Keratoconus

&

Hard to Fit Contacts

Keratoconus & Hard-To-Fit Contacts

Dr. Salazar knows all too well about hard to fit contacts.  She herself has a condition called Keratoconus. This condition is due to a collagen deficiency in her corneas which in turn causes a high degree of astigmatism.  The hard part is that Keratoconus cannot be corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses. She developed Keratoconus at age 16 and lived at her eye doctor's office. 

 

Not much was known back then and the treatment was only rigid gas permeable contacts which were very uncomfortable! In reality, her frustrations with Keratoconus inspired her to choose this path as an eye doctor.  She wanted to help people with this condition and she can relate like no other doctor.

 

She has been involved with Keratoconus and clinical studies since 1996. Her father and her maternal cousin also have this condition, so in her case, there is a genetic component, but there are many cases where there is no such link.  She typically fits Keratoconus patients with Synergeyes hybrid lenses or scleral contacts. Both choices offer amazing vision and comfort.  

 

Keratoconus:

  • This is an uncommon condition that causes major discomfort when wearing contacts. Keratoconus happens when the cornea becomes thinner and allows the eye to bulge forward. The bulge forms into a cone shape.

 

Astigmatism:

  • Astigmatism develops when the front of the eye curves into a bulge or oval shape. It causes blurred vision and can be difficult to correct because regular contacts cannot account for the bulging.

 

Dry Eyes:

  • When eyes become excessively dry, it leads to irritation, burning, redness and blurred vision. Contact lenses can exacerbate these conditions by making it feel like a foreign object is stuck in your eye.

 

GPC:

  • This form of conjunctivitis is caused by inflammation on the inner surface of the eyelid. Protein buildup on contact lenses can make this condition worse.
     

Presbyopia:

  • Eyes tend to have a tougher time focusing on close objects as they age. This condition is known as presbyopia. It typically affects people aged 40 or older.
     

 

 

REASONS FOR HARD TO FIT CONTACTS

Finding contact lenses that fit and wearing contact lenses, in general, can be made more challenging when these conditions affect your eyes: 

  • Astigmatism 

  • Dry eyes 

  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC) 

  • Keratoconus 

  • Presbyopia

 

 

 

SOLUTIONS FOR HARD TO FIT CONTACTS 

Wearing contacts is not impossible if you suffer from one of the above conditions. You do need to meet with an eye care professional, however, and get prescribed contact lenses that are tailored to deal with your specific vision condition. 

 

  • Gas permeable lenses are a good solution for patients who suffer from GPC or Keratoconus. A GP lens will limit protein deposits from accumulating which will reduce GPC symptoms. It is also effective in containing corneal bulging and relieving pressure on the tissue for a Keratoconus sufferer. 

  • Toric lenses are useful for correcting astigmatism. Since the lens needs to align with the bulge it is correcting, toric lenses must not rotate in order to fit on the eye. They are typically custom made to correct specific astigmatism. For that reason, this type of lens takes longer to make and costs more than a traditional contact lens. 

  • Bifocal and multifocal lenses can help remedy presbyopia. Monovision lenses are another option for presbyopia. This type of lenses can have one fitted for distance vision and the other for seeing close objects. 

  • Medicated eye drops can be an effective solution for dealing with dry eyes. They will lubricate eyes enough to make contact lenses more bearable, although a punctual occlusion also must be done to plug the ducts in some extreme cases. GPC symptoms can also be lessened through medicated eye drops. They flush out protein deposits and reduce inflammation.

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