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.
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.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that changes the shape of your cornea. This change causes many difficulties in the patient’s everyday life. The patient’s quality of vision deteriorates as the condition gets worse over the years. Many patients suffer from poor night vision, blurred, or double vision, and may have other symptoms which can cause them to become unable to drive at night, play sports, or causing problems completing tasks at school and/or work.
Keratoconus treatments improve the problem from its source by reshaping the cornea and strengthening it. These treatments can improve your overall quality of vision and reduce the likelihood the condition will progress further.
Many patients with Keratoconus have difficulty dealing with the symptoms. Treatments like the Holcomb C3-R®, INTACS, and CK can improve the condition greatly and give you a better quality of vision. In some cases the Holcomb C3-R® and INTACS can be done in combination and can slow, stop, and even sometimes reverse the visual presentation of Keratoconus by flattening the cones.
Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System: A non-invasive treatment that uses a solution which is created with a vitamin called Riboflavin. This procedure requires the use of UV lights at activate the solution over once it is applied. It takes about 30 minutes and strengthens the corneal fibers
INTACS: INTACS are tiny inserts that are placed in the cornea to help reshape it to a more normal shape and reduce distortion.
If you are looking for treatment options for Keratoconus you can read more about Holcomb C3-R® and INTACS to see for yourself how they can help with your symptoms and treat your disease.
Watch the video below to see ‘First Hand’ how these treatments can change your life:
The disease Keratoconus is a progressive condition that causes the patients quality of vision to decrease gradually over time. In the past there was only one main treatment for Keratoconus other than eye glasses or contact lenses, which was corneal transplants. Over the past decade or longer, technology has improved the treatments for Keratoconus including treatments like INTACS®, Holcomb C3-R®, and even CK.
These treatments alone or combined can improve the patients overall vision, and in almost all cases they have been known to stop the progression of Keratoconus.
Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System:
The Holcomb C3-R® is a treatment which is making incredible progress in the treatments for patients with Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a progressive condition that damages the cornea or the lens of the eye causing it to go from a dome shape to cone shape distorting the vision. The Holcomb C3-R® strengthens the corneal fibers allowing the cornea to return to its original shape over time and stopping the progression of the disease.
INTACS® are also a great treatment to help those with Keratoconus. There are many that also have the ability to combine both the Holcomb C3-R® with INTACS® to provide them with a better quality of vision and in some cases remove the need for glasses or contacts. INTACS® are tiny inserts that are placed within the cornea to help shape and provide support to your vision.
Takes less than an hour
An outpatient procedure
Can be used in combination with other procedures
Less maintenance, can be easily removed if necessary
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in Keratoconus treatments, and other procedures.
Here numerous stories of patients whose lives were changed by having their Keratoconus fixed by Dr. Brian: http://tiny.cc/m7h0ix
For those who are suffering from Keratoconus you can break records, and make new strides in your life regardless of your diagnosis. Take a look at Steven Holcomb. He is a professional bobsledder that suffered from an extreme case of Keratoconus. So much so that he almost gave up the one thing he loved in fear that he would hurt his teammates.
His story is one that will be remembered always. His Keratoconus had gotten so severe that he couldn’t see more than a foot in front of him. His sport is bobsledding which requires him to be in the front of the sled guiding it down an extremely dangerous track at horrendous speeds.
But his condition was getting worse and worse. They were preparing for the the biggest world event in bobsledding and wanted to win gold that year. The team found out about his condition and found the Boxer Wachler Institute. After the team gathered the money they paid for his treatments ( C3-R ® to stabilize his vision and Visian ICL to improve his vision without contacts- )both were very successful. Later that year the 4-man US Men’s bobsled team with Steven as the driver won a Gold Medal in 2010.
This is an extremely memorable story about a man who didn’t give up. There are several new treatments that can give you the quality of vision you deserve regardless of your diagnosis. Take the time to review the symptoms and get an annual eye exam it could change your life so you can change the lives of others!
Frequent changes in prescription
Frequent Rubbing of the eye
Change in vision at night
Early detection is the best way to get ahead of Keratoconus. If you have changes in vision, or you have a history of Keratoconus in the family contact your eye care professional for frequent and annual eye exams.
There are many conditions that can affect the eye. Many people are afflicted with near-sightedness or far-sightedness. Still others might receive a diagnosis of astigmatism. These are all common conditions that can be treated with a soft contact lens or glasses. There are other conditions, however, that can cause further complications for the eye.
Keratoconus is one such condition. This is a degenerative disorder that causes the cornea to thin, which results in the cornea bulging into a cone shape. Keratoconus can affect the eye, making it more sensitive to light while also distorting a person’s vision and visual acuity. The vision problems associated with this disorder can be corrected initially with glasses or soft contact lenses; however as this degenerative condition advances, other treatment options are required.
An ophthalmologist can diagnose a person with keratoconus. The eye doctor will run different tests in order to find a problem and diagnosis it. It is important that the patient mention any changes in vision, especially if the symptoms are similar to the symptoms associated with keratoconus.
Once an ophthalmologist has diagnosed a patient with keratoconus, different treatment options will be considered. Depending on the progression of the condition, an ophthalmologist might recommend a lens such as contacts or intacs. If the condition has progressed far enough, a corneal transplant might be needed. Another treatment option is a method called collagen cross-linking. An ophthalmologist that specializes in keratoconus will best be able to choose the most effective treatment for the patient.
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Bobsled driver, Steve Holcomb, had a recent fight with Keratoconus – his story is one that is still radiating throughout the world. His story is one that sheds hope and light on patients with Keratoconus, as well as those not yet diagnosed. Steve Holcomb’s dreams of gaining a Gold Medal were almost brought to a screeching halt due to his severe and progressing condition, Keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a progressive condition that gradually takes away the sight of the patient. But unfortunately Steve learned this fact the hard way. His love for the bob sled was almost stopped by this frustrating and painful condition.
His care for his team mates prompted him to make the hardest decision he ever had to make, the decision to retire from the sport he loved so much. His team mates were saddened by this decisions and refused to give up on him.
In one last effort to restore his sight, Steve’s team doctor researched treatments for keratoconus and decided to send him to Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler. Steve learned about a new treatment that maybe able to restore his vision. With a bit of hope and in the hands of Dr. Brian, Steve received the C3-R ® or Collagen Cross-linking with Riboflavin a non-invasive procedure that strengthens and stabilizes the cornea.
The procedure only takes about 30 minutes and is done in the doctors office. The procedure involves placing drops of Riboflavin on the cornea and using a UV light to activate the medication. The drops help strengthen and stabilize the effects of Keratoconus.
About 3 months following Dr. Boxer-Wachler implanted the Visian ICL which corrected his Myopia. The success of the procedures prompted Steve to come out of retirement and go forward to win a Gold Medal for the US which hadn’t been done for 62 years! True teamwork and the help of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute aided in an event that will forever be in the history of America for years to come.
The C3-R ® procedure is now named for Steven titled “Holcomb C3-R ®” another first for the history of medicine for a procedure to be named after a Gold Medalist. True inspiration for all who suffer from this debilitating condition.
Our journey through life is often a bumpy one. Many of us have trouble coping with stress and the riggers life brings without throwing Progressive Keratoconus in the mix. However finding new ways to cope with your disease can help reduce extra problems along the way. Below are a few tips to assist you in making life a little easier:
Tip 1: Educate yourself:
Your doctor can do a lot for you but when you take the initiative to find out about your illness you can ask important questions, feel more comfortable with what they are telling you, learn whys you can help yourself.
Tip 2: Find a good doctor:
It is just as important to find a eye doctor you are comfortable with as it is to find a general physician. Make sure that the doctor you choose is comfortable with you asking questions, they are concerned about you, and that they have proper time for you. If you notice it is hard to schedule an appointment, or they take more than 24 hours getting back to you than you should find another doctor.
Tip 3: Reduce the amount of times you rub your eyes:
Progressive Keratoconus can be increased by excessive eye rubbing. To ensure you don’t create anymore damage speak with your doctor about dry eye, allergies, and other conditions that can cause itchy and irritated eyes. They may be able to prescribe drops or medications to help you combat these problems.
Tip 5: Find a good contact lens fitter:
Find a contact lens fitter that sees Keratoconus on a regular basis i.e. weekly or even better daily. It is important that they offer a full range of contact lens options, soft toric contacts, hybrid contacts, piggy back lenses, Rose-K, Dyna-Z intralimbal, and Mini-sclera are some of those options that should be available.
Most of all pamper yourself. Don’t worry about all the things that are wrong or what may happen 5 years from now find out how you can treat your condition now. There are many treatments out now that can greatly improve even reverse the damage of keratoconus. Focus on your treatment, taking care of yourself, and your education. You are your best tool.
Progressive Keratoconus [a.k.a KC] can be a difficult condition to live with. The loss of vision can be frustrating and disruptive to regular daily activities we know and love. However Keratoconus can also be difficult for families with suffering loved ones.
Keratoconus affects about 1 in every 2,000 Americans. Keratoconus however is not just a problem in the US people are suffering everywhere. World-wide the disease is estimated to effect 50-230 in every 100,000 patients.
Many patients have to cope with symptoms of keratoconus daily. Managing symptoms can be difficult. They can consist of:
Eye Strain- producing headaches and blurred vision
Poor Night Vision- producing halos, double vision, and vision loss while driving at night
Photophobia- [Sensitivity to light]- producing headaches, watery eyes, and dark spots
Below are 3 helpful things to think of when managing your Keratoconus:
Tip 1: Finding the Right Doctor- Determining if your doctor is the right one for you can be difficult. Making sure you check the very basic of things is important. Here are a few things to ask to see if your doctor is right for you.
What do you specialize in? – It is important your doctor works with patients with keratoconus.
What is your success rate in treatment of Keratoconus?
What treatments does your office provide for patients with Keratoconus?
Tip 2. Assess your treatment options- Don’t wait for your doctor to tell you what options are available. Do your homework, evaluate your options and write down any additional questions you have for your doctor.
Tip 3: Support Groups- Support groups not only assist you with coping with the daily stress of Keratoconus, but it helps your family deal with it as well. Finding a support group can give your and your family comfort, knowledge, and friendship while you are being treated for your condition.
When I started college I was an Ocean Lifeguard. At school, I found it harder to focus on textbooks. I thought it was just the chlorine from the pool. I had my eyes checked and I was diagnosed with astigmatism in one eye and I started wearing glasses while studying. As lifeguarding became my chosen profession, I found it hard to focus in the afternoon as the Southern California sun set lower in the sky.
When running out for a rescue, I would often lose my prescription sunglasses. I tried soft lenses, but sand got under them and that was uncomfortable. The lenses often slid up behind my eyes and even floated away when I swam. I often went without correction because of the irritation. By late afternoon I would see double images of objects far away, such as a boat on the horizon.
When laser eye surgery became available, I was excited. However, I was discouraged to learn that I had keratoconus in one eye and was not a candidate for LASIK. I came across an article and some studies by Dr. Boxer Wachler. I was optimistic after my first meeting with him in 1999. He explained a new procedure Intacs that would help correct my keratoconus and vision. Back then Intacs had not been reported on a patient with keratoconus in the United States, but he felt it was ready to be attempted. As I was a good candidate, I welcomed the opportunity.A week after surgery, the vision in that eye improved to a great degree. I was able to see nearly equally with both eyes and it was unnecessary to wear glasses or contacts at work. After a few months I noticed that I was relying more and more on the corrected eye!
It has now been about eight years since I had Intacs and I still do not wear corrective lenses. I am able to pick objects out of the glare on the horizon and street signs on the freeway well before I need to turn. The freedom I have gained and the confidence I now have in my vision has proven invaluable to me and my ability to continue in my profession.
The ability to see well in lifeguarding is critical, and I no longer have the worry that I might miss something that could result in someone’s pain, suffering or their life. I owe this self assuredness to Dr. Boxer Wachler and to Intacs.
I feel fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time in history. I can appreciate the saying, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” I am glad that my pioneering experience helped pave the way for the thousands of other patients who have subsequently benefited from innovative advancements for keratoconus. I am pleased to dedicate this book to the thousands of future patients who will benefit from these innovations.
Bobsledder- Steven Holcomb has a lot to say in this article from USA Today Written by Tim Reynolds…
Bobsledder Steven Holcomb was speeding down the icy track for a preseason training run a few weeks ago, when a piece of duct tape tore off the chassis and whizzed past his helmet. His teammates weren’t bothered. They’d seen it happen dozens of times. Holcomb, though, was spooked. Until then, he’d never seen that before.
In a sport that demands razor-sharp hand-eye coordination, Holcomb excels even with a degenerative eye disease called keratoconus that makes reading a challenge – say nothing for steering a bobsled in a snowstorm. “Sometimes, I really didn’t see all that much out there,” he said.
Given his success, that’s hard to believe. Holcomb is a national champion, a World Cup star and was the top American driver at the 2006 Turin games. He navigates slippery tracks at 80 mph in a sport where tiny mistakes can lead to disaster. Yet he did all that with vision so blurry that he couldn’t read the big “E” atop an eye chart from more than 6 feet away. A $15,000 procedure may have saved Holcomb’s vision – plus could nudge him closer to gold in Vancouver in 2010.
“If he was in the top five in the world before, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s soon to be the top in the world,” said Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of Beverly Hills, Calif., the corneal surgeon who developed the procedure that Holcomb underwent, Holcomb would love to see that.
Keratoconus causes the cornea to bulge outward, causing blurred vision. In some mild cases, glasses or contacts can be the answer. In Holcomb’s case, neither did the trick. Lasik didn’t work, either; Holcomb tried that in 2000, but was back in glasses within a year. So after last season, he decided he’d either find a solution or retire.
“They couldn’t make contacts strong enough for me anymore,” Holcomb said. “And since it’s a progressive disease, I had to get a new prescription, a stronger prescription, every three months. Finally they said, ‘You know, we can’t make them any stronger.’ So it was the end. For a while, I thought it was the end.”
U.S. bobsled coach Brian Shimer didn’t want to see that happen. He researched options, found Boxer Wachler, and sent Holcomb to California to meet the doctor. Holcomb was deemed a candidate for Visian ICL, or Implantable Collamer Lens, a 9-minute surgery where a contact is embedded behind the iris. It’s permanent, and so far, it’s worked for Holcomb.
His vision, once as bad as 20-1000 – which gets defined as “profound visual impairment” – is now close to perfect. He sees things on tracks that he never knew were there before.
“I was part of the FDA approval study for it,” Holcomb said. “I couldn’t wear contacts the day of the surgery, so they literally had to walk me around the room. And then they did it, I got up, and just like that, I was 20-20. It’s incredible. I call it an eye-opening experience.” Pun intended, of course.
Holcomb didn’t just suffer from keratoconus, but also was extremely nearsighted. So Boxer Wachler – who has performed similar procedures before live on national television, plus has worked with other athletes, most notably Los Angeles Lakers’ guard Derek Fisher – began the process by having Holcomb undergo what’s called C3-R, something that strengthens the anchors within the cornea and minimizes the bulging effect.
It’s relatively new technology and isn’t offered by many eye doctors yet. Boxer Wachler is considered the pioneer in this sort of work. “We’ve been doing this for five years,”Boxer Wachler said. “It’s not experimental for us. We call it an off-label procedure.”
But because of the costs involved, Holcomb almost decided not to undergo any procedure. Holcomb isn’t a rich man, by any stretch of the imagination. Bobsledders don’t get into their sport for money; it’s rare to find a sled that turns a profit at the end of a season, no matter how many races a team wins in a given year. The technology is costly, the perks are few, and when Holcomb was told how much Visian ICL would cost, he initially balked at going forward.
“It was every amount of prize money I’d ever won,” Holcomb said. “So the U.S. Bobsled Federation stepped up and donated and now I hope they can collect on it.” That shouldn’t be a problem.
When the World Cup season starts in Germany in a few weeks, Holcomb will be among the favorites once again. He ended last season ranked fourth among drivers in two- and four-man bobsled, and now with his vision no longer a stressful issue, he can’t see any reason why he shouldn’t improve on the track.
“Now that I can see, things are starting to click,” Holcomb said. “I already could feel out there on the track. It’s like putting a face to a name now. My eyes don’t hurt. My head doesn’t hurt. Before, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t even play catch before. Someone would throw me something and it’d hit me in the face. Now I can focus on what’s important out there.”