Post Radial Keratotomy (RK)
Radial Keratotomy (RK) was a refractive surgery performed in the 1990s. The procedure entailed a surgeon making several small, deep corneal incisions, which would result in the corneal bulging in the mid-periphery. This would flatten the central cornea, which reduced myopia. However, some patients experienced their cornea continuing to flatten, which resulted in far-sightedness and a significant amount of irregular astigmatism. Such patients have poor quality vision, even with eyeglasses. This includes lessened night vision and light sensitivity. Some patients have experienced infections after their incisions have ruptured. Because of the aforementioned complications, RK was discontinued in the late 1990s.
Specialty lenses have proven successful in treating patients with post-RK complications. At Village Eyecare we have noticed that our scleral lenses are especially effective in this regard. Scleral lenses are made with a gas permeable, rigid material. They are larger than regular contact lenses and cover most of the cornea. Before inserting a scleral lens, the patient fills it up with preservative-free saline, which is what masks the irregularities on the surface of the cornea. That, in conjunction with a rigid optical surface, allows light to focus through an irregular cornea, including one that was complicated through RK.
Our patients who have used scleral lenses after RK surgery have noticed a great improvement in their vision and comfort. They are often able to see 20/20 with the lenses, which they can comfortably keep on their eyes for 14 hours a day. They have improved night vision, reduced glare, less light sensitivity, and better vision overall. They are often able to return to a normal life.
If you have undergone RK surgery and are still struggling with your vision, book an appointment at Village Eyecare in Chicago, IL or call our office and ask about our scleral lenses.