In addition to correcting vision disorders, contact lenses can be used for a variety of other purposes. Specialized contact lenses have been developed to treat certain eye conditions including:
- Complex refractive errors
- Corneal scarring
Contact lenses may be helpful in patients who have undergone corneal transplant or have failed refractive procedures.
Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the clear front layer of the eye that is responsible for focusing light. The cornea normally has a round or dome shape. In keratoconus, the cornea begins to thin and develops a cone-shape, which causes distortion of images.
Specialty contact lenses help minimize image distortion by allowing light to focus properly. Other treatment options for keratoconus include glasses and various types of surgery.
Contact lenses can also be used to re-shape the cornea during sleep, so that no correction is needed during the day. This method, known as orthokeratology, can help slow the progression of nearsightedness in younger patients. These lenses require a specialized fit and close follow up to reach success. Another option in these cases is the use of special soft contact lenses that are worn in the daytime. Studies have shown that adjusting the refractive correction with these contact lenses can affect anatomical development of the growing eye.
Contact lens manufacturers invest a lot of time and money each year in contact lens-related research. Contact lenses are therefore constantly evolving and healthier options continue to become available. Your doctor will address any recent contact lens advancements with you to ensure that you are wearing the healthiest option for your eyes.