The Keratoconus Doctors website is now available. Over the years Total Eye Care has developed a sub-specialty in keratoconus treatment. We now have a website dedicated to those patients.
Free Primer Available – The Patient’s Guide to Keratoconus
We also have a primer on keratoconus, “The Patient’s Guide to Keratoconus“. It answers most of the common questions patients ask and the most important things for them to know. We will continue to update it as technology and standards of care continue to evolve. Some of the items covered are
How is keratoconus treated
What are the risks/benefits of surgery vs contact lenses
What treatment options are available
When is surgery recommended
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus involves a progressive thinning of the cornea. It is estimated that 1 in 2000 people have keratoconus; however, some estimates are as high as 1 in 500. In most cases, successful keratoconus treatment is accomplished with specially designed contact lenses. At Total Eye Care, we specialize in providing care to these patients.
Scleral lenses have been around for over 100 years. Until the new gas permeable lens materials were developed patients could only wear scleral lenses for a few hours a day. With the highly oxygen permeable lens materials now in use, patients can comfortably wear these lenses all day. Scleral lenses are most commonly used to treat eyes with irregular corneas such as keratoconus and post surgical eyes (usually following corneal transplant surgery or related to complications from refractive surgery). Another common use for scleral lenses is in the special effects industry where they are used to protect the cornea and/or to give the eye an exotic appearance.
What Is A Scleral Lens?
Scleral lenses are large contact lenses that rest on the sclera (white part of the eye) with the remainder of the lens vaulting over the cornea. Tears are trapped between the lens and the cornea allowing sclerals to treat irregular corneas. The average soft contact lens has a diameter of about 14 mm whereas scleral lenses typically have a diameter exceeding 14.5 mm.
How Are Scleral Lenses used?
At Total Eye Care Dr. Driscoll has used scleral lenses to treat many conditions such as irregular astigmatism, keratoconus, high myopia, dry eye syndrome, and complications related to LASIK and PRK. Because of their size, sclerals are quite comfortable. Patients often report the comfort being similar to that of a soft contact lens. Most patients with irregular corneas will see better with a scleral lens than with glasses.
Below is a good video that shows how scleral lenses are cared for and how to insert and remove them.
Due to the fact that one of the specialties at Total Eye Care is keratoconus we see many patients with this condition. We recently updated our patient information on keratoconus page to reflect some of the new technologies available to our patients such as;
Mini scleral lenses, which provide excellent vision like that of traditionally fit gas permeable lenses, however with markedly improved comfort.
Corneal collagen cross linking, though not yet FDA approved, is a new technology that I expect will be of a tremendous benefit to our patients.