Rehabilitation of vision disabling corneal opacities: is there hope without corneal transplant?

Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2013 Apr;36(2):74-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2012.10.085. Epub 2012 Nov 27.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of contact lenses in visual rehabilitation of a series of patients with corneal scars/opacities.

Method: Retrospective review of case records of 158 patients (n=162 eyes) with poor vision subsequent to corneal scar/opacity, who underwent contact lens fitting, was done. Primary outcome assessed was quantum of additional improvement in vision with rigid gas permeable (RGP) or soft lenses over spectacles. Success was defined as visual improvement of ≥2 lines over that of spectacles and/or improvement of vision to ≥20/60 (LogMAR 0.48).

Results: Rigid gas permeable lenses were fitted in 137 eyes and soft contact lenses in 25 eyes. Lenses were successful in improving visual acuity by two or more lines over that of spectacles in 70% eyes (113 of 162 eyes), of which RGP lens accounted for 85% (96 of 113 eyes). Alternative outcome of success was defined as attainment of reasonable functional vision of >20/60 (LogMAR 0.48). This could be achieved in 65% cases (105 of 162 eyes) of which 83% (88 eyes) were with use of RGP lenses. Almost one-fourth (23.4%) patients were children less than 15 years old. Soft contact lenses were attempted in 25 instances, where RGP lens could not be fitted and were successful in 17 (68%) of these. All these 17 patients were aphakes.

Conclusions: Rehabilitation of corneas with visually disabling corneal opacities is possible with usage of appropriate contact lenses even in young children.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Corneal Opacity / diagnosis
  • Corneal Opacity / physiopathology
  • Corneal Opacity / rehabilitation*
  • Corneal Transplantation
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Eyeglasses*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity*
  • Young Adult