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Can Radial Keratotomy patients wear contact lenses?

In our practice, we see MANY radial keratotomy (RK) patients.

This case is a true representation of why we do what we do. It’s cases like these that inspired me to create a clinic that is solely dedicated to specialty contact lenses. Helping people achieve vision who thought there was no hope gives me a true purpose in life!

A 46 year old black male with a history of RK (radial keratotomy) in both eyes was referred for scleral lens consultation. He started wearing a scleral lens 5 years ago on the left eye due to deteriorating vision. However, he felt uncomfortable with his habitual lenses and could not tolerate his lenses for more than 30 minutes. He said the vision was good with the scleral lens, but because of how uncomfortable it was, he could not wear it.

The slit lamp examination showed 8 RK cuts on his cornea in the right eye and 8 RK + 2 AK cuts superior and inferior in the left eye. Radial keratotomy was a surgical procedure performed in the 1990’s as a form of refractive surgery. It has now been replaced by a much safer technique called LASIK. RK surgery works very well for many patients for about 10-20 years. After that, the cornea can fluctuate and change shape and cause distorted vision. Many RK patients have multiple pairs of glasses that they change throughout the day, depending on what their vision is during that specific time of day!

The right eye was 20/50 and the left eye was 20/200 uncorrected. Due to the irregularity of his cornea, we recommended a custom scleral lens either Latitude or EyePrint Prosthetics. The patient opted for EyePrint Prosthetic lens and was able to achieve 20/40 acuity with the diagnostic lens in his left eye. We took a mold of his left eye in office, using the EyePrint impression system. Then, we inserted a diagnostic scleral lens. This helps us determine the prescription that will be added to the custom scleral lens. With the diagnostic lens, he was able to go from 20/200 to 20/40, which is a huge improvement in his vision.

We sent the EyePrint impressions of his left eye to the laboratory in Colorado and submitted his order. The EyePrint team worked hard to design a perfect, custom scleral lens for this patient.

About 1 week later, he arrived for his dispense appointment. During a scleral lens dispense, we insert the lens, and we check the fit and vision of the lens to see if any adjustments need to be made. If a patient has not worn a scleral lens, we will then review insertion and removal, as well as proper scleral lens care.

We dispensed his new custom lens and to our surprise he was able to comfortably read to 20/20 acuity! This was no expected due to the fact that he could only achieve 20/40 with the in-office diagnostic lens. What an exciting outcome! He was thrilled with the vision and exclaimed “the comfort is fantastic!” We are looking forward to seeing how he continues to do.

It’s success stories like these that motivate us to continue to innovate and deliver superior results to our patients. We are so grateful to help be a part of this patient’s journey to better vision!

Next, find out how to insert a scleral lens.

radial keratotomy patients 1

Corneal topography of his left eye showing irregularities.

radial keratotomy patients 2

Photo of patient’s left eye showing RK cuts and scars

radial keratotomy patients 3

Photo of the EyePrint Prosthetic on patient’s eye

radial keratotomy patients 4

The mold of his left eye, which we sent to the laboratory

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