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Author: kaylabrown

Finding Clear, Comfortable Vision All Day: Tonja’s Story

Tonja was seen by an optometrist in Charlotte, North Carolina and she was found to have Keratoconus. She has undergone a corneal transplant in each eye and reported having decreased vision in both eyes. Tonja was referred to Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care because she specialized in fitting contact lenses for people who have had eye surgery such as corneal transplants or patients who have Keratoconus.

Tonja was examined by Dr. Marcussen and was found to have irregular astigmatism. This type of astigmatism cannot be corrected with glasses. People who have undergone any type of corneal surgery such as Radial Keratotomy, or R. K., or corneal transplants also have decreased vision with glasses due to irregular astigmatism.

The best solution for people with Keratoconus or previous corneal surgery is a rigid contact lens. Rigid contact lenses are able to correct for all of the irregular astigmatism caused by corneal surgery.

Scleral contact lenses are one type of these rigid lenses that are an excellent solution for anyone who has undergone any type of corneal surgery or who has Keratoconus.

They do not touch the cornea at all so they are extremely comfortable. They can be worn all day without discomfort. They provide exceptional vision due to their ability to correct for irregular astigmatism. Since they vault over the cornea, scleral contact lenses are the safest option for people who have undergone corneal transplant surgery.

Tonja was fit in scleral contacts and her vision went from 20/60 with her glasses to 20/25+ with scleral contacts. She reported clear, comfortable vision all day.

Tonja drove 3 ½ hours one way to be fit in these scleral contacts because there was not any doctor who specialized in scleral contact lenses closer to her. Tonja says the drive was worth it to have clear, sharp, comfortable vision all day!

Scleral Contacts for Keratoconus: Annette’s Story

Annette is a travel nurse from Gastonia, NC and came to Complete Eye Care in Belmont, NC for an eye exam. Annette wore glasses and could only correct to 20/100- with her glasses. She stated that she struggled to see while driving and could not drive at night at all due to issues with glare and reflections. She could not see clearly in the grocery store and struggled in seminars to see the speaker and projection screen clearly.

Annette was found to have Keratoconus which is an eye disease of the cornea. It causes progressive steepening of the cornea which results in irregular astigmatism. This irregular astigmatism is not able to be corrected with glasses. The treatment for Keratoconus has been a hard contact lens but many people such as Annette could not tolerate the discomfort of a hard lens.

Scleral contact lenses have been used to treat Keratoconus recently because they give all the benefits of a hard contact lens such as clear, comfortable vision with the comfort of a soft lens. Scleral lenses can be Wavefront designed so they fit perfectly on the eye and safely vault over the cornea. Since Keratoconus causes a steeping of the cornea, it is important that scleral lenses are fit which precise design.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care is a certified Wave designer who designs scleral contact lenses based on a topography reading of 11,000 points on the cornea. The scleral lens can then be designed precisely to vault over the cornea so it is safe for people with Keratoconus. An OCT image map is then used to show the precise amount of clearance over the cornea and how well the lens vaults over the cornea and how it leaned gently onto the conjunctiva.

When Annette put on her scleral contact lenses for the first time and saw 20/25, she immediately called her mother from the Complete Eye Care office and started crying, telling her mother how clear she could finally see!

Corneal Molding Works Long-Term: Emily’s Story

Emily DavisEmily, a native to Mount Holly, NC, still remembers coming to Complete Eye Care when she was nine years old. She did a lot of dance and wanted a way to correct her nearsightedness that would not involve daytime contact lenses or glasses. Emily and her mom were excited to hear about a form of Ortho-keratology called GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System). GVSS is a way to correct for nearsightedness that involves simply putting in a contact lens before you go to bed. The specially designed contact lens then gently corrects your vision while you sleep. Emily could wake up, take the contact lens out and go all day with clear 20/20 vision in each eye and she did not need any glasses or contact lenses all day. Emily enjoyed her clear, crisp vision while at dance without having to deal with glasses or contact lenses.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen has now corrected Emily’s vision with GVSS for over ten years. Emily has maintained clear, crisp vision all day by simply wearing her specially designed GVSS lenses at night only. Emily is no longer 9 years old, but she is still dancing and is on the dance team at Appalachian State. She will continue GVSS nightly at college so that she can see clearly in her large lecture halls and also see clearly on the dance team. Emily is happy her parents choose to do the GVSS system over 10 years ago so that she has maintained her sharp daytime vision without any increase in her nearsightedness as she grew up. We wish you all the best in college, Emily!

Life with Keratoconus is better with Scleral Contact Lenses: Pam’s Story

Pam is from Gastonia, NC and had been diagnosed with keratoconus when she was a child. Pam’s vision slowly decreased as she grew into a teenager and she had to undergo a corneal transplant in each eye in her early teens. Pam was then fit for glasses but was not able to see well out of her glasses because corneal surgery results in irregular astigmatism which is not able to be corrected with eyeglasses.

Pam had tried hard contact lenses but found them to be very uncomfortable. She was not able to tolerate the feel of the hard lens and therefore had to wear glasses and live with poor vision. Pam lived with decreased vision for about 30 years before she came to see Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care in Belmont, NC. Pam had an eye exam and she was found to have 20/100 and 20/200 vision with her glasses. Pam was not able to see clearly with glasses because of her irregular astigmatism as a result of her corneal transplant. She had a very limited driver’s license which did not allow her to drive on certain roads, at night, and had several other restrictions. Pam took care of her mother and had children so her limited driver’s license severely restricted her quality of life.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen evaluated Pam and decided to fit her in a scleral contact lens. These scleral contact lenses are designed for each individual cornea so Dr. Marcussen was able to design a scleral lens that would correct for all of Pam’s irregular astigmatism. Scleral contact lenses also vault over the entire cornea so they are extremely comfortable since nothing touches the cornea. Scleral contact lenses are extremely safe for anyone who has had any type of corneal surgery since they do not touch the cornea. Dr. Barbara Marcussen took a topography reading of Pam’s cornea and based the scleral contact lens on the 11,000 points she obtained from the topography measurements.

Pam put the scleral lenses on and was able to read 20/25+ vision for the first time in over 30 years!

Pam now has clear and comfortable vision and is able to get a normal non-restrictive driver’s license like everyone else. She is so happy to finally see clearly and we are all so happy for her too!

Alternative Solution to Sleeping in Soft Contacts: John’s Story

John is 49 years old, lives in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and had worn soft contacts for years. He was like many people and sometimes forgot to take his contact lenses out and replace them as regularly as he should.

He came to Complete Eye Care in Belmont, North Carolina for an eye exam and learned about corneal molding (orthokeratology). Corneal molding can be a way for people to see clearly without glasses, daytime contacts, or surgery. John was extremely interested and asked Dr. Barbara Marcussen if he was a candidate for this orthokeratology procedure. Dr. Marcussen explained to John that he was a candidate for GVSS (Gentle Vision Shaping System), Complete Eye Care’s version of orthokeratology. John was able to be fit with a special contact lens which he would wear at bedtime only. Once John woke up in the morning, he would take the lens out and have clear, crisp 20/20 vision all day long without any glasses or daytime contacts.

John loved the idea of seeing clearly all day without glasses or contact lenses and he did not have to undergo surgery! He decided to go through with GVSS, a procedure that has been around for many years and is FDA approved. Orthokeratology is an excellent solution to treat myopia or nearsightedness.

John simply wears the specially designed contact lenses at night while he sleeps and his corneas are slowly and gently reshaped. He wakes up and takes out the special contact lenses. John is able to see 20/20 all day without any correction! He loves the freedom of clear vision without any surgery required.

John is thrilled with his vision and is happy he made the decision to treat his nearsightedness with GVSS at Complete Eye Care.

Scleral Lenses for Bifocal Wearers: Tracie’s Story

Tracie HenryTracie H. from Dallas, North Carolina was seen at Complete Eye Care for her routine eye exam. She wanted to wear contact lenses, however, she was concerned she would not be able to because she needed bifocals. Tracie also had moderate astigmatism and significant dry eyes. Tracie had tried soft contact lenses in the past, but her eyes would dry out quickly and the lenses would become uncomfortable after wearing them for a short time. Also, Tracie did not have good vision in soft contacts because she had astigmatism.

Tracie saw Dr. Barbara Marcussen who recommended scleral contact lenses. Scleral contacts were an excellent solution for Tracie because they correct for all types of astigmatism. Since the scleral contact lens is large, an artificial tear solution can be put into the bowl of the lens. This allows the eye to be bathed in an artificial tear solution all day which helps to treat dry eyes.

Scleral contact lenses are also an excellent choice for people who are over 40 years old and have presbyopia or need reading glasses. A reading portion is easy to put into the lens which allows for distance viewing as well as clear near vision.

Tracie is very pleased with her vision at a distance and up close. She is not experiencing any dry eye symptoms since she started wearing scleral contact lenses. Her vision is much clearer than what she dealt with previously in her soft contact lenses. Tracie is very happy with her decision to be fit in scleral contacts. She is pleased that Complete Eye Care in Belmont provided a solution to her dry eyes, astigmatism, and need for bifocal contact lenses by fitting her in scleral contact lenses.

Scleral Lenses are a Great Alternative to Uncomfortable RGP Contact Lenses: Robert’s Story

Robert is a 46-year-old who lives in Gastonia, North Carolina. He has keratoconus and had undergone a corneal transplant in his left eye many years ago. He also had a scar on his right cornea from keratoconus. Robert had 20/70 vision best corrected with his glasses. He needed to see clearer to work so he was fit into a small, hard, gas permeable contact lens prior to being seen at our office.

Robert researched solutions to Keratoconus and what options he had after corneal transplant surgery. He came to Complete Eye Care in Belmont, North Carolina to see if he could improve his vision greater than the 20/70 he came in seeing with his glasses.

Dr. Barbara Marcussen fit Robert in a scleral contact lens in his right eye due to his keratoconus. Robert was thrilled with how much more comfortable the scleral lens was to wear instead of the small hard gas permeable lens he was wearing prior to being fit with the scleral lens. One of the reasons scleral lenses are so comfortable is because they vault over the cornea and land on the sclera, which is the non-sensitive part of the eye. The result is super comfortable contact lenses. Dr. Barbara Marcussen is a certified WAVE designer so she designed Robert’s lens to the exact measurements of his eye. She took a corneal topography map of 11,000 points on Robert’s cornea and she individually designed the scleral lens to fit perfectly for his exact eye shape. Dr. Barbara Marcussen was also able to fit his left eye with a scleral lens even after his corneal transplant. Since Robert had undergone a corneal transplant, it was imperative that the lens fit perfectly and did not touch down on the cornea. The precise measurements were taken and an individually designed lens was designed to match the contour of his eye even though he had a transplanted cornea.

The result is that Robert now sees clearly all day and has very comfortable vison. He reports he cannot even feel the lenses on his eyes even though he works very long hours and has to leave the lenses in for many hours at a time. He also said the scleral lenses are so much more comfortable and do not dry out like his old gas permeable lenses did. Robert is very happy with his excellent vison and comfort and is now seeing better than he has ever seen before!

Scleral Lenses Help to Improve Vision after LASIK surgeries: Monica’s Story

Monica lives in Candler, North Carolina and had Lasik eye surgery on both eyes. She did not get the results she wanted from her Lasik surgery so she had a couple of enhancement surgeries as well. Monica was left with decreased vision in both eyes after her Lasik eye surgery and had extremely poor night vision. She could not drive at night and often felt like she was struggling to see everyday things even with glasses. She had to wear glasses all the time after her surgery but her vision was still not clear with her glasses on.

Monica searched on the internet to see what her options were for decreased vision after Lasik surgery. She learned that Complete Eye Care specializes in hard to fit contacts. Monica found from her research that Dr. Barbara Marcussen is a certified wave designer who fits scleral lenses for people with irregular corneas due to eye diseases such as keratoconus or from prior surgery such as Lasik or corneal transplant surgery.

After she found information on Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care, she decided to drive two hours to Belmont, North Carolina to see if she could find a solution to her blurry and distorted vision.

Monica was seen by Dr. Barbara Marcussen who has been fitting scleral contacts for people who have undergone Lasik surgery and still have decreased vision. Because Monica had several enhancement eye surgeries she had a lot of resultant astigmatism which caused distorted vision that traditional glasses are not able to correct.

Monica was fit with a corneal map which detects 11,000 points on her cornea and then Dr. Barbara Marcussen designed a precise lens just for Monica’s individual eye shape. The scleral lens vaulted over the cornea so nothing touched her cornea. This resulted in an extremely comfortable lens. Scleral lenses are also an excellent choice for people who undergo Lasik surgery because they often end up with dry eyes and scleral contact lenses help treat dry eyes. Monica no longer has dry eye issues after being fit with her custom scleral lenses.

Monica is thrilled with her very clear vision and is exceptionally happy with the comfort of the scleral contact lenses. Dr. Barbara Marcussen uses OCT images to measure down the 100th of a millimeter to ensure the scleral lenses are always extremely comfortable. She is always thrilled to see someone like Monica achieve 20/20 corrected vision with scleral lenses.

Monica is happy she found a solution to her decreased vision after Lasik surgery with scleral contact lenses at Complete Eye Care.

Scleral Contact Lenses Improve Vision and Lives: David’s Story

David KimbroDavid lives in Gastonia, North Carolina and took his father to an ophthalmologist in Gastonia. While David was there, he mentioned to the doctor that he had keratoconus. The ophthalmologist told David that he should see Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care in Belmont, North Carolina because she specialized in fitting people with keratoconus in scleral contact lenses to allow them to see clearly and comfortably.

David had tried several types of contact lenses over the years but could never find one that worked well for his eyes due to discomfort. He was using glasses to see but he was not able to see clearly with his glasses due to his distorted vision with keratoconus. People with Keratoconus need ridged lenses to see clearly but traditional ridged lenses are not comfortable for people with keratoconus.

David went to see Dr. Barbara Marcussen at Complete Eye Care who explained that, due to his keratoconus, he needed a ridged lens but she would design one that was a scleral lens. Scleral lenses give the comfort of a soft lens because they fit on the white part of the eye called the conjunctiva. They vault over the cornea, the most sensitive part of the eye. Nothing touches the cornea so the lens is extremely comfortable to wear all day. Dr. Barbara Marcussen is a certified WAVE contact lens designer which means she designs lenses for a person’s individual eye based on 11,000 points on their cornea. This specialty fitting gives them clear vision without any discomfort.

David was measured and a scleral lens was designed to allow him to see 20/20 all day without any distorted vision or any discomfort. He says he is thrilled beyond measure with how extremely comfortable scleral lenses are compared to wearing traditional ridged gas permeable contact lenses. David says he can wear his lenses all day and not have any redness, dryness, or discomfort.

David is now able to see clearly at night to drive and can make out people’s faces across the room quickly and easily while wearing the specially designed contact lenses. He states that he sees much better in his scleral lenses than he ever did in his glasses.

Scleral lenses are the best way to treat keratoconus because they provide clear vison by correcting the irregular astigmatism associated with keratoconus. Scleral contact lenses also provide the best comfort for people with keratoconus because they fit over the cornea and are designed to vault the cornea entirely. Since nothing touches the cornea, the eyes feel good all day while wearing scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses are also an option for people instead of corneal transplants. It used to be that people with keratoconus underwent corneal transplants as a treatment, however, scleral contact lenses can be used to treat keratoconus for much longer that traditional gas permeable corneal lenses.

David is thrilled with the ophthalmologist that referred David to Complete Eye Care where he met Dr. Barbara Marcussen. He is now in his scleral contact lenses and does not need corneal transplant surgery for his keratoconus. He is able to wear his scleral lenses all day with good vision and excellent comfort.

Vision Therapy can help to Improve Reading Comprehension

ASHER VTWe first met Asher at Complete Eye Care when his parents brought him in for his first eye exam last fall. Our office was likely the most convenient office for his family, considering they live in Belmont, NC. Asher’s parents were particularly concerned with his reading performance and wanted Dr. Hilary Gesford to evaluate him for possible eye tracking issues. At the time of the evaluation, Asher was just starting second grade, yet his reading comprehension was merely the level of a new first-grader. His parents described reading as a chore and a large source of frustration for Asher. When reading, he would often skip words, lose his place, say the incorrect word, or cover one eye. This caused Asher to have difficulty remembering what he was reading.


Dr. Gesford evaluated Asher’s eye teaming, eye tracking, and eye focusing abilities. She concluded that in addition to Asher’s eyes not tracking efficiently, they did not work well together as a team. Poor eye teaming often leads to double vision; however, kids usually do not know how to explain that they are seeing double and/or they believe that this type of vision is normal for everyone. Asher was likely covering one eye when reading to avoid double vision.


Asher completed a program of in-office vision therapy to improve his convergence (teaming) and tracking abilities. His parents began to notice improvements almost instantly, including a drastic advancement in his reading, spelling, and comprehension ability. Asher now reads above his current grade level and no longer loses his place or feels the need to cover one eye when he reads. His confidence with reading and schoolwork in general has greatly improved since completing vision therapy!


Dr. Gesford is extremely passionate about helping kids like Asher overcome these visual barriers that impact their learning so immensely. If your child, or anyone you know, is struggling with reading or with schoolwork in general, contact Dr. Gesford at Complete Eye Care and make an appointment today!

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