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Home » Scleral Lenses Blog » Scleral Contact Lenses after Corneal Transplant Surgery: Charity’s Story

Scleral Contact Lenses after Corneal Transplant Surgery: Charity’s Story

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Charity is a project manager in Charlotte, NC and was seen at our office for the first time for an eye exam and reported suffering from keratoconus. She said she had a corneal transplant on her right eye several years ago and had not seen out of that eye in over ten years. She was wearing a small, hard lens on her left eye which was rubbing on her cornea and causing intense pain every day. Charity had been told she needed a corneal transplant on her left eye also but since her vision was still less than 20/400 in her right eye after her corneal transplant she had on that eye, she was unwilling to undergo a corneal transplant surgery on her left eye.

Charity had been to several eye doctors over the years and was always told no one could help her due to having a corneal transplant. When someone undergoes a corneal transplant, a donor cornea is sewn onto the center of the eye, but they have their own cornea in their existing periphery. It is very important that a contact lens does not rest on the incision area of the transplant so it does not create stress on the transplanted cornea. The other issue people who have undergone corneal transplants due to keratoconus or other eye diseases face is the excessive amounts of irregular astigmatism created by the corneal transplant surgery. This irregular astigmatism creates blurry images which traditional glasses cannot correct. Hard contact lenses are the only contact lenses which correct for irregular astigmatism but they can be uncomfortable to wear.

Charity faced this issue of uncomfortable contact lenses. She reported having to rush home after work to remove the hard lens in her left eye due to the pain and discomfort she felt after wearing it during her working hours. This need to leave work and remove the lens was causing her to not be available to work the long hours she was sometimes needed to work for month-end projects as a project manager.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen was able to fit Charity into scleral contact lenses which vault over the cornea and land on the sclera so comfort is not an issue with these lenses. Charity reports that she can wear her contacts for up to 16 hours per day without any discomfort. She has clear, crisp, 20/20 vision for the first time in over ten years.

Dr. Marcussen was able to fit her right eye which was the post-corneal transplant eye with a scleral lens also due to the custom wavefront design process that she uses. This means that Dr. Marcussen fit the scleral contact lens to vault over the donor cornea and rest on the sclera. This gave Charity sharp, clear vision by correcting for all her irregular astigmatism and also made it safe for her to wear even though she had undergone this corneal transplant surgery.

Charity is seeing out of both eyes together for the first time in many, many years so she actually has depth perception. She is able to see in depth which will give her better ability to judge distance while driving. She says she can’t wait to go to a 3-D movie because now she will actually get to see what 3-D vision is all about!