Scleral Contact Lenses May Help Where Other Modalities Fail

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Purpose.To describe the vision-correcting and therapeutic benefits of gas-permeable scleral contact lenses (GP-ScCL) in the management of irregular corneal surface disorders and ocular surface diseases.Methods.The charts of 48 consecutive patients (66 eyes) whose management included the use of GP-ScCL were reviewed.Results.The most common indication for fitting the lenses was keratoconus in patients who had to stop wearing other types of corneal lenses (44 eyes, 74.6%). Other indications included extreme corneal irregularity after penetrating keratoplasty, nonhealing corneal ulcer, postoperative dry eye syndrome following laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), severe exposure keratitis and acid burn. Mean follow-up was 17 months (range, 2–96). Mean wearing time of the GP-ScCL was 16.2 hours per day (range, 3–18). Visual acuity of 20/40 or better was achieved in 90.9% of keratoconus patients and in 81.8% of postkeratoplasty patients. A gain of two or more Snellen lines was observed in 94.5% of eyes treated for improving vision. Marked subjective improvement in quality of life was reported by 86% of the patients, mainly as a result of improvement in their visual function and reduction in discomfort. Five patients (seven eyes) failed to wear GP-ScCL.Conclusion.GP-ScCL can provide successful and safe visual and therapeutic solutions for ocular conditions when conventional contact lenses and medical treatment have failed and where surgery is undesirable or contraindicated.

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