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A Keratoconus Patient Struggles with Scleral Lenses

Whoever said patience is a virtue, never worked with bubbles in their eyes!

Almost a year ago I was fitted for and given my first pair of scleral lenses. I was so excited I could finally see clearer than I have ever seen before! However roughly 2 weeks after I got the contacts the trouble started.

The right lens after 2 hours would start to get foggy and there would be a yellow ring around lights. Every I'd blink I'd see little circles moving upwards across my line of vision. Taking it out and reinserting it fixed the issue for another 2 hours. Calling the contact doctor I told him the trouble with the lens. Went back down got fitted for the second lens.

Bubbles from scleral contact lenses (Keratoconus Group Blog)

Lens #2 lasted half an hour with the same results. Took it back got fitted for the third lens. That one suctioned to my eye, which is terrifying trying to get it out...

Took that one back and lenses #4 and #5 were just as bad. Lens #6 the lab sent the wrong one. It lasted 35 minutes. Finally lens 7 was a little better than the first one. However after 2-3 hours it was still getting bubbles and fogginess in.

What I was seeing withe the new set in both eyes for 3 days until I could go back and get the old pair.
What I was seeing withe the new
lenses in both eyes for 3 days until
I could go back and get the old pair.
Upon calling back and telling them again the same results were happening with the lenses I was told nothing more could be done with the lens. Clearly upset that the original problem was not being fixed I started looking for a new doctor for contact lens. After finally finding one I went to see her and found out that the contacts I've been wearing were not fitted correctly. I had got Keratoconjunctivitis from the contacts. Eye drop (which I have a new found hatred for ) were given to me to help the keratoconguntivitis. A right lens was fitted. Currently I am still waiting for the insurance company to say yes or no to the new contact. In the mean time the first contact doctor called saying they having a consultant coming in and she'd like to see me . I went in and got the new pair both contacts completely fogged up after 45 minutes, and now calling again I am wearing the old set until a new set can be remade.

This whole experience has been over the past year. It's been frustrating at work having to change the contacts every other hour. There's been a lot of comments and stares as I've inserted and taken them out. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "Why don't you just wear glasses?" Or don't you know how to put in your contacts like normal I would be rich by now. also the amount of saline I've been going through is insane about a box of 100 a week.

Hopefully the waiting game will be over soon and a new lens will actually work. It's hard to be optimistic but I'm learning to be patient and deal with it.

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21 comments:

  1. Firstly, try looking for a big bottle of saline (widely available here in the UK). Then, sure bubbles under sclerals are a real nuisance. For me it is about being careful when I insert them but I did need quite a lot of different attempts. The charging regime is different here though so I only paid when I got a successful fit. Keep going: it'll probably be great in the end

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    1. Preservative free everything for scleral lenses so only one time use vials.

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  2. Yes, I have keratoconus and I have been fitted for those lenses. Before I wore RGPs. They were a hardship. I am now disabled. Perhaps, I was when I first was diagnosed. I am soon to learn to use a cane and other equipment for the blind. I like this option. Contact lenses as a system of reliance for visually disabled people are not a secure option. I am not sure what to do. I feel we need more information on what our eyes need. It is a very important topic. In my opinion, difficulties such as the ones you have described are very similar to my experience with the lenses, and there needs to be a different treatment system.

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    1. I can understand your agony as an Optometrist. I believe you are wearing a scleral lens which is wider in diameter (bigger than a soft contact lens). The mid day fogging is observed mostly in full scleral lens. Switching to a mini scleral lens like Onefit scleral should solve your problem. Any concerns, please email me to [email protected]

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  3. If the bubbles start after a few hours then one can rule out insertion issues. 2 other issues that I can think off would be that your conjunctiva could have very different curvatures superiority, inferiorly and to each side. Experimenting with smaller diameter sclerals mean that the conjunctival curvature issue may be minimized. Another reason behind mistiness could be poor lens wettability. Try soft contact lens solutions like Bausch and Lomb Biotrue as it contains Hyaluranate which really improves lens wettability.

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  4. I had the same problem with my scleral lenses as well. I went through about 5 pairs before I found the ones that I have now which have worked great and I haven't had any problems with. Try asking if they make your lenses with a different material. My doctor finally spoke with the company that makes my lenses and figured out that they had changed the materials that they were using to make their lenses and we figured out that I was allergic to the material. Which was why my eyes would get irritated and I had so many problems with them fogging up and looking like I had a lot of particles in them. Once he ordered my lenses made with the different material all of my problems have gone away. I've been using my new lenses now for about 6 months and haven't had any problems with them. Having a knowledgeable doctor that's experienced with keratoconus is a blessing. I don't know what I'd do if my doctor wasn't as informative and amazing. I hope you find some lenses that fit well!

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  5. Those lenes are awful, contact Boston Foundation for sight and get Prose devices. I am 53, diagnosed at age 21, these devices are by far best thing that has ever happened to me. Make the trip if BFS does not have facility near you.

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  6. I absolutely know what you're talking about, I have been using sterile solution (for inhalation) with Refresh Celluvisc. I started using one drop of Celluvisc then loaded up the lens with saline, it worked for a while but eventually ended up using the entire vial of Celluvisc. It is very pricey but it will help until they get the fit right.

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  7. I absolutely know what you're talking about, I have been using sterile solution (for inhalation) with Refresh Celluvisc. I started using one drop of Celluvisc then loaded up the lens with saline, it worked for a while but eventually ended up using the entire vial of Celluvisc. It is very pricey but it will help until they get the fit right.

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    1. What brand of lens do you wear, and how many hours per day? What does the celluvisc do for you. I have not tried that product

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  8. You could get Eyeprint pro lenses. The Dr puts a tray of impression material (goo) in your eye It solidifies after a minute and then they custom build a lens fit exactly from that impression. So they get a perfect fit. Very expensive, but there are quite a few centers across the US that offer that option. It sounds like your eye is not getting a good fit, so this may be an option. this is considered the gold standard among scleral lens options.

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  9. Good luck with whatever you decide to go with

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  10. Did you ever figure out the issue? I have been going through this with my sclerals. They last about one week then they have to order me another pair and I look through filmy contacts until they come in.

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    1. I use have Thera Tears and half saline and the fogging cleared up for me.

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  11. Contact Visionary Optics to see where they have sMap360 mapping devices. If you are near Indiana, the Indiana University School
    of Optometry Atwater Eye Care Center in Bloomington has one. They will make a custom-fit version of their Europa lens, which should fit better than what you are wearing.

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  12. Maybe somebody can answer my question. I have had keratoconus for 20 years now, with one cornea transplant, crosslinking and intact in my right eye. I have seen several doctors to get new lenses because I can only see 20/100 out of my eyes now. It seems that no matter how many times I go in, they still can't get my vision right. These lenses I just received today don't fit correctly and I can't see anything out of them. Any ideas on why it takes so many try's?

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  13. Have you ever heard of laser fit lens? Dr Greg Gemoules in Coppell Tx. He sees patients all over the world and corrects many things involving Kerataconus. No one does what he does right now? Not just an optometrist, he's an engineer.

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  14. I was same situation you was in when I was diagnosed in 2015.At first everything was fined then I notice every time I put In my lens it kept getting foggy on me. I notice by the time I get to work my eyes would be blood shot red. My co-worker and some of the customer would ask me why eyes look so red or why don't you were glasses . Then I have to explain to them glasses don't help. So eventually I had to switch to another department. Then I end up quit my job I worked there for 14years. So beginning March 2016 I notice my right eyes kept getting foggy on me when I put my lens in so I went to one of my eye specialist and that kept giving me eyes drop that still didn't worked my pressure kept getting high in my right eye and it was normal in my left eye. So in June 2016 I had to have surgery on my right eye to get the pressure down.So after I went back work think everything was ok . So eventually started back doing the same thing.Come to found out after I quit my job was the contact I had at first wasn't fitted in property after I had my surgery . So my contact doctor recommended me to get hybrid lens in my right eye that lens fitted my eye the best. So in feb 2017 I switch to hybrid as well in my left eyes , accord that gave me the wrong lens. So in May 2017 my contact doctor had to reorder me a left lens . so right now I'm not having that much of problems. I get a better vision in my right eye then my left .

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  15. I have the same exact problems with my Scleral contacts exactly the way Jennifer explained here. On top of the foggy and deposite that are built very, very quickly, I also deal with poor vision especially at night with duplicates, glore, halos, burststarts and blurriness even with the contacts. I did an intac surgery last year which was a failure. I have seen many top doctors and spent lots of money and time and nobody was able to help me.

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    1. I have the same exact problems with my Scleral contacts exactly the way Jennifer explained here. On top of the foggy and deposit that are built very, very quickly, I also deal with poor vision especially at night with duplicates, glore, halos, starbursts and blurriness even with the contacts. I did an intac surgery last year which was a failure. I have seen many top doctors and spent lots of money and time and nobody was able to help me.

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  16. I had a cornea transplant in 2015 due to fungal infections. After having my prescription changed repeatedly for my bifocals and not being able to see I gave up. It was obvious to me but not to my cornea specialist that glasses were not helping my sight and the exorbitant cost of lens changes was a problem. Two years post transplant I tried another cornea specialist. I was fitted for a scleral contact and had depth perception and 20/20 vision out of my transplant eye. It was a miracle. However, I had so much protein buildup on my scleral contact that I could not get it clean. Fogging was constant after the new contact was 2 days old. I use a Blanchard Scleral Lens. The scleral lens fitter has limited experience and has been unsatisfactory. Help! I live in NE Oklahoma and currently go to Kansas City and had my transplant in Oklahoma City.

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