Frequently patients with keratoconus are choosing between wearing contact lenses and having intacs surgery. Hard contact lenses can improve vision much better than glasses for patients with keratoconus but some studies show that long term contact lens wear causes a deterioration in the cornea for keratoconus patients. This results in worsening vision that eventually can no longer be treated with contact lenses and requires surgery. Too often patients postpone surgery leading to a drop in vision and a loss in end visual acuity.
We recommend that patients with keratoconus be treated with intacs surgery as soon as the best corrected vision with glasses becomes inadequate. We do not recommend waiting until contact lenses can no longer correct the loss of vision due to keratoconus. We are finding that patients who wait until contact lenses can no longer correct keratoconus end up with significantly worse results after intacs surgery than those who are treated earlier.
Oftentimes, contact lenses (specialty lenses for patients with keratoconus) are still necessary following intacs surgery. In fact, the majority of intacs surgery patients must still wear contacts to see clearly. The difference is that long term visual prognosis is generally better for someone whose cornea is strengthened through intacs surgery.
If you are interested in learning more about treatments for keratoconus contact one of our refractive coordinators. Turner Eye Institute is located in San Leandro (near Oakland), San Francisco, San Jose, and Concord (near Walnut Creek). We are happy to evaluate your options and offer the best possible treatments to you.