieve clear 20/20 vision with spectacles. New spectacle technologies that correct for what are termed “high order aberrations” that are common in keratoconus may play a role for slightly more advanced cases.

Soft contact lenses can be useful in many ways in managing the disease. Again, early and mild cases can achieve clear vision with standard soft contact lenses (including disposable soft lenses), but soft lenses can play more advanced roles in keratoconus management. Custom soft lens designs to treat moderately distorted corneas have been developed. They utilize increased thickness in the central optical portion of the lens to “mask” the irregularity of the cornea. Additionally, high oxygen transmission disposable soft lenses are used to “piggyback” rigid gas permeable lenses over them. This provides somewhat improved comfort in comparison with rigid GP lenses worn directly on the cornea, and also in some cases assists with the fit of the GP lens on these irregular corneas.

Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP’s) provide optimal vision correction and can be designed to fit highly irregular corneas. RGP’s are available in many designs that are specific to fitting the keratoconic cornea. They do suffer from comfort problems and centering problems on some keratoconic eyes. Scleral contact lenses are very large diameter rigid gas permeable lenses. The advantage to these lenses is that they can fit very advanced cases of keratoconus since they “vault” the cornea and “land” or rest on the sclera (the white of the eye). Fitting of these types of lenses is very complex and only performed by limited numbers of contact lens specialists. Cost factors for scleral lenses is also quite high. As such, the fitting of these lenses is relatively limited.

Finally, hybrid contact lenses for keratoconus such as the ClearKone® and SynergEyes® KC designs have had a great impact on the treatment of keratoconus. Hybrid lenses provide improved comfort when compared to rigid gas permeable lenses; however they provide similar quality of vision correction. Developments in design and materials used to produce these lenses has dramatically increased success rates in keratoconus contact lens fitting.





ClearKone® Hybrid Contact Lens by SynergEyes

Click to enlarge




Article Written by: S. Barry Eiden, OD, FAAO

President and Medical Director of North Suburban Vision Consultants, Ltd.

Website: http://www.nsvc.com

EyeVis Eye and Vision Research Institute

Immediate Past Chair of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the American Optometric Association


« READ “How is Keratoconus Diagnosed?” | READ “Surgical Treatment Options” »

Common Questions about Contact Lenses and Keratoconus

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

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To submit a question, please send an email to askanexpert@synergeyes.com. We will review all questions and post an answer each week.

Please note: If you have an urgent question about your eye health, contact your eye care practitioner immediately. This page is designed to provide general information about vision, vision care and vision correction. It is not intended to provide medical advice. If you suspect that you have a vision problem or a condition that requires attention, consult with an eye care professional for advice on the treatment of your own specific condition and for your own particular needs.


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NKCF_SE_blueEveryday keratoconus patients are discovering that UltraHealth™ and ClearKone® hybrid contact lenses can help provide healthy and refreshing vision correction, crystal clear vision and all-day comfort. If you have irregular corneas or keratoconus, ask your eye care practitioner today if UltraHealth™ or ClearKone® hybrid contact lenses by SynergEyes® are right for you.

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