Contacts and CK

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Why do I have to wear contact lenses if I'm having CK?

Contacts and CK

Your ophthalmologist wants you to wear special monovision contact lenses. But you thought the whole point of conductive keratoplasty was to get rid of the contacts. What gives?

CK eye surgery typically corrects presbyopia by creating monovision, in which one eye sees distance and one eye sees close-up. Contact lenses do the same thing. Fortunately, CK achieves better results--a study done at the Unversity of Kansas tested presbyopic patients 50 and over that had 20/20 uncorrected vision and disliked wearing reading glasses. These patients achieved better distance and near vision with CK rather than contacts.

However, don't think you've said adios to contacts just yet. Sometimes in CK eye surgery, surgeons will treat the non-dominant eye, or the eye that doesn't do the work of focusing on objects, so that it sees up close, while the dominant eye sees distance. Your eyes may not adjust well, which is why your CK eye surgeon will test you with special contact lenses that produce the effects of monovision. Test lenses may either:

* correct for near vision in one eye and far in the other, and be worn for a trial period before the surgery.

* function as a one-shot test of your dominant eye to make sure your distance vision will be unaffected--note that the surgeon will use a single lens for this.

This is just one of the diagnostic tests your CK eye surgeon will perform. You'll also need your eyes evaluated by a diagnostic instrument called a corneal topographer. The contact lenses and the corneal exam will help your doctor give you the results you want.

You may, however, have to wear contact lens bandages to diminish the pain. Patients choose to accept the special contacts so they can be free of inserting those regular contacts every day.

   

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