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Are There Other Contact Lens Alternatives?

Several eye conditions and diseases can make it hard, even impossible, to wear standard contact lenses. For patients who suffer from these conditions, achieving clear vision can be difficult. That’s where scleral contact lenses and other specialty contact lenses come in.

Below you’ll find information about some of the other contact lenses we offer that are suitable for hard-to-fit eyes. Please contact us if you think any of these options would be suitable for you, or if your current lenses are giving you any trouble.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
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Types of Astigmatism And How They Can Be Corrected

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error characterized by an irregularly shaped or non-spherical cornea, the outer front surface of the eye. Although this condition may sound concerning, it’s relatively common, affecting approximately 1 in 3 individuals around the world.

Additionally, astigmatism doesn’t affect the health of the eye, but rather how the eye focuses light onto the retina.

A perfectly spherical cornea refracts all the light entering the eye with the same focusing power, so there is one focal point within the eye. An astigmatic eye, on the other hand, has two different refracting powers of light, so there are two focal points within the eye that affects visual clarity.

Most people with astigmatism also have other refractive errors, like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).

The hallmark symptoms of astigmatism are:

  • Blurred vision (both near and far distances)
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Irritated eyes
  • Frequent eye strain
  • Headaches

There are 3 types of astigmatism and several ways to correct this refractive problem.

Types of Astigmatism

The 3 main classifications of astigmatism are based on the principal meridian of each eye. Think of the eye’s meridian as a plane or axis of the eye — for example, the horizontal meridian and vertical meridian.

When the horizontal axis is steeper than the vertical, it creates a stronger focusing power in the horizontal meridian. The difference in the focusing powers results in two different focal points on the retina and the blurry vision associated with astigmatism.

1. Myopic Astigmatism

When one or both of the eye’s principal meridians is myopic (focuses light in front of the retina), the result is myopic astigmatism. There are 2 subdivisions of myopic astigmatism:

  • Simple myopic astigmatism: when incoming light creates 2 focal points — one in front of the retina and one in the correct position — directly on the retina.
  • Compound myopic astigmatism: when the 2 focal points are both in front of the retina, and in separate locations.

Examples of this type of astigmatism as they appear on the optometrist’s prescription are plano /-2.00 x 180 or -2.25 / -1.00 x 90.

2. Hyperopic Astigmatism

Hyperopic astigmatism occurs when both or one principal meridian is farsighted (focuses light behind the retina).

This type of astigmatism is also divided into 2 types:

  • Simple hyperopic astigmatism: when one focal point lands correctly and directly on the retina, and another virtual focal point sits beyond the retina.
  • Compound hyperopic astigmatism: when both focal points are 2 separate virtual locations behind the retina.

Examples of this type of astigmatism as they appear on the optometrist’s prescription are +2.00 /-2.00 x 180 or +3.25 / -1.00 x 90.

3. Mixed Astigmatism

Mixed astigmatism is when one principal meridian is farsighted (beyond the retina) and the other is nearsighted (in front of the retina).

Regular vs. Irregular

Another way to classify astigmatism is regular vs. irregular. Regular astigmatism is when the principal meridians are either horizontal or vertical meridians, and irregular astigmatism occurs when the principal meridians are not at the horizontal or vertical angles, such as 135 or 45 degrees.

Examples of this type of astigmatism as they appear on the optometrist’s prescription are: +2.00 /-2.00 x 135 or +3.25 / -1.00 x 45

Ways to Correct Astigmatism

Whether you have myopic, hyperopic or mixed astigmatism, your vision will be blurred. The degree of blurred vision will vary from patient to patient. Your optometrist will recommend the most suitable corrective method for your eyes.

For people with mild to moderate astigmatism, prescription lenses in the form of glasses or standard contact lenses do a fine job of correcting the refractive error.

Another option for correcting astigmatism is through refractive surgery; however, this choice is less popular due to the possible complications of surgery.

For patients with high levels of astigmatism, standard contact lenses usually aren’t an option due to the highly irregularly-shaped cornea. Instead, scleral contact lenses are a safe, comfortable and effective way to correct vision for hard-to-fit eyes.

Why are Scleral Lenses Optimal For Astigmatic Eyes?

Scleral lenses have a larger diameter than standard soft lenses. The large lens vaults over the cornea and sits on the sclera (the white of the eye) with a nourishing reservoir of fluid in between the lens and the cornea.

The customized scleral lens acts as an artificial cornea, creating a new corneal shape that refracts light correctly for clear and comfortable vision all day long.

Scleral lenses are made of high-quality material and maintain a rigid shape, so the lens remains stable, no matter the degree of astigmatism.

What’s more, many optometrists prescribe sclerals to their patients with corneal abnormalities as a therapeutic tool in post-surgery patients.

Scleral contact lenses provide crisper and more stable vision than standard soft lenses, in addition to offering a continuously nourishing and breathable environment for the cornea.

How We Can Help

Our knowledgeable and experienced eye care team is trained to fit all types of patients with scleral lenses. Our goal is to provide each patient with crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their level of astigmatism or corneal abnormality.

Our optometry clinic has the latest diagnostic technology to provide you with the most efficient and accurate eye exam.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick, contact The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates today.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
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6 Things To Know About Keratoconus

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Keratoconus Myths & Misconceptions

Keratoconus is a serious eye condition that progressively changes the shape of the cornea and causes it to thin and bulge. This eye condition can alter your vision to the point that it interferes with your day-to-day life.

There are many myths and misconceptions around keratoconus and its treatment. Find out the truth about keratoconus before starting any treatment for the condition.

Myth: Keratoconus results in blindness

Truth: While keratoconus changes the shape of the cornea to the extent that vision may deteriorate, it does not cause total blindness. However, keratoconus can cause significant vision loss that could make it difficult to perform regular activities.

Myth: Contact lenses can prevent the progression of keratoconus

Truth: There is a misconception that once a patient starts wearing contact lenses, the progression of keratoconus will stop. This is not true. While contact lenses improve visual clarity, they do not offer a permanent solution for keratoconus. Also, contact lenses that are poorly fitted may worsen the condition.

Myth: Only young people are diagnosed with keratoconus

Truth: While keratoconus usually develops in people under the age of 30, some people are diagnosed in their 40s and 50s.

Now that you know the truth about keratoconus, contact The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates to discuss the best way to manage the condition.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
Request An Appointment
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Learn More About Scleral Lenses

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Why Do Scleral Lenses Sometimes Get Foggy?

Scleral lenses provide a successful contact lens option for people with corneal conditions such as keratoconus, severe dry eye, and those needing vision correction following eye surgery. Unfortunately, about 30% of patients with scleral lenses may experience lens fogging. This requires them to remove their lenses and refresh the saline solution, that keeps their lenses lubricated, multiple times a day. Here are some reasons why scleral lenses fog up and tips on how to keep your lenses clear.

What is Midday Fogging?

Midday fogging is when scleral lenses fog up after a few hours of wear. The most likely causes appear to be an accumulation of debris from the tears between the lens and the cornea or an inflammatory reaction of the eye or eyelids to the contact lenses.

Fogging Caused by Debris

Blinking can sometimes cause the debris to dissipate, but it doesn’t always help. There are three types of tear debris that may lodge between the eye and the lens and cause fogging.

Mucin Debris

Mucin is an opaque, white, fluffy, oil-like layer of the tears. If the fit of the scleral lens isn’t perfect, mucin debris can move from the tears into the tear reservoir behind the scleral lens. If this is the case, your eye doctor will evaluate how the scleral lens fits and make the required adjustments to its design, most likely changing the peripheral edge lift.

The peripheral edge lift, the very edge of the scleral lens, allows a refreshing flow of tears to get under the lens and into the tear reservoir behind the scleral lens. However, if there is too much lift, excessive tears will flow, allowing debris to accumulate in the tear reservoir.

If the peripheral edge lift is the problem, the lens edge may be irritating your eyelid. Your eye doctor may ask you to reduce the amount of time you wear the lens, or have you remove and reapply the lens during the day. Another option is following a lens cleaning regimen using an enzymatic cleaner or a sodium hypochlorite-potassium bromide-based system.

Meibomian Debris

Meibomian glands are tiny glands in your eyelids that produce the essential oils for our eyes. Meibomian debris can be caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) or blepharitis. The debris occurs when the oils of your tears find their way under the lens and appear as semi-transparent droplets of oil floating on water. It can disperse light, like an oil slick, or appear yellowish in color.

To reduce this form of debris your eye doctor will treat the underlying cause in the eyelids as well as review the lens design. If issues with meibomian debris persist, removing and reapplying the lens can help as well.

These types of debris can occur in combination, resulting in multiple management strategies.

Front Surface Debris

Front surface debris is any debris found on the outside of the scleral lens, from the buildup of protein to the debris mentioned above. External sources such as oil-based lotions, makeup, and face and hand soaps can also cause foggy vision. Knowing where the debris is coming from can help you and your eye doctor eliminate the problem.

To remove foggy vision, make sure to wash your hands with mild hand soaps, and then rinse before handling your lenses. Also, make sure to apply face cream or makeup after inserting your lenses. Avoiding oil-based moisturizers on the eyelids, and not applying makeup to the inside area of the eyelid margin or over the meibomian glands can decrease the risk of MGD or obstruction.

Fogging Due to Inflammation

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC)

GPC is an inflammatory reaction caused by the contact lenses. It occurs in up to 15% of all hard lens wearers and is likely due to the edge of the lens rubbing up against the conjunctiva, the protective layer on the eyelids and the outside part of the eyes. The signs of GPC are red, swollen and irritated eyelids.

If you have GPC your eye doctor may alter the design of your lens, most commonly the peripheral edge lift, and prescribe mast cell stabilizer antihistamine drops or reduced lens wearing time. The doctor may also do a deep clean of the lens with a sodium hypochlorite-potassium bromide-based system with enzymatic cleaners.

Atopic Disease and Keratoconus

Another type of debris that someone might experience with scleral lenses is due to an association between atopic disease (typically associated with the immune response to common allergens). This type of debris appears as a diluted milk-like fog in the scleral lens fluid reservoir under the lens.

Your eye doctor may recommend the following treatment options, including: reducing excessive edge lift, reducing base curves, taking an antihistamine to reduce inflammation, lens removal and reapplication, or in extreme cases, topical steroids.

Scleral lenses can be a great option for many patients, even if fogging occurs. These management strategies, along with proper lens care, can go a long way to ensure healthy life-long scleral lens wear. Contact The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates to determine what may be causing your foggy vision and how to treat it today!

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
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Treatments for Keratoconus

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus (KC) is an eye condition in which the cornea weakens and thins over time, causing the development of a cone-like bulge and optical irregularity of the cornea. This condition occurs in approximately 1 in 2,000 individuals.

Keratoconus typically begins to affect people in their late teens or early twenties, and may progress for 10-20 years before slowing or stabilizing. Each eye is affected differently. In the early stages of keratoconus, you might experience mildly blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, frequent headaches, an increased sensitivity to light, and the need to frequently change your eyeglass prescription.

During later stages of keratoconus, you may experience higher levels of blurry and distorted vision, an increase of nearsightedness or astigmatism, or be unable to wear contact lenses, as they will no longer fit properly, no longer provide clear vision and be uncomfortable.

Keratoconus Treatments

There are a variety of treatment options for keratoconus, including rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, scleral contact lenses, intracorneal ring segment implants and more. Learn about these options below.

Eyeglasses or Soft Contact Lenses

Wearing prescription lenses improves your vision because the lenses bend rays of light to focus images on the retina inside your eye. The cornea is the clear dome-shaped part of the front of the eye and is responsible for the majority of the focusing power of the eye. However, as keratoconus progresses, the cornea becomes more irregularly shaped and stronger optical lenses are required for clear vision.

Even though eyeglasses and soft contact lenses may help correct refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness, some vision issues associated with keratoconus may still persist due to the irregular corneal shape, such as light sensitivity or discomfort.

Customized Contact Lenses (RGP, Scleral, Hybrid)

Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses and custom-fit scleral contact lenses create a smooth, uniform surface, allowing the light to be clearly focused. A saline solution fills in the space between the rigid lens and the cornea, “masking” the irregular corneal shape. Contact lens fittings may become more challenging as keratoconus becomes more advanced.

Scleral contact lenses in particular help with keratoconus because the lens creates a dome over the irregular cornea and functions as the new refractive surface of the eye. They are preferred by most eye doctors who provide custom-fit contact lenses because of their superior comfort & versatility.

Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL)

This minimally invasive procedure uses Riboflavin eye drops plus UVA light to slow keratoconus progression. Riboflavin eye drops are activated with UVA light to create additional cross-link bonds in the cornea, making it stiffer. CXL does not restore vision that has already been lost and does not eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. But it can help limit the progression of keratoconus.

Intracorneal Ring Segments (ICRS)

These specifically designed implants are made of medical plastic that are surgically placed under the surface of the cornea to help improve the corneal shape. The ICRS are implanted into the cornea to flatten the steep part of the cone into a more regular shape. This surgery does not slow keratoconus progression and glasses or contact lenses are usually still needed.

Corneal Transplant Surgery

This surgery replaces part of the cornea with donor tissue to improve corneal shape and/or clarity. The irregular or scarred corneal tissue is replaced with donor tissue from a cornea without keratoconus. Corneal transplant surgery is usually reserved for advanced cases, when the patient can no longer tolerate contact lenses or vision is severely compromised.

If you are concerned you may have keratoconus, reach out to The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates today. We can help. With expert experience and a deep understanding of keratoconus, we can recommend the treatment option that is best for you in order to maximize your comfort and ensure you have clear, consistent vision.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
Request An Appointment
Call Our Offices

Learn More About Scleral Lenses

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Specialty Contact Lens Fittings

Why Health Professionals Refer Patients To Us For Customized Contact Lens Fittings

Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates is a contact lens practice that continues to develop great relationships with other practitioners around the Manhattan area. We work with corneal specialists and other physicians to offer a continuum of care for their patients with corneal irregularities by providing advanced custom contact lens fittings, even for the most hard-to-fit patients.

Our training and expertise in the area of scleral and other custom-fit contact lenses is the primary reason that other healthcare professionals refer to our practice.

We’re Here For Your Patients

The health care professionals you choose to refer your patients to matters.

You want your patients to visit a practice where they’re offered world-class eye care, professionalism and empathy. That’s why we do the utmost to ensure a quality experience for all of the patients you refer.

We know that patients want to be heard. We set aside time to discuss and evaluate their needs.

Your patients deserve safe and effective treatment, which is why the treatment we provide is evidence-based and utilizes the most advanced technology — all with utmost professionalism and care.

List of Common Corneal Conditions

We evaluate, diagnose and recommend treatment for all types of corneal conditions, including:

  • Keratoconus/Keratoglobus
  • Post LASIK/RK/PRK Ectasia
  • Post PK/INTACS/DMEK/DALK/DSAEK, etc.
  • Post Corneal Cross Linking
  • Corneal Dystrophies, such as Fuchs’ and Map-dot-fingertip corneal dystrophy
  • Severe Ocular Surface Disease (OSD)
  • Aniridia, ICE Syndromes and Trauma
  • Corneal Scarring

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Why Scleral Contact Lenses?

The many benefits of scleral lenses render them a popular and satisfying choice for patients with corneal irregularities who desire clear and comfortable vision.

Custom-designed scleral lenses help patients with a range of corneal conditions achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. The lenses’ oxygen-permeable and fluid-filled chamber protects the eye while providing the moisture and oxygen it needs to stay healthy. This makes scleral lenses the best choice for promoting corneal healing.

Case Studies

Here are a few examples showing the typical patient presentations and the successful outcomes.

*These patient testimonials are meant to reflect actual testimonials of patients but not necessarily our patients.

Post Corneal Graft

Patients with keratoconus or corneal transplants can see clearly by wearing scleral contact lenses; they are the safest and best way to correct vision for irregular astigmatism. Following a corneal transplant, the cornea should not come in contact with a contact lens. This makes scleral lenses the optimal solution, as they vault over the cornea without touching it directly.

John came to our practice seeking a solution for his keratoconus, which affected both of his eyes. He had recently undergone a corneal transplant and had a corneal graft for his keratoconus.

In order to improve John’s visual acuity, we did the following:

We took a topography reading of 11,000 points on each cornea and then designed the lens to individually match all 11,000 points of the patient’s corneas. Because he had a corneal transplant, it was crucial that the lens not touch any part of the graft to ensure maximum comfort.

OCT images were used to measure the clearance in microns, between the back surface of the scleral lens and the front surface of the cornea. This maintains a healthy graft while wearing the contact lenses.

As a result, John was able to achieve 20/25 vision in both eyes. He now has clear, comfortable vision all day and is very pleased with his scleral lenses.

Post LASIK Complications

While LASIK surgery has a high success rate, some patients come out of the surgery with imperfect vision.

Debbi’s primary concern was the reduced visual acuity following refractive laser surgery.

Unfortunately, her post-LASIK resulted in sub-optimal vision. Her LASIK surgeon recommended an enhancement procedure to improve her vision, which led her to undergo subsequent LASIK surgeries. Unfortunately, these attempts left her with extremely poor vision in each eye, and Debbi was desperate to find a solution to her vision problems.

Debbi arrived at our practice after hearing that we specialize in helping people achieve clear vision following poor LASIK results. A comprehensive eye exam found that Debbi’s eyes had a very high prescription and irregular astigmatism following her surgery.

Her best option was to wear scleral lenses as they would correct her astigmatism and farsightedness and were perfectly safe for her corneas, which after multiple surgeries, were scarred.

Since getting fitted for her custom-designed scleral lenses, Debbi is thrilled with how sharp and comfortable her vision has become.

Post-Radial Keratotomy Surgery Complications

Many patients underwent radial keratotomy (RK) surgery to correct myopia and astigmatism during the early days of refractive surgery. Such patients sometimes experienced some refractive error in the form of nearsightedness, farsightedness, or irregular astigmatism. Those with irregular astigmatism experience blurred, distorted vision that cannot be corrected with glasses. These are among the more serious and frequently occurring complications following corneal refractive surgery.

Matthew, a 52-year-old teacher, underwent bilateral RK surgery in 1995. Though the initial results were positive, within two years his vision deteriorated. He developed corneal ectasia, and complained of blurred vision, discomfort and red eyes when wearing contact lenses.

The slit-lamp examination revealed damaged corneas that had severe staining along the incision lines and around the cornea at the limbus. This was a result of the fit of the GP lenses he was wearing at the time. These lenses were touching the anterior elevations of the cornea and did not allow for enough tear exchange.

Fitting a scleral lens was the best option to treat Matthew’s damaged corneas, alleviate discomfort and improve his vision.

At the one-year visit the patient had improved visual acuity and quality. The fitting of a well-designed semi-scleral GP contact lens filled with a saline solution created a healthy environment behind the lens, which in turn allowed the cornea and limbus to heal. The scleral lenses also helped protect the RK incisions from further abrasions caused by blinking.

As this case demonstrates, patients who developed irregular corneal surfaces following refractive surgery can benefit from a customized scleral contact lens designed to improve their wearing comfort and vision.

Who We Work With

We work with many practitioners including:

  • Family doctors
  • Local hospitals
  • Optometrists
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Corneal specialists

Feel free to contact us for more information or with any inquiries. We look forward to providing your referred patients with world-class eye care.

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What is Corneal Dystrophy

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What is Corneal Dystrophy and How Can Scleral Contact Lenses Help?

There are many different corneal dystrophies with overlapping symptoms. Among these symptoms is distorted vision due a misshapen corneal surface, more commonly referred to as corneal irregularity. Scleral lenses offer the perfect solution, as they even out the corneal irregularity, thus providing clear and sharp vision.

An eye exam at The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates can examine your eyes and determine whether scleral lenses are appropriate for you.

What is Corneal Dystrophy?

Corneal dystrophy refers to a group of genetic and often progressive eye diseases characterized by the accumulation of abnormal material in at least one of the five layers of the cornea.

Most corneal dystrophies progress slowly and in both eyes. The age at which one can expect symptoms varies on a case-by-case basis.

Diagnosis of Corneal Dystrophy

An optometrist can usually detect the presence of corneal dystrophy with a slit lamp microscope during a regular eye exam. During this simple test the doctor shines a bright, thin beam of light into your eye. With the help of a slit lamp, discoloration or deformation of the cornea become visible. The exam can also show the build-up of abnormal material in the cornea.

The eye care professional will look into your family history of eye diseases, as corneal dystrophies are generally inherited. In some cases, genetic testing can reveal whether you are affected.

eye layersSymptoms of Corneal Dystrophy

People with corneal dystrophy may not experience any symptoms, while in others, the disorder may lead to significant vision impairment. Vision can be affected by the irregular shape of the cornea, as light is not bent correctly onto the retina. In addition, the accumulation of foreign material within the cornea can cause it to become foggy. In many cases, patients experience recurrent corneal erosion. This occurs when the top cell layer (the epithelium) detaches from the layer beneath.

Common symptoms for most corneal dystrophies include:

  • blurred vision
  • increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • the feeling of having a foreign object in the eye
  • itching, pain, or severe discomfort
  • vision loss

How Can Corneal Irregularities Be Treated?

Traditional soft contact lenses cannot correct vision, as the lens merely takes on the irregular shape of the eye surface. Similarly, regular eyeglasses provide improvement only for moderate astigmatism; however, in high irregular astigmatism, eyeglasses are not able to correct the condition.

Corneal erosion may be treated with medication, such as antibiotics, lubricating eye drops, or ointments, to repair damage to corneal tissue. Laser treatment may be applied, or, in severe cases, a corneal transplant may be required.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses for Corneal Dystrophies

RGPs can correct a patient’s vision since the inner surface of these lenses can be adapted to the irregular cornea, while the outer surface maintains a smooth round shape, thus correcting refraction at each point of the cornea.

Scleral Lenses for Corneal Dystrophies

Scleral lenses offer clearer vision than RGP lenses as they vault over the corneal irregularity, forming a smooth dome-shaped surface. They are larger in diameter and rest on the sclera, the white part of the eye surrounding the cornea. The dome-shaped scleral lens spans over the cornea, creating an optically perfect surface with a liquid-filled vault underneath.

In addition, the lens is more comfortable to wear than most other lenses. The larger diameter prevents it from moving around on the eye, and the extra liquid between lens and cornea ensures that the eye remains well lubricated.

Types of Corneal Dystrophies

There are around 20 different types of corneal dystrophies, which can be divided into three distinct categories:

Anterior Corneal Dystrophies, which affect the outer layers of the cornea. These include Map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy, Lisch dystrophy, Meersman corneal dystrophy, Reis-Buckler corneal dystrophy and Thiel-Behnke corneal dystrophy.

Stromal Corneal Dystrophies, which affect the central or stromal layer of the cornea. These include granular corneal dystrophy, Lattice corneal dystrophy and macular corneal dystrophy.

Posterior Corneal Dystrophies, which affect the innermost layers of the cornea. These include congenital hereditary endothelial corneal dystrophy, Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy, posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy and Schnyder crystalline corneal dystrophy.

woman in sunflowersWhy Should I Contact an Optometrist? I already See a Corneal Specialist!

A corneal specialist is a surgeon. What you need is someone to monitor the status of your dystrophy. We will carry out regular eye examinations to detect changes in your cornea’s health before you experience discomfort and feel the need to contact a specialist.

At The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates we have the knowledge and technology to monitor your eye health closely. Many patients are astonished at the level of diagnostic equipment and the extent of examinations at our practice. With early detection, Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick can prescribe whatever treatment is necessary at any time or refer you to a corneal specialist, who we keep updated.

Also, at The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates we are trained in fitting specialty contact lenses and can evaluate whether scleral lenses are the ideal choice for your condition. We will conduct all the necessary eye exams, such as the exact mapping and measuring of your cornea’s surface, and provide you with the best lenses for optimal comfort and clear vision.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.

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3 Ways That Scleral Lenses Treat Dry Eyes

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3 Ways That Scleral Lenses Treat Dry Eyes

Millions of people over the age of 50 struggle with dry eye syndrome (DES). Symptoms include dry, itchy and irritated eyes. For long-term chronic sufferers, symptoms are more intensely painful and often include the feeling that something is stuck or scratching the eyes. While eye drops and artificial tears can deliver temporary relief, it’s not a long term solution for chronic dry eye.

If you’re struggling with ongoing dry eye symptoms, scleral lenses can provide long-term relief along with exceptional comfort and visual clarity.

Though scleral lenses are typically used to treat corneal irregularities and refractive errors, they have other advantages that can be beneficial to chronic sufferers of DES.

Below are 3 ways in which scleral lenses provide dry eye relief:

  1. Unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses minimize eye irritation: If you suffer from dry eyes, wearing traditional contact lenses can prove to be virtually unbearable, as they sit directly on the cornea, which can exacerbate already irritable eyes. Furthermore, traditional contact lenses tend to soak up the moisture on the surface of the eye — which is the last thing a dry eye patient needs. Scleral lenses, however, vault over the irritated cornea and sit on the sclera (the white part of the eye), offering comfort and clear vision.
  2. Scleral lenses provide ongoing hydration to the eyes: The space between the lens and the cornea contains a liquid reservoir that provides a protective cushion which reduces pain and irritation in those with dry eyes. This reservoir acts as a constant source of hydration for the eye, offering relief to dry eye patients. Furthermore, artificial tears and antibiotics can be administered into the lens prior to insertion to promote advanced healing.
  1. Scleral lenses protect the cornea: Dry eye syndrome renders the eyes more sensitive, and inflamed corneas are more vulnerable to injury. Even something as simple as blinking can irritate the eye or even injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses can act as a shield between a patient’s eyes and their eyelids/the outside environment, protecting the eyes from further irritation or damage.

For these reasons, scleral lenses can significantly enhance the quality of life for a chronic dry eye sufferer. Scleral lenses provide vision correction, shield the eyes from external irritants and offer constant hydration to the eye. They also reduce pain, itchiness and the need to routinely apply eyedrops, all the while offering comfortable, sharp and clear vision all day long.

If you struggle with dry eye syndrome and have been looking for a more effective treatment method than just eye drops and artificial tears, and ask Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick about scleral lenses. Call the The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates to schedule your consultation and learn more ways these lenses can improve the quality of your life.

The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates serves patients in New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, Nassau County and all throughout New York.

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Where Do Scleral Lenses Fit In Your Dry Eye Treatment Protocol?

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is among the top drivers that lead patients to seek help from eye care professionals trained in treating dry eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a highly common condition that occurs when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too quickly. This condition can be temporary or chronic and is characterized by dry, itchy, stinging and irritated eyes.

Curiously, a recent survey revealed that out of the more than 30 million adults who have symptoms of Dry Eye, only half of those are diagnosed and an even smaller number receives the medical attention they need. These numbers are a concern since there are millions of people needlessly suffering from a treatable condition.

If you’re suffering from dry eye, contact The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates today. We offer effective and lasting treatments that are sure to improve your quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

Dry eyes can be caused by several factors, such as aging, medication, environmental changes, hormonal changes, allergies, among others. The most common ocular signs and symptoms include:

  • Crusty eyelids
  • Dryness
  • Grittiness
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning
  • Intense eye pain
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Sensation of something stuck in the eye

How Can Scleral Lenses Help With Dry Eye?

Scleral lenses are customized rigid lenses that tackle three factors simultaneously: they provide vision correction, they protect the eye and serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye.

Due to their large shape, unique features and customized fitting, scleral lenses offer an excellent solution for dry eyes. They decrease pain, discomfort, eye redness and itchiness in those with dry eyes.

While scleral lenses can provide relief to patients suffering from DES, the question is deciding on the right time to incorporate scleral lenses into a dry eye treatment plan.

Scleral lenses should not be the primary treatment method

Despite their countless benefits, scleral lenses should not be the primary therapy or treatment method for patients with mild to moderate dry eye syndrome. Eye practitioners often advise to try out prior treatment options first.

Additional Dry Eye treatment methods include:

  • Environment modifications
  • Improved eyelid hygiene
  • Nighttime goggles
  • Nighttime eye lubrication
  • Prescription dry eye medications
  • Preservative-free eyedrops

Scleral contact lenses as a tertiary therapy

Scleral lenses should only serve as tertiary therapy after overnight treatment options and prescription medications such as moisture goggles or ointment have been exhausted. That said, scleral lenses should be incorporated before the long-term use of steroids, surgical punctual occlusion and] amniotic membrane grafts.

Some of the other tertiary therapies that can be recommended alongside scleral lenses include:

  • Autologous/allogeneic serum eye drops
  • Oral secretagogues
  • Soft bandage contact lenses

Like scleral lenses, these treatment procedures are highly effective, but should only be used if the primary and secondary therapies fail to improve the patient’s Dry Eye condition.

If you experience any eye pain or regular ocular discomfort, book your appointment with The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates today.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.
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Who Fits Specialty Contact Lenses?

If you have been told that contact lenses are not an option, speak with an optometrist trained in fitting specialty contact lenses. Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick at The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates can offer several alternative high-quality options for rare or severe eye conditions.

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How Is an Optometrist Trained in Fitting Specialty Contact Lenses Unique?

Every optometrist can fit conventional contact lenses. However, specialty contacts are another story, and few optometrists have undergone the necessary training in fitting specialty lenses, such as scleral lenses, hybrid lenses, or custom rigid gas permeable lenses.

Scleral lenses are custom-fit to each patient’s individual cornea. This requires the optometrist to acquire more in-depth knowledge in areas traditionally belonging in the field of a corneal specialist.

Moreover, special equipment is needed to fit specialty lenses. The optometrist uses different devices to assess whether a particular specialty lens is a good fit and to precisely measure a cornea’s unique shape.

When Should You See an Eye Doctor for Specialty Lenses?

Many of our patients have experienced discomfort or complications when using traditional soft contact lenses. In these cases, wearing scleral lenses offer more comfort yet provide the same visual acuity or better.

If you have an eye condition that prevents you from wearing regular contact lenses, such as corneal irregularities (i.e. keratoconus), post corneal transplant, severe dry-eye, or an unusually high refractive error, scleral contact lenses may be a good fit.

Special lenses may also help patients cope with complications following surgery or improve remaining refractive errors. Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick can help you evaluate your alternatives.

young man thinkingConditions Special Lenses Can Treat

  • Keratoconus
  • Astigmatism
  • Dry Eye
  • Post-Refractive Surgery (LASIK, RK, PRK)
  • Corneal Dystrophy and Other Chronic Eye Diseases
  • High Refractive Errors

Fitting Specialty Lenses

Specialty lenses require specific diagnostic equipment. Only a precise image of the cornea’s surface can ensure optimal fitting of the individual lens for perfect vision.

At The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, we use an advanced digital topographer to measure your cornea during your initial eye exam. This digital device produces high-resolution corneal imagery and provides the parameters to design your customized lenses. Your specifications are then sent to a contact lens lab, which produces a set of lenses designed specifically for your eyes.

After ensuring the lenses are a perfect fit, Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick will instruct you on how to insert, remove and take care of specialty contact lenses, since handling them calls for a little more precision and caution than traditional lenses.

Interested in Specialty Contact Lenses?

At The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates, we can provide accurate and current information about specialty contact lenses as well as a broad scope of general contact lens products. We have the equipment needed to assess suitability and fit every type of lens.

Optometrists, such as Dr. Farkas, Dr. Kassalow, and Dr. Resnick, are experienced in fitting specialty contact lenses for rare eye conditions. For us, these are not exceptions, but our every-day profession.

Contact us today to find out which contact lens alternatives are most suitable for your specific condition. The Scleral Lens Center at Drs. Farkas, Kassalow, Resnick & Associates will make sure you receive individual consultation and care.

Our practice serves patients from New York City, The East Side, Roslyn, and Nassau County, New York and surrounding communities.

Resources:

Request An Appointment
Call Our Offices

Learn More About Scleral Lenses

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