|Mon||8:00am - 5:00pm|
|Tue||8:00am - 5:00pm|
|Wed||9:00am - 7:00pm|
|Thu||9:00am - 7:00pm|
|Fri||9:00am - 4:00pm|
|Sat||9:00am - 2:00pm
(1st Sat. of Month ONLY)
Keratoconus is a disorder of the cornea, the clear front refracting surface of the eye, which is thought to affect about one in 2,000 people. The cornea of a keratoconus patient becomes abnormally thin and takes on an irregular, cone shape. Because the cornea is one of the most important tissues of the eye for focusing crisp, clear images, abnormalities in this tissue have a significant impact on vision.
In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to light. These symptoms typically first appear in the late teens and early twenties. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow or stabilize. Although it occurs in both eyes, each eye may be affected differently. Keratoconus does not cause blindness, but at later stages achieving sharp vision may become increasingly difficult.
Early on in keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be able to provide satisfactory vision. However, as the disorder progresses and the cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are typically prescribed to correct vision more adequately. RGP lenses are the primary option for correcting keratoconus vision because, unlike soft contact lenses or eyeglasses, the rigid lens masks the underlying irregular cornea and functions as the new refractive surface of the eye.
In order to successfully fit a keratoconus patient in contact lenses, we take a detailed map of the front of the eye, called corneal topography, and additional measurements necessary for both the design of the lenses and for monitoring the eye health. Keratoconus is managed by many different contact lens designs and there is not one design that is best for every keratoconus patient. Our doctors all have experience in specialty contact lens fitting for keratoconus, as well as other conditions such as pellucid marginal degeneration and post-surgical cases. We carefully evaluate each patient to find the lens design that will offer the best vision, comfort, and eye health. Frequent checkups and lens changes may be needed to achieve and maintain good vision.
Because contact lenses are often necessary to achieve optimal vision for a keratoconus patient, insurance companies may help cover some of the costs of the lenses and/or the fitting. To the best of our abilities, we will help obtain authorization from a patient’s insurance company for this or provide him/her with an explanatory letter to submit to the insurance company to request reimbursement. However, all fees are ultimately the patient’s responsibility.
The National Keratoconus Foundation (www.nkcf.org) is a wonderful resource for keratoconus patients and families. They offer information and support through free, interactive online forums. These forums provide keratoconus patients with a unique opportunity to share their experiences, concerns and stories with others who can truly understand the challenges of living with this condition.