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Which lenses with keratoconus?
Keratoconus, which lenses?
Of all patients with keratoconus, approximately 70% have a minor degree of keratoconus. The simpler the lens, the better the expected results. The simplest lens is the corneal lens, then the hybrid or soft keratoconus lens. The scleral lens is most suitable for severe forms of keratoconus. With this lens you can bridge the cone, because the lens rests on the sclera. The tip of a cone becomes more and more sensitive as the keratoconus increases. By not touching the top, the cornea is less stressed. If you see scleral lenses for the first time, you may be surprised at the size of these lenses. But once you start wearing them, you will notice that the scleral lenses are very pleasant with great wearing comfort.
Why scleral lenses?
Scleral lenses are suitable for improving vision for people with special eye shapes and irregular eye surfaces. For example, if the cornea is severely deformed or damaged, such as with keratoconus, it is virtually impossible to improve visual acuity with ordinary contact lenses and glasses. Then the scleral lenses offer the solution. Because scleral lenses are easy to maintain, have a long lifespan, and there is a very small chance of loss, you can wear these lenses safely and with great pleasure into old age.
Benefits of scleral lenses
- Scleral lenses do not touch the top of the cone
- You don’t feel the edges of scleral lenses because the lenses are so big
- Because the lenses are so large, they sit stable on the eye and the vision always remains the same
- No dust can get under the scleral lenses
Disadvantages of scleral lenses
- It takes some getting used to in the beginning to put on and take off scleral lenses. Also because the lens must be filled with liquid to prevent air bubbles under the lens. You need some patience and perseverance
- A scleral lens rests around the conjunctiva. The conjunctiva is sensitive to allergic reactions. With swelling of this mucous membrane, this lens type will fit less well
- The lens must be replaced almost every year, because the lens is made of a very high gas permeable material. A combination of special contact lens solutions and annual replacement make this lens type very expensive for the user.
- The lens rests on the mucous membrane of the eye that covers the sclera. This mucous membrane is often more sensitive to allergies in people with keratoconus. The pressure of the lens on this mucosa and/or the contact lens fluids can cause an allergic reaction
What other lenses for keratoconus?
There are still a number of lenses that are suitable for keratoconus. They all have their pros and cons. We list them below. We can advise you extensively about which lenses are most suitable for you for keratoconus.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
There are hybrid lenses that have been specially developed for keratoconus. The curvature of the lens can be adjusted in such a way that the dimensionally stable part of the lens does not touch the cornea. This prevents clouding that can cause vision loss or contact lens intolerance
Disadvantages of hybrid lens?
- This lens type has limited options to improve fit and vision
- The lens should be replaced every six months
- The lens is very touch sensitive
Corneal lenses the best lens
Once used, a corneal lens can be worn for a long time and responsibly. In general, this lens type can be worn all day long without any problems. The lens is easy to maintain and does not need to be replaced every year.
Disadvantages of the corneal lens
- This lens type fits so loosely on the eye that it can fall out when worn when not moving properly
- Dust can get under the lens
- You feel the edges of the lens at the beginning
Is a soft keratoconus lens the best lens?
To the question ‘keratoconus which lenses are the best’, the answer is often the soft keratoconus lens. Many people praise the soft contact lens for its comfort. Edges are not felt and dust cannot get under the lens. This lens type also offers special possibilities for correction if hard contact lenses do not optimally correct vision. However, this lens also has a few drawbacks.
Disadvantages of soft keratoconus lenses
- Many people with soft contact lenses experience a feeling of drier eyes. The cause of this is still unknown
- Soft contact lenses are made of a hydrophilic material. You can only see clearly when the lens is moistened optimally. As a result, you may have to blink more to keep seeing sharp
Reimbursement via health insurance
Because scleral lenses are in most cases worn for medical reasons, they are often also reimbursed by the health insurer. Of course, there must be a real medical necessity to wear the lenses. This is of course the case with keratoconus. So also consult with the ophthalmologist and the optometrist what the options are and what the best lenses for keratoconus are for you.