It used to be that the only two treatments for keratoconus were corneal gas-permeable contact lenses (GP lenses) and major corneal transplant surgery (penetrating keratoplasty). Thankfully, there are now much better treatment strategies for patients with keratoconus. Our philosophy at Optique is much more advanced for patients with keratoconus than that at other practices. In other practices, doctors try to keep patients with keratoconus in contact lenses that they feel comfortable fitting for as long as possible: off-the-shelf soft lenses.
At Optique, as soon as we diagnose keratoconus, or see a patient with keratoconus sent by another doctor, we start with the best contact lens possible for that patient. We are comfortable with the more advanced lenses such as GP lenses, hybrid lenses, scleral lenses, or custom powered soft lenses. Then we also determine if corneal surgery would help. In keratoconus, now there are much less invasive surgeries, such as corneal cross-lining or INTACS that can actually slow or stop the progression of keratoconus.
Because the majority of patients in our practice have keratoconus and other serious corneal conditions, we pay particular attention to how we fit and evaluate our contact lenses. Dr. Jeffrey Sonsino is one of the country’s leading experts on contact lenses for keratoconus. He researches, publishes papers, and gives invited lectures around the world on keratoconus and other corneal conditions as well as teaches other optometrists how to fit and evaluate lenses.
Advanced contact lenses at Optique are all evaluated using Optical Coherance Tomography (OCT). You can think of this as an MRI for the eye, but using light instead of magnets. It allows the doctors at Optique to take a side view of the contact lens on the eye as it sits in real time. With this technology, we can achieve better fits than without it.
We have two technologies used to fit lenses that are not found anywhere else in Tennessee. The first is called a scleral topographer. A scleral topographer uses structured light to map the white part of the eye for its contour. Using this data, we can design custom scleral lenses that more adequately fit the shape of the eye. The second is by taking an impression of the eye’s surface and using special lathes that can create a truly perfect fit for even the most irregular of eyes in keratoconus and other conditions.
But, we do not stop with the fit. In keratoconus, there are almost always complex optics that go hand in hand with the condition. After we achieve a perfect fit, we use Wavefront Aberrometry, which is the most advanced way known to determine the optical characteristics of the eye. Wavefront Aberrometry helps us achieve the absolute best vision possible, sometimes 20/20 or even 20/15 in patients with keratoconus.
The level of care that we provide at Optique for our patients with keratoconus can simply not be matched. World class care is available in Nashville. And along with our expertise in fitting and evaluating contact lenses, we have also developed expertise in navigating insurance coverage for patients with keratoconus. If your medical or vision insurance policy includes services for keratoconus, we know exactly how to get them to pay for it.