Why are my RGP Lenses so Uncomfortable is There Another Option?

Contact lenses and eye glasses are usually the first treatment option recommended for Keratoconus. However, as Keratoconus progress contacts become very, especially RGP contact lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable lenses).

Increasingly doctors are now recommended Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) as the first treatment and contacts as a secondary treatment. Holcomb C3-R® helps to stabilize Keratoconus and will help keep you comfortable in lenses longer.

But, what do you do if your Keratoconus has progressed to the point that even after Holcomb C3-R®, RGP lenses are uncomfortable. There are several other specialty Keratoconus contact lens options.

These options include:

Hybrid Contact Lenses (SynergEyes)

What are Hybrid Lenses? They are a mixture of soft lenses and RGP lenses. They provide you with the comfort of a soft lens but the crisper vision of an RGP. Many report these provide a great edge to contact for all day wear without the harsh edge of the RGP lenses.

Scleral Lenses

What are Scleral Lenses? These are similar to RGP lenses only they are larger in diameter. They almost look like a bowl that you fit over your eye. The advantage is they do not rest on the cornea, so they provide increased comfort. In addition, prior to insertion the lenses are filled with saline, so basically all day your eye is bathed in saline, which can help keep your eyes moist and lessen the concerns about dry/irritated eyes.

RGP, Hybrid lenses, or Scleral contact lenses can provide the best option for improved clarity, comfort, and stability. However, the most important benefit to Keratoconus treatment today is the Holcomb C3-R® which will preserve your vision and stop the deterioration of your vision so you can maintain good vision and comfort in contacts and avoid the painful cornea transplant.

There are many benefits of using specialty Keratoconus contact lenses for the treatment of your Keratoconus. Take the time and get the facts. Ask your eye care professional about contact lenses for your Keratoconus Treatments today!

Watch Michael explain how he is now living life all over again thanks to specialty Keratoconus contact lenses.

Defining Keratoconus and What You Can Do About It

Keratoconus is a progressive disease in which the cornea becomes misshaped (cone like shaped) and overtime decreases quality of vision. Though this disease can be disturbing when first explained, there are many treatments to assist in improving your overall vision. In some cases the vision can be restored if the cornea is strengthened and re-shaped.

Understanding that there are several treatments for this disease today can help you have peace of mind.

Keratoconus is often diagnosed in stages. These stages are determined by the progression of the Keratoconus and will also help the eye care professional determine which treatments are best for you. In years past, the treatment options that were initially discussed with glasses or contact lenses and then as the disease progresses doctors would encourage a cornea transplant. Most patients found the option of Keratoconus disturbing.

Today, there are other procedures that can be performed that preserve and improve vision. These treatments are Holcomb C3-R ®, INTACS, or even CK. Some of these procedures can be done in combination with each other to get a better result, improving your vision and providing better comfort in contacts.

Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) is an easy non-invasive treatment. Many describe this treatment as a natural vitamin treatment. A proprietary vitamin solution is instilled in the eyes and then activated by a UV light. The Holcomb C3-R ® only takes about 30 minutes to perform. Over the next 4-6 months the cornea continues to strengthen and stabilize your vision.

INTACS are often used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R® treatment. INTACS are tiny crescent moon-like shaped lenses that are placed in the layer of the cornea to provide support and improve your overall vision. The use of INTACS can improve your vision almost immediately and you can make a full recovery from this procedure within 2-8 weeks.

Below are some symptoms of Keratoconus:

 Double Vision
 Frequent Rubbing of Eyes
 Frequent changes in prescriptions
 Sensitivity to Light
 Ghost images
 Sudden Change in vision
 Halos
 Glares around lights

Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in Keratoconus Treatments, and other procedures. He developed alternatives to corneal transplants in 1999. Dr. Brian offers a complimentary record review to determine if these procedures might be right for you. Contact his office to reserve your complimentary records review: 310-594-5210

Watch how Jake’s vision was restored and he avoided the need for a cornea transplant:

Discovering Keratoconus: Symptoms & Treatments

For those with a family history of Keratoconus you probably already know the severity of the condition; however, if it has been a decade or two you might not be familiar with the newer, more advanced treatment options for Keratoconus.

In the past Keratoconus was mainly treated by using a corneal transplant. Often painful and with long recovery times and complications, they were a necessary but not convenient or desirable procedure. Over the past decades there have been many new treatments developed which cause little to no pain and provide much faster recovery times.

Signs & Symptoms of Keratoconus:

• Frequent Prescription changes
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Light sensitivity
• Halos around lights

Treatments for Keratoconus:

Keratoconus is a progressive condition that causes changes thinning and distortion of the cornea. Over time these changes cause distortions in the vision of the patient. There are several new treatments to strengthen and change the shape and of the cornea before the need for a corneal transplant. The treatment options have been extremely effective and reduced the need for corneal transplants to less than 5%.

Treatments:

Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System

Holcomb C3-R® is a non-invasive procedure that uses a Riboflavin solution activated by an ultraviolet light to strengthen the collagen fibers of the cornea. This helps to reduce glare and halos in the vision, while also stopping the progression of the Keratoconus.

The Holcomb C3-R® is a only a 30 minute treatment, however it continues to strengthen the cornea for up to 3-6 months after the treatment. Another great aspect is that it can also be performed in combination with other treatments to improve your results even further.

INTACS®

INTACS® are tiny crescent shaped inserts that are placed within the cornea to help change the shape of the cornea. INTACS® can also be used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R® to reduce distortions and increase comfort of glasses and contacts.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)

CK is a vision correction treatment that uses heat to change the shape of the cornea and reduce astigmatism. When combined with the Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System, the CK treatment can effectively reduce astigmatism for a period of several years. Due to the nature of the cornea in Keratoconus patients the effect of CK can diminish with time. Patients may elect to have future CK to reduce astigmatism, if needed.

Watch Brad, a resident in general surgery, talk about his Keratoconus treatments, click below.

Finding Relief with LipiFlow®

Dealing with Keratoconus is difficult enough, but dry eyes and Keratoconus is a double trouble. For those who have been struggling with chronic dry eyes, LipiFlow® maybe the answer. Most patients have tried the over the counter “Get the Red Out” drops or artificial tears, and while they do relieve the irritation and symptoms of Dry Eye it is usually just a temporary fix. LipiFlow® allows you to have more permanent relief from your Dry Eye condition. Most patients experience relief after the treatment within a week.

The Procedure

The LipiFlow® treatment takes less than 15 minutes and can be performed in the doctor’s office. Disposable activators are placed on the eye lids to warm and gently massage the Meibomian glands on the eyelids. This loosens and releases oils that were clogging the glands, allowing fresh, clean oils to be excreted in the tear layers and protect the eyes.

There are between 30-40 meibum glands located within the eyelids that release certain amounts of oil into the tear fluid to help lubricate the eyes and stop the tears from evaporating. Sometimes these glands get clogged causing Dry Eye. The purpose of the LipiFlow® treatment is to loosen the blockage in the glands and allow them to release the natural flow of oil again.

Determining if you are a Good Candidate for LipiFlow®

The doctor will look for a few things before determining if you’re a good candidate for the treatment. They will look at your medical history, how long you have experienced chronic Dry Eye, how severe your dry eyes have been, and how the dry eye affected your daily activities. They will also have to determine what type you have before suggesting this treatment.They will also check the number of meibum glands are affected or clogged in the eyelids. Before determining if you are a good candidate all these factors must be taken into account. Over 65% of patients with dry eyes simply lack the proper level of oils within their tear fluid.

Benefits of LipiFlow®

Those with chronic Dry Eye understand the benefits of even the slightest relief from chronic dry eyes. Those who have explored most treatments for Dry Eye who still have little relief would most likely benefit from the LipiFlow® treatment. Below are a few additional benefits to consider.

Benefits:

• Little to no pain or discomfort
• Noninvasive procedure
• Quick procedure with quick results
• Unclogs the glands for more natural flow of lipid
• Can drive self to and from appointment – no need for a driver!

Dorys didn’t know what the cause of her excessive tearing was, and it ended up being Dry Eye!
Watch Dorys explain about her story, and how she finally got relief :

Vision Safety & Staying Active With Keratoconus

For those who are looking to get active this summer , but struggle with Keratoconus on a daily basis, there are several things you can do to protect your vision from getting worse and a few to stay active.

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that changes the shape of your cornea from spherical to cone shaped. This change causes many distortions in your vision. Below are a few tips to help you protect your vision and stay active during the summer months.

Vision Tips & Safety:

Always Wear Sunglasses or Eye Protection When Outside:

This is very important to remember not just in the summer months but all year around. The sun has very harmful rays which not only damage the eyes but can make your eye conditions worse if not protected. Research is showing that UV can increase free radicals which can lead to the cornea collagen breaking down further. It is important to wear sunglass eye wear that covers the sides as well as the front, this will ensure the most protection to your eyes.

Limit the Amount of Time Spent in Direct Sunlight:

If you work outside this may not be a feasible option, however if you don’t have to be in direct sunlight taking breaks throughout the day is a wise option. Some sunlight 20-30 minutes a day provides you the required amount of daily vitamin D, some sunlight is essential to staying healthy but remembering “everything in moderation” is always best.

Pay Attention to your eyes:

This seems like a common sense thing, but we often over look our vision until something goes considerable wrong. If you are noticing that you are squinting more or your contacts are becoming more uncomfortable, make an appointment to see your eye care provider sooner rather than later. If you find your desire to participate in activities is declining due to uncertainty with your vision, make an appointment to see your eye doctor.

It is important to educate ourselves and listen to our bodies when it comes to our health. Often we see the signs but we simply wave it off as being tired, dehydrated, or simply getting old when in fact it can be something much more serious. Don’t overlook signs or symptoms that might suggest your Keratoconus is progressing.

Below are a few signs you should never write off when it comes to your vision care:

• Increased blurred vision
• Frequent squinting
• Sudden eye pain
• Increasing discomfort while wearing contacts
• Increased and Frequent eye rubbing
• Sensitivity to Light
• Decreased night vision

If you see any changes in your vision, you should report it to your eye care professional right away to determine whether you need to be seen.

Watch Dr. Brian’s Summer Eye Health Tips Featured on the News to get yourself ready for an eye safe summer:

Has Keratoconus Affected Your Career?

Has Keratoconus forced you to give up your career? While Keratoconus is a progressive condition there are several treatments that are now available to help preserve and improve your vision.

In the past, Keratoconus was a diagnosis that often meant a painful corneal transplant and a long recovery period. Now there are treatments that provide patients diagnosed with Keratoconus options that can slow, reverse, and even stop the progression of the condition giving you back your vision and your career.

Below are some signs & symptoms:

• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Frequent prescription changes
• Frequent rubbing of the eyes
• Foreign body sensations
• Deceased ability to wear contacts comfortably
• Halos around lights
• Light sensitivity
• Decreased night vision

There are several treatments that can provide you relief right away depending on the severity of your condition.

Today’s Keratoconus Treatments Include:

Intacs:

Intacs® are tiny crescent shaped lens inserts that are placed in the layer of the cornea. Intacs® provide help reshape the cornea and decrease vision distortion. Once in place, Intacs® do not require maintenance. If for any reason you don’t want them in the future, they can be removed.

Typically the procedure takes about 7 minutes and has a recovery time of about 24-48 hours. Patients report the recovery is fairly easy with little to no pain. Most activities can be resumed right away. Intacs® can be combined with other procedures to improve the outcome for Keratoconus treatment, including the Holcomb C3-R ®, and CK.

The Holcomb C3-R ®:

The Holcomb C3-R ® is a revolutionary treatment with over 12 years of proven results to stop the progression of Keratoconus. Just ask Olympic Gold Medalist and Bobsledder Steven Holcomb. He was diagnosed legally blind and almost gave up his career as a driver for the US Men’s Olympic Bobsled team. He decided to have the C3-R ® procedure done. The Holcomb C3-R ® not only preserved his vision, but when combined with the ICL (insertable contact lens) allowed him to continue to compete and he won Olympic Gold in 2010 and Olympic Bronze in 2014.

The Holcomb C3-R ® uses a natural vitamin call Riboflavin which is activated with a UV light during an easy 30 minutes office based treatment. Once the solution is activated it strengthens the cornea fibers over the next 16 weeks helping to stabilize Keratoconus and stop progression. This treatment is non-invasive and recovery is less than 24 hours. In 99.3% of patients, the treatment only needs to be performed once.

Watch the story of Steven Holcomb here:

Is Your Vision Becoming Worse at Night?

Discover your treatment options
Decreased night vision is a common symptom, without treatment is can be a great hindrance. While you should always have your eyes checked when there is change in your vision, sometimes patients may over look vision changes and chalk it up to the aging process. It is important to not overlook vision changes, especially if your vision is worsening at night.

While you are more susceptible to eye problems as you get older, age is may not be the reason for your vision changes. In fact, those who go untreated can have more severe loss of vision and treatment options may be limited because of a delay in treatment. Early detection of eye conditions can help prevent vision loss.

Below are other signs to report to your eye care professional:

• Frequent prescription changes
• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Increased sensitivity to Light
• Frequent headaches
• Eye Pain
• Straining/Squinting

There are in fact several conditions that can cause decreased night vision. However the most common cause is a progressive condition called Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a misshapen cornea which causes a distortion in the view of the patient. Over time the cornea bulges into a cone shape instead of a sphere due to the thinning and weakening of the cornea over time.

A Few signs and Symptoms of Keratoconus:
• Frequent prescription changes
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Eye pain
• Blurred/Double Vision
• Straining/Squinting
• Decreased night vision

Keratoconus can be a shocking diagnosis but with early detection and proper treatment you can have your vision preserved. There are several treatment options which have show very positive results in the treatment of Keratoconus including the Holcomb C3-R ®, INTACS, and CK to name a few.
Watch revolutionary Keratoconus night blindness treatment by Dr. Brian featured on The Doctors:

How Can Keratoconus Affect Your Pitch This Baseball Season?

Baseball season is back in full swing and for those who suffer from Keratoconus this season maybe a struggle for some who have already been diagnosed and some who might not even know they are suffering.

In the past, the diagnosis of Keratoconus had been a difficult one for eye doctors to diagnose. However, in recent years with modern equipment and increased training, more doctors are able to diagnose the condition sooner. The sooner a patient is diagnosed the better the prognosis for Keratoconus treatment and improving vision.

Below you will find some signs & symptoms of Keratoconus:

• Frequent changes in prescriptions
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Frequent squinting
• Blurred/Double Vision
• Poor night vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Halos/glares around lights

Blurred vision can be a problem if you are playing baseball. Your pitch depends on your ability to aim at the plate. Blurred vision can distort your view of the plate and cause you to struggle seeing when aiming for your target. Keratoconus can hinder your depth perception causing you to throw the ball to short or too far over the base when pitching.

In addition, if you are up to bat, blurred vision can cause you to misjudge when to swing your bat.
Your sight is a great treasure and reporting any changes, no matter how minor, to your eye care professional will help you in finding available treatment options.

Watch Tommy Pham of the Cardinals baseball team discuss his experience with Keratoconus treatments:

Keratoconus: True Testimonials – Meeting Brianna

Keratoconus is a progressive condition in which the sphere shape of the cornea becomes cone shape overtime. The change of shape in the cornea causes your vision to become distorted. Keratoconus didn’t have a lot of treatment options even just a decade ago. But with the increase of technology, several new treatment options for Keratoconus have become available. Two of these Keratoconus treatment options include: Holcomb C3-R ® and Intacs. These treatments offer incredible improvements in vision care for those suffering with Keratoconus.

Intacs provide an improvement to the shape of the cornea instantly changing the way the patient is seeing. But with the combination of the Holcomb C3-R ® procedure the corneal fibers are also strengthened which can slow or in many cases stop the progression of the Keratoconus. These treatments have been performed since 1999 and are providing excellent long-term results.

Meet Brianna:

Brianna was diagnosed with Keratoconus at the age of 10. Over the next 3 years her vision deteriorated causing her to lose her ability to participate in regular activities such as Volleyball, Horseback riding, and cheer-leading, which she loved so much.

She became afraid of losing her vision. She was afraid to ride her bike because she was worried about getting hit by a car. She was confused and didn’t understand why this loss in vision was happening to her. Three years after Brianna was diagnosed with Keratoconus she could only see a few feet in front of her and was quickly losing her ability to function normally. Worried she would become completely blind her grandmother looked into her treatment options for Keratoconus.

Quickly they arranged to have Brianna travel to Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Beverly Hills, CA. Within two days her vision was restored. Brianna is just one of the many stories for which these procedures have saved vision. These procedures have had a surprising impact on the treatment of Keratoconus.

Intacs & the Holcomb C3-R ® procedures are an impressive treatment for those suffering from Keratoconus.

You can watch Brianna’s story here:

A New Frontier for Keratoconus Treatment

The Holcomb C3-R ® is a procedure that uses a solution made of natural vitamins placed directly on the cornea to improve and strengthen the fibers of the cornea. This treatment helps to stabilize the cornea and slow/halt the progressive nature of this vision deteriorating condition. Full results of the treatment takes between 4 -16 weeks.

In combination with other treatments the Holcomb C3-R ® has the ability to dramatically improve a patient’s vision and improve their lives. In the past, many had to turn to corneal transplants as a treatment for Keratoconus. That procedure was risky, invasive, painful and had a long recovery time.

Now with improvements in technology, treatment options have become non-invasive or at the most minimally invasive. These advanced Keratoconus procedures have shorter than ever recovery time, usually a period of hours or days. Some combinations of treatments can be done the same day with no increases in recovery time.

The Procedure:

During the Holcomb C3-R ® procedure your eyes are numbed with eye drops and a proprietary solution developed by Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler in 2003 is applied to the cornea. Then the patient sits under a carefully calibrated UV light for 30 minutes, this activates the solution. The propriety eye drop solution is made with a natural vitamin called Riboflavin along with other ingredients which encourage the collagen within the cornea to build new crosslinks. These crosslinks is what strengthens the cornea. In some cases, this procedure has the added benefit of providing slight flatting of the cornea shape.

The procedure take about 30 minutes and is performed.

INTACS:

Intacs is often used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R ® to treat all stages of Keratoconus. While the Holcomb C3-R ® slightly changes the shape of the cornea, Intacs are used to help mold the cornea shape more. It uses tiny crescent shape lens inserts to help improve the cornea of the patient. When used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R ® it can improve the patient’s vision.

The Intacs procedure takes around 10 minutes and most patients report that the procedure was easier than a trip to the dentist. Vision of the patient improves almost instantly. Giving them the ability to have a better quality of vision with contacts or glasses.

Symptoms of Keratoconus:

It generally takes a while to be diagnosed with Keratoconus but if you have a family history of this condition or any of the below symptoms you should notify your eye care professional for further testing.

 Frequent changes in prescription
 Frequent eye rubbing
 Double vision
 Eye pain
 Halos or glares around the lights
 Light sensitivity

Dr. Brian discusses the testing used to diagnosed Keratoconus