2219 York Road, Suite 102, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093
(410) 469-7111

Gas Permeable RGP Lenses for Keratoconus

RGP Lenses for Keratoconus

RGP Lenses for Keratoconus: An Overview and Modern Alternatives

Understanding RGP Lenses for Keratoconus Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses have long been a cornerstone in the management of keratoconus. For many years, these lenses were the primary option for patients seeking to correct the vision distortions caused by this corneal condition. RGP lenses work by creating a smooth refractive surface over the irregularly shaped cornea, thus providing clearer vision.

Benefits of RGP Lenses Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses offer several advantages for keratoconus patients. Primarily, their rigid nature allows them to maintain their shape on the eye, unlike soft lenses which might conform to the irregular cornea. This characteristic enables RGP lenses to create a smooth, uniform refractive surface over the cornea, effectively compensating for the cone-like shape typical of keratoconus, and thereby significantly improving visual clarity.

How RGP Lenses Work RGP lenses function by sitting over the corneal irregularity, rather than molding to it. The space between the back of the contact lens and the front of the cornea forms a tear-filled ‘vault’ that neutralizes the irregularities of the corneal surface, resulting in clearer, more focused vision. This tear layer also plays a crucial role in providing comfort, as it cushions the lens against the sensitive corneal tissue.

Customization and Fitting Fitting RGP lenses requires precise customization and expert adjustment. Due to the protrusion and thinning of the cornea in keratoconus patients, each RGP lens must be specifically designed to fit the individual’s unique corneal topography. This process involves detailed mapping of the cornea using instruments like corneal topographers and may require several fitting sessions to ensure optimal comfort and vision correction.

Long-term Use and Care With proper care, RGP lenses can be very durable, often lasting one to three years before needing replacement. They require regular cleaning and disinfection to prevent protein deposits and potential eye infections. Patients are advised to follow a strict lens care routine and schedule regular follow-up appointments to monitor eye health and lens condition.

Considerations and Adjustments While RGP lenses offer excellent vision correction, the adaptation period can be challenging for some patients, especially those new to contact lenses. Initial discomfort is common as the eye adjusts to the presence of the lens. However, most users find that comfort improves significantly within a few weeks as their eyes adapt.

By choosing RGP lenses, keratoconus patients can benefit from sharp, stable vision and a relatively non-invasive approach to managing their condition. These lenses remain a valuable solution, particularly for those whose corneal structure allows for safe and effective lens placement.

The Evolution of Contact Lens Technology

While RGP lenses are still a viable option for many, advancements in contact lens technology have introduced a variety of alternatives that cater to different needs and preferences. Today, keratoconus patients can choose from several innovative types of lenses, including:

  • SynergEyes Hybrid Lenses: These combine a rigid center with a soft lens perimeter, offering the clarity of RGPs with the comfort of soft lenses.
  • Scleral Lenses: Larger in diameter than traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera, providing excellent comfort and stable vision.
  • PROSE Lenses: Customized prosthetic devices that help maintain a healthy ocular surface and improve vision.
  • EyePrint PRO Lenses: Tailored specifically to the unique contours of the patient’s eye, offering a precise fit for those with highly irregular corneas.

Our Approach to Keratoconus Contact Lenses

At our practice, we focus on designing and prescribing highly customized contact lenses made specifically for keratoconus. Using these advanced lens options, the majority of our patients achieve corrected vision without the need for surgical procedures, such as corneal transplants or corneal implants (Intacs). We are also skilled in managing post-surgical vision challenges, helping those who have undergone such procedures but still face vision issues.

Keratoconus contact lenses aim to improve visual acuity (e.g., achieving 20/20 vision) and correct Higher Order Aberrations (HOAs). By addressing these complex visual defects, the lenses effectively reduce symptoms like glare, halos, ghosting, starbursts, and double vision, enhancing overall visual quality and precision

Choosing the Right Lens for You

Each type of lens offers unique benefits, and the best choice depends on individual factors like the severity of keratoconus, the shape of the cornea, and personal comfort preferences. During your consultation, we will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to determine the most effective lens type for your specific condition.

Our commitment is to empower you with clear, consistent vision and long-term eye health, enabling you to lead a normal, productive life. Schedule your appointment today to explore the best lens options for your keratoconus treatment.

Dr. Irwin Azman, and Dr. Benjamin Azman, Keratoconus Specialists, prescribe RGP contact lenses for a variety of hard-to-fit eyes, including patients with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, Radial Keratotomy / Lasik Complications and Lasik failures, KeratoconusCorneal Ectasia, Post-Surgical Vision Loss,  Pellucid Marginal Degeneration, and other irregular corneas.

Dr. Azman, one of the country’s top Keratoconus Specialists neither avoids nor declines the challenge of prescribing the most difficult cases.

Based on 11 reviews
Justin DeVito
Justin DeVito
Khamirah McCants
Khamirah McCants
Two words.. Life changing! I’ve seen multiple specialists in regard to my keratoconus diagnosis, none of these specialists were able to give a reasonable solution. I did a google search and Keratoconus Specialist of MD came up and making the call was the best decision I could make! I had an appointment and after a few test Dr Azman gave me a solution that my insurance would cover!!!!!!! Amazing!!! I am beyond ecstatic I will now have be able to see with clearer vision! Thank you
Mary Burgess
Mary Burgess
I was diagnosed with Keratoconus from a LASIK appointment. I was told to find a specialist to work with and I found Dr. Azman. Walking into the office, I was so concerned and worried from all the information I had googled. I worried that there was no hope for me. I walked in and was greeted with warm smiles which immediately calmed my nerves. I met with Dr. Azman who gave me immense hope, and I left with a new game plan, understanding, and team there to support me. I was told about my eye disease in November, and it is currently March using a pair of lenses that have me seeing clearer than I have ever seen in my entire life. I'm even going back in a few weeks to get a pair that will make me see EVEN BETTER. I am so grateful to have found Dr. Azman who never gives up and remains determined to get my eye sight as clear as possible. I recommend him to all who are searching for help in the Baltimore area.
Cheryl Sonceau
Cheryl Sonceau
As an optometrist excellent vision for me is paramount. Dr. Azman and his staff's expert examination and fitting of my scleral lenses for keratoconus provides me the excellent vision that I need to examine my patients. I have been fitted with scleral lenses by 4 optometrists over the past 10+ years. Dr. Azman is the best! His knowledge, experience and expertise can not be matched. The time and money spent by me as a patient to have my vision miraculously improved by scleral lenses is more than worth it! My personal and professional life have been blessed by Dr. Azman and his staff.
Kim McGreevy
Kim McGreevy
Azman Eye Care Specialists are absolutely top notch! This is hands down the happiest I have ever been with any eye care specialist. The office is extremely professional, clean, and efficient. The staff is friendly and helpful. Above all of that, this is the best treatment for my keratoconus I have ever had. Not only was it the easiest eye exam I have ever had, the resulting improvement to my vision is remarkable. I am more comfortable and have clearer vision than I can ever remember and I am 53 years-old. It's obvious upon your first visit that this practice stays educated and on the cutting edge of technology. Dr. Benjamin Azman clearly wants the best for his patients and will do what is necessary to achieve the best outcome. It's obvious that Dr. Azman and the entire office staff love what they do and take pride in treating their patients and providing them with solutions to increase their quality of life.
Charles Avery Thomas
Charles Avery Thomas
This is a very professional practice. Their attention to detail is unparalleled. My routine and emergency exams have been conducted with the latest technology. I feel that my Keratoconus needs are being meet with the highest standards!
Ashley Robinson
Ashley Robinson
My 3.5 year journey to getting contacts has ended thanks to Dr. Azman. Dr. Azman and his staff are simply amazing and to be honest, that doesn’t give them the fair credit they deserve. Both he and his staff are very personable, reachable, professional, and relatable. I have to admit that at first I was a bit weary about having to drive 2 hours to Baltimore for contacts, but after my first visit my anxiety was put to ease (mind you it only took 3 and I walked away with contacts I could see in). Before my visit, I was contacted by his office so they could get my past medical records. Not only did he get them, he reviewed them. I have ‘special eyes’ and finding someone who can treat them is a miracle. I am 33 and at the age of 7 I was diagnosed with uveitis and had both lenses on my eyes removed. I’m legally blind and have very poor vision in my left eye even when corrected by machines. Dr. Azman took the time to examine my eyes and suggested the best product that would maximize vision for both. While I dismiss my left eye as a place saver, he treated it the complete opposite and gave it the care it needed. To my surprise, during the second visit, I was provided a pair of contacts that fit and were usable. I was blown away because this was only a trial pair based off our first measurements. He did his tweaking and on the third visit, I walked out with contacts that I could fully function with. I cried tears of joy. The contacts I was wearing prior to him were over 5 years old and had a chip on it and were nowhere close to the right prescription. I had been going to other eye doctors for contacts for over 3 years and had no luck. I was literally about to give up but one day I randomly googled ‘sclera lens doctors in Maryland’. He popped up and the rest is history. Thanks to him, I can see. Comfortably. Correctly. But don’t take my word for it. Check him out. If you have special eye needs or just eye needs in general, give his office a call. He has been a blessing for me and hopefully for you as well.
Toni Session
Toni Session
Hello. It has been a blessing finding Dr. Benjamin. He has given me the gift of sight with the correct contacts. I have been through so many doctors and contacts (toric, hybrid, gas permeable) and none have worked. The Schlera lens that Dr. Benjamin prescribed me have been a Godsend. I recommend Dr. Benjamin. He and the staff provide excellent customer service and make you feel at home. Joanne is awesome.
Dave Moluski
Dave Moluski
I had a very difficult case due to the fact that my corneal transplants were done in 1980 and 1990 I was losing contacts as fast as I could buy them I went to see Dr. Azman and he quickly found a solution to my problem by fitting me with scleral lenses He is well-connected with other doctors, which makes the process easy and the communication outstanding He even assisted my eye surgeon during Covid when I had a rejection and my eye. Surgeons office was closed. His attention to detail has allowed my eyesight to drastically increase I would recommend him to anyone
Jose Portillo
Jose Portillo