Contact Lenses for Keratoconus: What Are Your Options?

Keratoconus is a corneal disease that causes thinning and bulging of the cornea. Because the cornea is a major part of the eye that is responsible for giving you clear vision, any irregularity or change in its shape will cause your vision to be distorted. If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus, you eye doctor will likely recommend specialty contact lenses for keratoconus to help improve your vision.

Related: “Keratoconus: What Is It and How Does It Impact Vision?” 

Let’s look at all your contact lens options for keratoconus:

Soft Contact Lenses for Keratoconus

1) Soft contact lenses.

These lenses typically don’t work well for people with keratoconus. Why? Soft contacts aimlessly drape over the cornea and people with keratoconus typically need a stiffer contact lens to correct for their corneal irregularities. A soft lens is too flexible to do this.

RGP Contact Lenses for Keratoconus

2) Rigid gas permeable contact lenses.

These lenses work better than soft lenses on the keratoconic eye because of their hard shape. Patients with keratoconus have an irregular cornea so using a rigid lens that rests on top of their irregular cornea creates a smooth surface. This provides them with clearer vision than soft contact lenses.  

Hybrid Contact Lenses for Keratoconus

3) Hybrid contact lenses.

These lenses have a hard center and soft surrounding skirt which usually makes them more comfortable than a standard rigid gas permeable lens.

Scleral Contact Lenses for Keratoconus

4) Scleral contact lenses.

These are hard contact lenses that rest on the white part of the eye and are significantly bigger than standard contact lenses. Their general appearance is in the shape of a tiny bowl that needs to be filled with preservative-free saline before being put on your eye. These lenses vault (or arch) over the irregular cornea to give you clearer vision than any soft contact lens or standard RGP option. 

Which is best?

Depending on the severity of your keratoconus diagnosis, one lens may be a better option than another. Talk to your eye care provider to find out which contact lenses for keratoconus will work best for you.

Curious if you’re a candidate for one of these keratoconus solutions? What are you waiting for? Make sure to schedule an appointment with your local eye care professional today!

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