Do you struggle to wear hard contact lenses for keratoconus? Corneal implants could help you see comfortably again.
Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) develops an irregular conical shape, causing your vision to blur. Most people with keratoconus use glasses to correct their vision. If the condition worsens, Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) or ‘hard’ contact lenses can often solve the problem.
But if you struggle to wear hard contact lenses – perhaps because your keratoconus is severe, or you suffer from dry eyes or allergies then corneal implants could help you.
What are corneal implants?
Intacs and Kerarings corneal implants
Intacs and Kerarings are tiny, transparent, semi-circular, plastic implants. They are placed within your cornea to make its shape more normal. Corneal implants are designed to make it more comfortable to wear hard contact lenses, but they may even improve your vision to the point where you can use soft contacts or glasses instead.
You’ll only need a local anaesthetic, and the procedure takes just 30 minutes.
What to expect
You’ll most likely notice an immediate improvement in your vision after corneal implant surgery. But you should let your vision settle for three months before being fitted for new glasses or contacts.
What’s involved in corneal implant surgery?
Corneal implant surgery is incredibly precise, thanks to state-of-the-art technology. At Eye Institute we use the most advanced IntraLase laser in the country for the procedure. So your surgeon can place your corneal implants with ultimate precision, and the procedure is faster than ever.
What to expect from corneal implant surgery
Before your corneal implant surgery, you’ll be given painless local anaesthetic eye drops (no injections are necessary). You’ll also have the option of a mild sedative.
Using the ultra-precise IntraLase laser (the same laser used in the LASIK procedure), your surgeon will make a tiny and incredibly precise circular channel within your cornea.
Your corneal implants will then be carefully inserted into the channel, and the incision will close naturally, without the need for stitches.
After the operation, your eye will be treated with anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops, and a clear plastic shield may also be placed over your eye for you to wear overnight. You’ll be able to go home almost straight away, although you will need someone to drive you, and you’ll need to return for a check-up the following day.
Corneal implants or corneal transplants?
Without corneal implants, many people who suffer from severe keratoconus would need a corneal transplant operation. However, thanks to this innovative new treatment, most people can now avoid corneal transplant surgery, and the risks it entails.
You can find out more about corneal transplants here, but corneal implants should always be considered before progressing to a corneal transplant operation.
Important note: PART OF YOUR CORNEAL IMPLANT TREATMENT MAY BE COVERED
Your medical insurance may cover the cost of your corneal implants. Please contact your insurance provider for more details