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Home » News » Living With Keratoconus | Kenneth’s Story

Living With Keratoconus | Kenneth’s Story

Kenneth’s Story 640

From the time Kenneth was 11 years old, he wore glasses to “correct” his vision.  His vision was deteriorating quickly and he had to sit at the front of the classroom to enable him to see.  This made him feel embarrassed.  There seemed to be an endless number of visits to various eye doctors that tried to figure out what was causing his vision problems.

Four years later, at the age of 15, Kenneth was diagnosed with keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that affects the shape and condition of the cornea. Kenneth was referred to an optometrist who specializes in treating keratoconus.

Keratoconus is a condition that causes the cornea to thin and bulge out in a cone-like shape, leading to visual impairment. The early stages of this progressive eye disease usually cause mild to moderate vision problems that eyeglasses can solve.  As the cornea’s shape continues to become more distorted, glasses no longer enable the individual to see.  Special contact lenses are needed to restore sight.

The special gas permeable contact lenses called Scleral Lenses significantly improved Kenneth’s vision.

Kenneth walked out of the optometrist’s office, looked around, and saw leaves on the trees for the first time in 5 years. Prior to this, his perception of trees were brown stumps with green shrubbery—but never leaves.

He noticed that the cars driving past him on the street looked astonishingly clean. Nothing seemed faded anymore. Colors were vivid, lines were sharp.

The detail and clarity of each object were genuinely overwhelming for him. His mother also suffers from keratoconus, and was overcome with emotion as she watched her son visually experience his surroundings in a whole new way.

From that day forward, Kenneth’s life changed drastically. His scleral contact lenses enabled him to function normally and achieve his goals. Wearing his scleral contact lenses allows him to work, exercise, socialize, and be independent.  He could be himself.

When Kenneth doesn’t wear his scleral lenses, his entire personality changes. He becomes timid, quiet and apprehensive.

Having keratoconus will no longer hinder Kenneth from living his best life, and it doesn’t have to hinder you or an affected loved one.

 

At times, in an attempt to restore vision, Intacts are inserted within the cornea to attempt to strengthen the corneal integrity, or a corneal transplant is needed.  In both cases, however, there is persistent vision distortion.  Scleral Contact Lenses sit on the sclera, the white part of the eye.  They vault over the distorted cornea and restore sight.

The evaluation in our office is done in part with the use of a topographer, a special instrument that measures 8,000 points on the cornea.  It is a very precise measurement and we can then design a lens that is specific for that cornea.  That gives the best possibility to restore sight.

When we insert the lenses for the first time, the experience can be a very emotional one.  The individual is hen able to the world around him in detail—and with great comfort.  At times, a modification to the initial pair is needed.

Scleral Lenses can be life changing to a person with corneal disease.  If you or a loved one has keratoconus or other corneal irregularities, contact Family Eye Care today.

Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Edison, all throughout New Jersey.

Q&A

Q: #1: How do scleral lenses work?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are made of a Gas Permeable material and are about the same size as soft contact lenses. They vault over the entire cornea and rest on the sclera (the white of the eye) so that no part of the lens touches the cornea itself. The lens holds a reservoir of soothing and nourishing fluid between the eye and the lens, providing the best in visual clarity and comfort.

Q: #2: What other conditions do scleral lenses help with?

  • A: Any patient who has irregular corneas can benefit from scleral lenses. Patients that have been damaged by LASIK, or trauma to the cornea, and individuals who have severe dry eye syndrome.  The fluid reservoir helps maintain comfort and ocular hydration. They’re also great for patients with very high refractive conditions; people who are very nearsighted or very farsighted, or who have high astigmatism. Call us to see if scleral lenses may be right for you.

You can reach us at 1-732-679-2020.

 

 

 

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