As a cornea and contact lens specialist, I’ve had the privilege to fit a wide range of corneal disease patients, from end stage keratoconus to corneal transplants that are barely holding on. During my time I have seen 2 revolutions in medical contact lens fitting. The first was the advent of scleral lenses. These are larger lenses that can rest on the white part of the eye allowing much more stability in corneas that have significant irregularity. The other major advance has been EyePrintPROTM .
EyePrintPROTM is a scleral lens that is fit exactly to the shape of the eye. A typical cornea that is unaffected by a disease has a common predictable curvature to it. We can measure this curvature and match it to a scleral lens. In a cornea with distortion such as in keratoconus or post graphs, the cornea has undulations and a waviness to it, creating an essentially infinite number of curvatures. Before EyePrintPROTM we would have to fit our standard scleral or corneal lens using one curvature in the hopes it would best fit all curvatures of an irregular cornea. This didn’t get the job done on some advanced corneas.
EyePrintPROTM, introduced in 2013, is an impression technology that plots the contours of an irregular cornea.
The EyePrintPROTM process consists of first making an impression of the eye using a tray filled epoxy that creates an exact replica of the cornea. The impression process is painless and takes only a few seconds to complete (see photo). The impression is then sent to our Colorado laboratory and processed by a 3D scanner that designs and creates the EyePrintPROTM lens. Now that the lens has a back surface that fits exactly onto the distorted cornea, a smooth front surface is created to restore the interface with light entering the eye- exactly what a healthy cornea does.
In addition to creating a perfectly fitting lens, the lens power is adjusted to provide clarity of vision without glasses. We have also been able to treat double vision with these lenses because the optics allow for an optical feature called prism. A prism can shift light to where the eyes want to position, eliminating double vision from eye misalignment.
I have had the good fortune of being involved with the development of EyePrintPROTM from the beginning and have trained students and doctors on the technology. There are still few referral sites for the EyePrintPROTM with only two doctors within the states of North and South Carolina. At Carolina Eye Doctors, we see patients from Asheville to Charleston for EyePrintPROTM and if you are interested or would like more information, please give our office a call.