Scleral Lenses and other specialty contacts for Post-LASIK, Post-PRK, And Post-RK Surgery
In the event that a patient underwent LASIK surgery — or PRK or RK (Radial Keratotomy) — and eye complications developed, scleral lenses are the ideal option to provide clear and comfortable vision. Through the use of a rigid or hard lens design, scleral lenses correct your vision while leaving the cornea’s sensitive surface untouched and protected. Scleral lenses allow for enhanced visibility for patients, while providing enhanced comfort.
Why Do Patients Need Specialty Contact Lenses Like Scleral Lenses after surgery?
Post-LASIK, Post-PRK, & Post-RK patients with any eye complications often have poor, distorted vision. They can no longer wear standard contact lenses due to their sensitive, irregular cornea. Attempting to wear soft contact lenses can be extremely uncomfortable. Eye doctors may prescribe regular soft lenses or even eyeglasses, yet these solutions only partially correct one’s vision. Often with a damaged cornea, patients will struggle to see unless they’re fitted with a specialty contact lens.
Post-LASIK and Post-PRK
LASIK, PRK, and other laser refractive surgery procedures correct nearsightedness and other refractive errors by reshaping the cornea. In this reshaping process, some corneal tissue is removed, making the cornea thinner. There is a small risk that LASIK can include a keratoconus-type condition called corneal ectasia if too much tissue is removed from the cornea in patients who are susceptible to this condition.
Symptoms include progressive worsening of vision, distortions, and ghosting of images. Specialty contact lenses are the treatment of choice in providing optimal vision in patients who experience this complication.
Radial keratotomy (RK) was a surgery that gained popularity in the 1980s, using manual incisions in the cornea to correct a person’s glasses prescription by changing the shape of the cornea.
The surgery was eventually discontinued due to a constantly changing prescription and vision that fluctuated throughout the day. Some patients now are unable to achieve the excellent vision they once had, even with glasses. Symptoms can be fluctuating vision, starbursts, double vision, and decreased contrast sensitivity.
WHY CAN’T THOSE WITH RADIAL KERATOTOMY SEE WELL WITH GLASSES?
An image results from rays of light going through the eye. In patients with radial keratotomy, once light rays go through the glasses, they still hit the irregular incisions on the cornea and bend in many different directions, resulting in poor vision.
The process of RK involved making incisions in the cornea to try and flatten the cornea to correct vision. The incisions result in a weaker corneal structure, causing it to change shape and thus, prescription throughout the day. Glasses with one prescription cannot correct for the constant prescription change of these patients. The flattened cornea also means that traditional soft contact lenses have a difficult time fitting on the eye as the eye is now a different shape than prior to surgery.
The best option for optimal vision in patients with radial keratotomy is a rigid lens (rigid gas permeable, hybrid, or scleral lens).