The Dry Eye Zone

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Study: Scleral lenses for keratoconus after hydrops

Study of 14 patients, the majority of whom were able to avoid corneal grafts as they got satisfactory vision with mini scleral lenses.

The Outcome of Scleral Lens Fitting for Keratoconus With Resolved Corneal Hydrops. Kreps et al, Cornea. 2019 July.



To investigate the success and failure of scleral lens fitting in patients with keratoconus with resolved hydrops.


Retrospective case series of patients with keratoconus who attended the Ophthalmology Department at Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium, and developed acute hydrops between January 1, 2015, and June 30, 2018. The exclusion criteria included amblyopia, mental retardation, and insufficient follow-up.


Of the 25 patients with keratoconus with acute hydrops, 14 patients (16 eyes) were included in this study. Median age was 31 years (range 19-52 years). Before hydrops, the median maximum keratometry value of affected eyes was 81.3 D (range 66.3-108.3 D). Acute hydrops was managed medically in 5 eyes (31.3%), by observation in 5 eyes (31.3%), by application of bandage contact lens in 1 eye (6.3%), and compression corneal sutures in 5 eyes (31.3%). Contact lens fitting after hydrops was not necessary for 2 patients (2 eyes; 12.5%) because of excellent vision in the fellow eye. Of the remaining patients, 11 (68.8%) were successfully fitted with mini-scleral lenses, with a median visual acuity of 0.7 (0.5-0.9; decimal Snellen). Three patients (3 eyes; 18.8%) proceeded to graft surgery because of limited visual acuity with scleral lenses (n = 2) or persistent edema (n = 1).


Scleral lenses are effective for providing satisfactory visual acuity after corneal hydrops in keratoconus. A scleral lens trial is advised before listing patients for graft surgery.