Can Wearing Contact Lenses Stabilize My Keratoconus?

When patients come to the clinic for contact lenses, many would think that contact lenses can help stabilise their keratoconus.  As much as we would like to say yes, the answer is no.  Contact lenses can only improve your vision and they do not prevent the progression of your keratoconus. It is therefore important that you consider collagen cross linking early on as this procedure makes the corneal collagen fibrils stronger and more resistant to coning, thus stabilising your condition. 

Good news though for those who have reached 30's because by the 4th decade of life, there is a natural cross-linking effect, which basically stabilises your condition.  This is the time that you can say, it is good to be 40...😀

Another common question is that if contact lenses can provide 20/20 vision.  It really depends on the severity and the condition of the cornea.  No doctor can promise you a 20/20 vision.  We can just promise that we can maximise your vision so you can be functional and get back to school or work... Just like an artist, we work with what the subjects have.  It is not magic.  If your corneas are hazy, or scarred, then we cannot achieve 20/20, but we can definitely promise improvement of vision.  

How long can contact lenses last?  Well, it really depends on the type of contact lenses that were given to you.  For soft contact lenses and hybrid lenses, they have to be changed every 3 months.  For gas permeable and scleral lenses, they may be changed annually to about every 2 years.  But generally, further follow up is needed to make sure that the lenses are still in good condition, and that the fit of the lenses are still okay.  

What's the best contact lens for you?  A visit to the optometrist's clinic for evaluation is needed to make a proper recommendation.  For mild cones, as simple as regular soft contact lenses for astigmatism may work, but when the condition progresses, other specialty lenses may be considered.  A corneal topography test and a diagnostic fitting session has to be scheduled.


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