Little Things: Glasses after Corneal Transplant (That Work!)


A short post today.  With the sutures coming out slowly over time, it’s always been my choice to put off getting a new eyeglasses prescription.

With lenses being so expensive, and insurance limitations, it hardly made sense to pay for a new left lens every few months as my vision (astigmatism) was altered by the process.  I was already tweaking expensive contacts to follow the “suture roulette”, so I chose to hold off on the glasses.

Well, with all sutures out and a month of stabilization, I’ve finally got new lenses for my Oakley glasses.  It’s amazing to have spectacles that correct nearly as well as my contacts – and liberating.  I can now feel more confident on driving holidays where I might find myself at the wheel longer than my lens wear time allows.  And I can easily drive should a mid-night emergency happen.

Scott Clark

With allergies wreaking havoc on both eyes this Fall, I may choose to wear the glasses more often, allowing me to use eye drop antihistamines anytime I need them, avoiding the drowsiness that comes with their oral equivalent.

I cannot remember when I last had glasses that worked so well – but I’d guess it’s been nearly 15 years.

So, yet another little thing that the DALK surgery has brought me, more than two years later.

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11 Replies to “Little Things: Glasses after Corneal Transplant (That Work!)”

  1. Glad to hear about the glasses. I too have allergies and for the past 2yrs have doing allergy shots. They have made a big difference in the severity of the allergies. Scott, are you only on Restasis now? I saw Dr. Holland couple of weeks ago and he said I might be on Lotemax forever. He did a 10yr study and found that transplants lasted longer on patients who used Lotemax 1 drop a day. Just wondering.

    1. Only Restasis, yes. Have never heard of Lotemax long-term. Dr. Holland never mentioned the 10y study to me. I may end up taking those shots but it sounds horribly inconvenient.

  2. One more question Scott. About how many regular eye drops are you using daily? And at this point do you generally think your eye feels the way it did pre-surgery? Have only had my lens off 1 month and just hoping to get to the point where I don’t use drops and pretty much forget about my eye. I mentioned you to Dr. Holland my last visit and we talked about your website. Thanks again!

    1. I hope my eye never feels the way it did pre-surgery. My Keratoconus was painful and had a major negative impact on my life. My eye feels 1000% better now – so much so that now I just notice the normal aches and pains of aging more! I have not, nor will I ever, forget that I have a graft. I need to remember, because I need to take care of it. Protect it, watch it, etc.

  3. I am almost 21 med student diagnosed with kc (I made my own research on it and asked my ophthalmology professor to run the tests on me) the distortions begun at 19-20s very slight almost none at day worse at night though only around lights. The disease probably begun a few years earlier. The first topography was carried out during my 20’s 8 months before the second and last one during my 21’s under my request was no different from the first. Seems it was recorded stable for this 8 month period. The corneal thickness is for the right 620mm on the appex 625 south 596 southeast (thinnest point) 682 on the north and for the left 615mm on the appex 620 south 577 on the southwest (thinnest point) 675 on the north. Yes she said I have “abnormally” thick corneas. The topography is not the typical kc it looks almost like the forme fruste keratoconus patern asymetric bowtie with skewd radial axis. The correction is 20/20 with glasses (0,5sph 0,5cyl right 0,75sph 0,5cyl left) though the HOA halos don’t correct that much at night. I still see without glasses (almost never need them) as I’ve learned to adapt to the HOA’s. My opht. prof. is very optimistic it won’t progress more but told me to do check ups every 6 months so that we can be sure for the stability of the condition and in the worst scenario do crosslinking to stop it if it decides to progress sometime in the future. Based on your expirience do you think it will indeed remain stable or will I sometime become blind in my early 30’s being dependent on contacts and painfull surgeries that . Do you know any people with mild and stable kc?

    1. I have not heard of KC remaining stable except for people who reach their 30s/40s with plenty of thickness remaining. I have heard of cross-linking helping to stabilize rapidly progressing KC. Everyone is different of course. And I do not think you will become blind at all. You have several options still ahead of you, from contacts, to specialized contacts, with multiple types of surgery. Surely you want to find more conservative approaches if possible. I would keep a close eye on it. Mine took 10 years to progress, but became painful within a few years before my surgery. I kept a pain diary and was just looking at it, it started getting unbearable in early 2010 because the cone had started to abrade against contacts and eyelids… I crossed a threshold where contacts, even those made just for me on a lathe, could not be used. Good luck to you!

      1. Yes but I’m not in any pain nor I need any contacts I’m not planning on them I don’t trust them as they damage the cornea on the long run. Also my front cornea has round shape the slit lamp showed it I don’t have any visible cone and hope I’ll never get one. Haven’t you heard of forme fruste keratoconus? Well as a med student I have and I’ve read about it in a corneal topography book. Also if as you say there are not any sable cases until their mid 30’s why didn’t the doctor operate a crosslinkinking on me from now and left it to be checked periodicaly saying I may not even need it?

        1. I didn’t say there are not any stable cases. I said *I* didn’t know of them myself, and my doctors all told me that things generally progress. I don’t know anything about forme ruste KC. I hope yours stays nice and round. Mine, as you can see here (top left image) was quite steep… I am not a physician, so you should trust experienced medical professionals for your care. I recommend that you work with ophthalmology experts in KC and corneal abnormality. KC outcomes are well correlated with the experience of the physician handling these cases.

  4. Hey bud I don’t want to piss you off I’m terribly sorry if I did so. My physician specialised enough and has examined many stable kc’s as well as unstable but I don’t understand why she didn’t do the crosslinking in the first place so as to be 100% sure it wont progress and she said that they do it mainly in cases of recorded rapidly progressing kc’s (rapidly progressing is one that loses many milimiters of stromal substance within a year period or less) where usualy the cornea has lost it’s round shape like your case with the nipple cone with musen spot (there are 2 other pathologic shapes the oval and the globe) to maintain the cornea make the lens easy to fit and avoid the transplantation. All three make it difficult for rigid fit as the lens reshapes the cornea it doesn’t fix the stromal damage (the stroma keeps the epithiliums in shape) this is the main reason contacts injure a kc cornea and believe me gravity is and enemy of weak-collagen corneas causing the cone to drop down. When the stroma is thin enough we have further malshape of the cornea low quality of uncorrected vision hydrops and ulcer in final stages. These are the stages where a surgeon or physician suggests transplant. The damaged part is removed in keratotomy.. I did a project on kc and it’s pathology based on my undergraduate knowledge and guess what my condition was led me to the choice of this subject for the project. When did your’s begun how did it go as the years passed (slow or rapid)? How did you find out?

    Best wishes……..

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