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Understanding Keratoconus and the Role of Scleral Lenses

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What is Keratoconus?

Kerataconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the clear front part of the eye. Although it might sound intimidating, understanding keratoconus and its available treatments can help you or someone you know find proper treatment and maintain clear vision.

At Mountain View Eye Specialists, we help patients with keratoconus achieve clear, comfortable, and healthy vision using scleral contact lenses. Contact us to schedule your appointment if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a corneal condition.

Keratoconus is an eye condition where the cornea, which is normally round and dome-shaped, becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge. This irregular shape affects the cornea's ability to properly focus light onto the retina, resulting in blurry and distorted vision.

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Causes of Keratoconus

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While the exact cause of keratoconus is still not fully understood, it is believed to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you have a family history of keratoconus, you may be at a higher risk of developing the condition. Frequent eye rubbing, chronic eye irritation, and certain underlying conditions, such as allergies, can also contribute to its development.


Symptoms of Keratoconus

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Keratoconus typically starts during the teenage years and gradually progresses over time. The following symptoms may indicate the presence of keratoconus:

  • Blurred or distorted vision: Objects may appear distorted, and it can become increasingly difficult to see clearly even with corrective lenses.
  • Increased sensitivity to light: Bright lights may cause discomfort and glare.
  • Halos and ghosting: Seeing halos or ghosting around lights, especially at night.
  • Eye strain and fatigue: Eyes may feel tired or strained, especially after focusing on objects for extended periods.

Treatment Options for Keratoconus

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Several treatment and corrective options are available for keratoconus. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the individual's specific needs. The options include:

  • Glasses or contact lenses: In the early stages, regular glasses or soft contact lenses may be sufficient to correct vision. However, as the condition progresses, specialized lenses become necessary.
  • Hybrid lenses: Hybrid lenses combine the features of rigid and soft lenses. They have a rigid center for clear vision and a soft outer ring for increased comfort.
  • Corneal cross-linking (CXL): This treatment aims to strengthen the cornea using a combination of riboflavin eye drops and ultraviolet light. CXL can help slow down the progression of keratoconus.
  • Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses are becoming increasingly popular for managing keratoconus due to their unique design, comfort, and optical clarity.

Scleral Lenses: A Promising Solution at Mountain View Eye Specialists

Scleral lenses are large, rigid lenses that vault over the cornea, resting on the sclera (the white part of the eye). Unlike traditional contact lenses, which sit directly on the cornea, scleral lenses create a tear-filled space between the lens and the cornea. This reservoir of fluid acts as a protective barrier, keeping the cornea hydrated and providing a smooth optical surface for improved vision.

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How Do Scleral Lenses Work?

Diagram explaining Keratoconus

Diagram explaining Keratoconus

When a person with keratoconus wears scleral lenses, the lens creates a uniform surface over the irregular cornea. This helps to reduce distortions and provide clearer vision. The liquid reservoir also moisturizes the cornea, reducing dryness and discomfort. In fact, some studies have found that patients with keratoconus who consistently wear scleral lenses have a much lower chance of needing a corneal transplant. This is due largely to the fact that scleral lenses protect the cornea and shield it from irritation due to blinking and other factors.

Scleral lenses are custom-made for each individual's eye shape and condition. They are highly durable and can usually be worn for longer periods without discomfort.

Effective Keratoconus Treatment at Mountain View Eye Specialists

Living with keratoconus can be challenging, but with the right understanding and treatment, individuals can achieve improved vision and a better quality of life. While various treatment options exist, scleral lenses have gained recognition for their ability to address the unique needs of those with keratoconus.

If you suspect you may have keratoconus or know someone who does, consult an eye care professional at Mountain View Eye Specialists who can guide you through the available treatment options, including the potential benefits of scleral lenses. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to managing this condition effectively.

Your Keratoconus Treatment Specialist in Rigden Farm

Our optometry practice in Rigden Farm

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Hours
  • Monday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Wednesday 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Thursday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
  • Friday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm
  • Saturday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed
  • May. 27 Closed
Insurance Plans
  • EyeMed
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  • VSP
  • United Healthcare
  • Cigna
  • Tricare
  • Anthem
  • UMR
  • AARP Medicare Complete
  • Aetna
  • Mutual of Omaha

Patient Reviews
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304 Reviews
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- May. 21, 2024
Dr Amy Abel found a conversion insufficiency with my eyes that no other physician found and exercise... therapy has helped me tremendously Her staff is courteous and friendly Elizabeth Ishmael
- May. 16, 2024
I have been going here for a few years now -- they are always friendly and helpful!
- Apr. 27, 2024
Doctors Amy and Greg are amazing. Their expertise and knowledge are complimented by compassion and c... aring for their patients. They are a rarity in the medical realm in that their first and foremost desire is the welfare and healing of their clients. Quality of the entire staff is outstanding! Know you are with the best of the best when experiencing their diligent work for the good of every client.
- Mar. 30, 2024
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Dr. Kelly for an eye exam, and I must say, the experience wa... s nothing short of exceptional. From the moment I stepped into the clinic, I was greeted with warmth and professionalism. The atmosphere was welcoming, and the staff were incredibly helpful, making the entire process smooth and comfortable. Dr. Kelly stands out not just for her expertise but also for her ability to connect with patients on a personal level. She took the time to thoroughly explain each step of the examination, ensuring that I was comfortable and informed throughout. Her attention to detail and genuine concern for my eye health was evident, making me feel valued and well-cared for. What impressed me most was Dr. Kelly’s dedication to using the latest technology and her knowledge to provide the best possible care. She answered all my questions with patience and provided me with valuable advice on maintaining my eye health. I left the clinic feeling reassured and well-informed about my eye health. It’s clear that Dr. Kelly and her team go above and beyond for their patients, and I cannot recommend them highly enough. If you’re looking for an optometrist who truly cares about your well-being, Dr. Kelly is the one to see.
- Mar. 28, 2024
Dr Kelly was amazing! She was an attentive listener, and provided thorough explanations and recommen... dations without any pressure. Her knowledge and patience, especially with my inquisitive child, were much appreciated.
- Mar. 09, 2024
We love Dr. Amy, Dr. Greg & Dr. Kelly- our family has seen them all! They all take the time and care... with each of us and make us feel special. I know my family’s eye care is in the BEST hands!!
- Feb. 27, 2024
Doctors Amy and Greg have been treating our family since they opened. Very attentive and knowledgeab... le.
- Feb. 22, 2024
Best ophthalmologist ever. Appointments are extremely fast, no eye dilation is required, but you sti... ll have a full retinal exam, the doctor is extremely knowledgeable and the doctor explains everything she is looking at. Also great selection of glasses
- Feb. 17, 2024
I had an eye emergency and tried to get in everywhere in town with no luck until I called Mountain V... iew. Even though they had no availability got me in last minute on a Friday afternoon and took great care of me. They were professional and thorough and I would recommend them to anyone who asked. I am incredibly grateful for their compassion and willingness to help.
- Jan. 05, 2024
Dr. Abel and his staff were so thorough, helpful and professional. At every turn, I felt like I was ... spending the afternoon with friends. I’m so glad I found this office!
- Nov. 14, 2023
Amazing staff! Very welcoming and comforting! Had no issues while there and the process from one roo... m to the next was smooth and seamless! Great work guys!
- Nov. 06, 2023
Everyone here is amazingly helpful and informative. They took the time to help answer any questions ... I had - and I had many. 🙂
- Nov. 05, 2023
Really wonderful staff and nice facility. They are great with the kids and always thorough with thei... r explanations of what they are doing and seeing. Highly recommend all the doctors at Moutain View Eye Specialists
- Oct. 23, 2023
Unfortunately, Mountain View isn't in my insurance network, however, I wanted to give these guys a g... ood review solely based on the through-the-roof customer service I received from their receptionist, Katie. That quality of service seems far too uncommon these days, so credit where it's due. Thank you, Katie!
- Oct. 20, 2023
Great optometrist. The optometric technician was smart and skilled. Dr. Greg Able- the optometrist... - is smart, skilled, and spends as much time as needed to explain everything. Real cool guy.
- Sep. 28, 2023
Dr. Kelly is the best! The whole office is professional and inviting. Staff is very helpful and know... ledgeable. I’ve been visiting this practice for years and continue to commute back to Fort Collins because they offer such great service.
- Sep. 23, 2023
I had interactions with 3 employees, Tasha who set me up in my room and initial assessment, then Dr.... kelly for the eye exam, and Isabel to help me pick out frames. Incredible experience, super knowledgeable Staff and incredibly friendly and patient. Out of 15 years of going to eye doctors this is hands down the best experience I've had. On top of it all, their prices are phenomenal and many discounts offered. I'll definitely be using them for as long as I'm in Colorado. A++++!
- Aug. 31, 2023
Best eye exam I've ever had. Dr. Kelly German was exceptional - knowledgeable, education-oriented an... d has a great sense of humor. She figured out a discrepancy in two eyeglass prescriptions that I had from another practice in town and found a great solution. I'm grateful!
- Aug. 12, 2023
I worked with the Abel’s for 2 years in the past, and would recommend this optometric clinic over ... any other in Northern Colorado. Their equipment rivals the Eye Center of Northern Colorado, and the experience of Dr. Amy helped diagnose me with vision focus issues. They even offer vision therapy, which is incredibly find, as well. I’ll continue going here for as long as I live in Fort Collins/Loveland.
- Aug. 10, 2023
Excellent care. Dr. Kelly is the best!

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Keratoconus FAQs

Can keratoconus be prevented?

Currently, there is no known way to prevent keratoconus. However, avoiding excessive eye rubbing and taking steps to maintain good overall eye health may help reduce the risk of progression.

Can scleral lenses be uncomfortable to wear?

While it may take some time to adjust to wearing scleral lenses, they are designed for comfort and improved vision. The liquid reservoir between the lens and the cornea helps keep the eyes hydrated, reducing discomfort often associated with other types of lenses.


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Clear Vision, Bright Future

Navigating Keratoconus Together

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