• Is there an alternative to an RGP lens?


    Question:

    I have been diagnosed with pellucid marginal degeneration and given RGP contact lenses. I cannot wear them as they are painful and very uncomfortable. Is there an alternative?


    Answer:

    Correct fitting of rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses by your eye doctor is essential for them to feel comfortable. Patients feel more awareness of RGP lenses compared to soft contact lenses because of their fixed shape sitting on the surface of the eye. Those with dryness and a very irregularly shaped cornea can have discomfort with RGP lenses. In these situations, hybrid lenses or scleral lenses may be better options. In hybrid lenses, the central part of the lens is rigid, but the peripheral part is a soft contact lens. So, you get the better vision of RGP lenses with the comfort of soft lenses. Scleral lenses have a much larger diameter, so they rest on the white part of the eye. With very irregular corneas, scleral lenses can provide better fit and comfort.

    In other patients, eyelids get irritated with a condition called giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC). With GPC, the underside of the eyelids get inflamed from friction between the lid and the surface of the lens. Treatments like topical steroids and antihistamines may help these patients.


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