Scleral Contact Lenses For Post Corneal Graft
Patients may be concerned that achieving a clear and comfortable vision will be nearly impossible following corneal transplant surgery. Although corneal transplants have a high success rate, they do not entirely cure the eye of disease. Patients will certainly notice dramatic improvements, but their vision will still need to be corrected.
It can take more than a year for the eye to recover from a corneal transplant, as it needs time to adapt to the new cornea. Because this adjustment is unpredictable, nearsightedness or astigmatism may develop. Even after complete recovery, prescription glasses or lenses may still be required. For this and other reasons (explained below), scleral lenses are the optimal choice for vision correction.
Here at Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center, we aim to provide the best possible vision for our patients who’ve had a corneal transplant. If you’ve undergone this procedure, speak with Dr. Heather Shear O.D. to determine whether scleral contact lenses are the best choice for you.
Understanding Corneal Transplants
There are two common types of corneal transplants:
Penetrating keratoplasty, also called “full-thickness corneal transplant”, is when the full thickness of the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) is replaced with healthy donor tissue.
Endothelial keratoplasty replaces only the diseased corneal tissue, leaving healthy tissue behind.
Why Would Someone Need a Corneal Transplant?
A corneal transplant is generally recommended in the following cases:
- For those with vision problems caused by the thinning of the cornea (generally due to keratoconus) and only after less invasive treatments have been proven ineffective
- Scarred cornea caused by severe injuries or infections
- Vision loss caused by cloudiness of the cornea, typically due to Fuchs dystrophy
Scleral Lenses & Post-Corneal Transplant Surgery
Corneal transplants don’t cure irregular corneas, as the transplant doesn’t fully adapt to the eye. Some eye doctors may recommend rigid gas permeable lenses (RGP’s), hybrid contact lenses, or scleral lenses for clear and comfortable vision.
Of all the options, scleral lenses are the optimal choice. The fully customized contact lens vaults entirely over the cornea without adding any pressure to it, while allowing the cornea to remain hydrated for ultimate healing and comfort. Furthermore, because they are larger in size than any other contact lens, they are less likely to shift and move around on the eyes, thus reducing the risk of irritation or abrasion.
We Fit Scleral Lenses and Other Specialty Contact Lenses
Getting fitted for scleral lenses after a corneal graft can be life-changing. It can allow you to comfortably and safely drive at night or resume playing a sport that you thought you’d have to give up.
If you’ve had a corneal transplant or plan to do so in the near future, know that clear and comfortable vision after the surgery is possible. Don’t miss out on incredible life experiences because of poor vision — call Northwestern Eye Associates Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center today.Our practice serves patients from Mt. Dennis, Toronto, York, and Rockcliffe Smythe, ON and surrounding communities.