Corneal Disease/Degeneration Rehabilitation
The cornea is the transparent outermost layer of the eye that allows for light to pass. It is crucial for refracting and focusing light and protecting the internal ocular tissues, which are vital to your vision.
However, corneal erosion may occur, causing irregularities on the ocular surface. This may be caused by corneal diseases, irregular Astigmatism, post-surgical complications, and severe dry eyes.
This affects the cornea’s ability to help the eye to focus properly, and leads to blurred or distorted vision. Over time, corneal degenerations can cause the loss of vision and other issues.
Patients with visual impairment due to corneal diseases or degeneration may require visual rehabilitation to restore their vision. Previously, patients with eye diseases as keratoconus would need to undergo invasive procedures such as corneal transplants.
Fortunately, with the advancement of the field, patients can now choose from a variety of less invasive treatment options!
Through the prescription of specially designed specialty contact lenses, we help patients with various corneal diseases and degeneration to correct their vision, and improve their quality of life.
Unlike soft contact lenses that you may be familiar with, these specialty contact lenses each serve different functions that aid in correcting your unique vision problems.
Wondering how specialty contact lenses can help with vision rehabilitation?
Seek our trusted optometrists at Eye Braces Clinic to help you make an exact diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment.
Types of Corneal Diseases
Keratoconus happens most commonly among teenagers and young adults. It causes the cornea’s middle and lower layers to thin down over time.
A cornea with keratoconus can swell outward and assume a cone shape, whereas a normal cornea has a rounded shape.
Keratoconus symptoms include:
- Itchy eyes
- Double vision
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
However, a scattering of ghost images around an item is a defining symptom of keratoconus. This can also show up as streaking or flare distortions.
Keratoconus can cause eye pain and more serious visual difficulties as it progresses.
Wearing glasses, soft contact lenses, or specialty contact lenses that modify the shape of the cornea can help most people with keratoconus solve their visual problems.
To reinforce your cornea on a longer-term basis, your optometrist may suggest a procedure called corneal collagen cross-linking.
However, advanced keratoconus patients might need corneal transplantation to regain clear vision.
Pellucid Marginal Degeneration
This illness is frequently confused with keratoconus since it has similar symptoms and prognosis.
Pellucid Marginal Degeneration and Keratoconus are both corneal disorders that cause the thinning and bulging of the cornea. However, pellucid marginal degeneration presents with a crescent-shaped bulge at the bottom of the cornea instead of a cone-like shape.
Pellucid marginal degeneration is characterised by the absence of pain and the absence of symptoms other than vision loss. While PMD usually affects both eyes, there have been reports of occurrences only in one eye.
In rare situations, this eye disease can cause rapid vision loss and intense eye pain, which occurs when the eye’s surface thins to the point of tearing.
Common corneal dystrophies include map dot fingerprint dystrophy and Fuchs’ dystrophy.
Fuchs’ dystrophy happens when a type of cornea cells (known as endothelial cells) stop working. This results in the cornea swelling and getting thicker, which causes vision problems.
Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy (also called epithelial basement membrane dystrophy) is most common in adults aged 40 to 70. It causes a layer of the cornea to develop folds that can look like continents on a map, clusters of dots, or small fingerprints. Sometimes these folds cause vision problems, which may come and go over time.
Treatments include eye drops, ointments, and special contact lenses to help reduce corneal swelling or prevent your eyelid from rubbing against your cornea. In the event of a severe case, you may require laser eye surgery or a corneal transplant.
Treatments for Corneal Degeneration
Treatments can vary depending on the eye condition and type of degeneration.
Those with mild symptoms may be treated with specialised eye drops, which serve to lubricate the eye to reduce discomfort and pain that result from corneal degenerations.
For conditions such as keratoconus or corneal dystrophies, patients may be able to wear contact lenses such as scleral lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses. The suitability and type of specialty lenses depend on the severity, while early-stage patients may have the option to wear prescription spectacles instead.
We are trained to diagnose and prescribe the best specialty contact lenses to correct your vision.