Keratoconus is a rare, progressive disease that causes a malformation of the cornea. The edges of the cornea thin, while the center bulges, forming a cone-like shape. This drastic change from the normal, round shape of the cornea causes changes in vision. In addition, the surface of the cornea becomes irregular. Because of the irregular surface and the bulging of the cornea, it’s difficult to fit patients with contact lenses, and glasses can’t fully correct the vision issues, either, especially in later stages of the disease.
Characteristic symptoms of keratoconus include:
- Constantly changing prescriptions – no single prescription seems to work well for you
- Visual problems similar to those typical for astigmatism
- Halos in the vision, especially at night
- Sensitivity to light
- Ghost vision, or double images
Since the disease is progressive, many people eventually resort to surgery to correct it. In early stages, vision can sometimes be corrected with glasses or soft contacts. Later, rigid contacts can be effective as the change in the shape of the cornea becomes more extreme. These contacts, though, are often uncomfortable, and not appropriate for extended wear. It’s also easier for foreign objects and debris, such as dust, to find its way under rigid lenses, causing additional discomfort.
However, new contact lenses have been developed that are specially shaped to work with patients suffering from keratoconus. SynergEyes® is one brand of these specially developed contacts.
SynergEyes lenses are a hybrid lens, with a rigid but oxygen-permeable center and a soft skirt around the outside. The rigid center corrects for vision while protecting the cornea, while the soft skirt holds the lens in place and helps prevent debris from finding its way under the lens. This combination makes SynergEyes highly effective for patients with keratoconus, providing improved vision, comfort, and longer-term wear than a traditional rigid lens.