WHAT IS CORNEAL ECTASIA?

Corneal ectasia is a not uncommon complication resulting from LASIK eye surgery. Post-LASIK corneal ectasia involves a thinning and protrusion or bulging of the cornea. Frequently, corneal ectasia is characterized by an increase in a patient’s myopia and astigmatism. Corneal ectasia can occur immediately following LASIK surgery or years later.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CORNEAL ECTASIA?

Symptoms of corneal ectasia include:

  • frequent changes in the patient’s eyeglasses or contact lens prescription
  • progressive myopia and levels of astigmatism
  • a decrease in a patient’s best corrected visual acuity
  • halos, glare, shadows, double vision and ghost images
  • dry and/or red eyes
  • ocular pain and headaches
  • depression

HOW IS CORNEAL ECTASIA TREATED?

Many corneal surgeons will attempt to correct this condition using Collagen Cross Linking and/or surgically implanting intra-stromal plastic rings (Intacs) to make the cornea more spherical. I feel that post-LASIK corneal ectasia is best treated in a non-invasive manner. A well designed and fit scleral lens can restore quality vision and ocular comfort to patients who developed corneal ectasia. The reason for this is that a scleral lens, when properly designed will vault over the cornea and come to rest on the white portion of the eye (the sclera). The space between the back surface of the scleral lens and the front surface of the cornea is filled with unpreserved saline solution. In other words, the dry, irritated distorted cornea is always in a moist environment. With the custom designed scleral lenses that we provide our patients with, vision and comfort is almost always excellent.