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Choosing an Optometrist vs. an Ophthalmologist for Contact Lenses

If you need new contact lenses or are thinking of trying them out for the first time, who do you turn to? An optometrist or an ophthalmologist? To know with whom to set up an appointment, it’s important to understand the differences in eye care professionals.

The Difference Between Ophthalmologists and Optometrists

What is an Ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who examines eyes and performs vision-related surgical procedures. Ophthalmologists generally complete 4 years of college, 4-5 years of medical school, one year of internship, and at least three years of residency in ophthalmology. Their advanced medical training provides them with the expertise to diagnose eye diseases, offer treatments, conduct scientific research on vision disorders, and prescribe medication.

Though ophthalmologists can fit patients with eyeglasses and contact lenses, they often refer their patients to an optometrist on their team to correct any refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, or presbyopia (farsightedness related to aging). Optometrists are usually the ones to screen patients for LASIK and work alongside LASIK surgeons to coordinate the surgery.

What is an Optometrist?

optometrist caucasian od bigAn optometrist is a healthcare professional who has earned the Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. Optometrists have to complete a four-year college degree program in the sciences coupled with four years of post-graduate professional training in optometry school.

Optometrists examine eyes for vision and health problems, diagnose and treat certain eye diseases and conditions, and prescribe and fit patients with glasses or contacts for common refractive errors. Certain optometrists provide alternative services, such as vision therapy, low vision care, dry eye treatment and myopia control. Optometrists can also provide pre- and post-surgery care, such as LASIK, PRK, corneal transplant, among others.

Optometrists in the United States are licensed to prescribe medications for certain eye conditions and diseases, though the scope of medical care that they can provide varies from state to state.

Why Choose an Optometrist?

If your eyes are healthy and don’t require specialized surgical treatment, visiting an optometrist is the obvious choice. Moreover, beyond performing routine eye exams, optometrists can detect, diagnose and manage eye diseases that require medical and non-medical treatment.

These treatments include, but are not limited to:

Dry Eye Treatment, Vision Therapy, Low Vision Management, Myopia Control, Specialty Contact Lens Fitting, Management and/or treatment of various corneal conditions and irregularities.

Think of your optometrist as a primary care physician for your eyes. When in need of a routine eye check-up, or if you’re dealing with an eye condition or notice your vision changing, it’s time to visit the optometrist.

If you’re interested in fitting specialty or traditional contact lenses to aid with specific eye conditions or misshapen corneas, Patricia Jitodai, OD at the Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center can help.

Fitting Contact Lenses

Girl Putting in Contact 1280×853Whether you’re a first-time lens wearer or you’ve recently had a prescription change, it’s essential to ensure a proper fit. When lenses are not properly fitted, it can prove to be uncomfortable and can lead to vision problems, infections, or scarring. That’s where we come in.

To ensure a proper contact lens fitting, Patricia Jitodai, OD will perform a comprehensive eye exam to check your level of refractive error and will also check for any conditions that could interfere with wearing contact lenses. The shape of your eye and personal lifestyle are also important factors in determining the right lens for you. If you spend a significant amount of time outdoors or lead an active lifestyle, that may require a different lens type. Following a proper assessment, the doctor will ensure the best fit for your eyes and overall vision health.

Moreover, your optometrist will show you how to insert and remove lenses, and generally, how to properly care for them. Additional follow-up appointments may be needed in order to monitor and assess the fitting and overall comfort level.

Specialized in fitting traditional and specialty contact lenses, Patricia Jitodai, OD find the proper fit for all patients, from the simple near-sighted first-time wearer to the complex astigmatic, bifocal or diseased cornea patient. Visit us at the Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center for a contact lens fitting.

We help patients from the Tukwila, Renton, Burien, and Seattle, in the Washington area enjoy great vision and comfort with contact lenses.

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Call Us 206-516-2020

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Vision Correction

Did you know that nearly 9 and a half million American adults have myopia? That’s nearly 4% of all adults in the entire country! 30% of Canadians have the condition, as well, making it one of the most common vision problems globally—and these numbers are on the rise.

At Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center, Myopia Management Expert, Patricia Jitodai, OD and the staff help patients with their vision correction needs. If you or a loved one have any vision difficulties, we can help.

All You Need To Know About Vision Correction

Vision Correction is used to correct refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (when light enters the eye incorrectly), or presbyopia (farsightedness due to aging).

What Is A Refractive Error?

The ability to see images or objects with clear, sharp vision results from light entering the eye. Light rays bend or refract when they hit the retina, sending nerve signals to the optic nerve, which then sends these signals to the brain. The brain processes them into images, allowing you to understand what you see. When these light rays bend incorrectly, it results in a refractive error and typically causes blurry or cloudy vision.

Your eye doctor will often prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct the vision impairment. Glasses and contacts enhance your vision by shifting the way that images enter your eyes. They refract light properly, so that your brain processes images correctly, resulting in clear vision. However, corrective lenses do not cure vision problems; they simply enhance your existing vision.

What Is Considered “Vision Correction”?

Since the primary cause of vision problems is caused by light bending incorrectly as it enters the eye, virtually any method of treatment that changes this can be categorized as a form of vision correction.

Eyeglasses and contact lenses – the most common types of corrective measures – are almost always recommended as the first course of treatment for vision problems. While they are considered a very basic method of vision correction, they are unable to control the refractive error from progressing. Patients whose vision worsens over time need new glasses or contacts. In these cases, longer-term solutions are needed.

Deciding upon the right course of treatment for refractive errors can depend on several factors such as age, your lifestyle and daily activities, eye health, and overall physical health. Myopia Management Expert, Patricia Jitodai, OD will conduct a thorough eye exam and discuss your and your family’s medical history to get a complete picture of your vision needs.

The Benefits Of Vision Correction Without Surgery

When eye surgery is performed and the corneal tissue – or the cornea itself – is repaired or reshaped, it is generally permanent. Surgical procedures are matters of a serious nature and are often the last resort, when all other vision correction options have been exhausted. That’s why most doctors recommend non-surgical treatment methods first.

teen smiling 6 640Some of the benefits of non-surgical vision correction include:

  • Less invasive: surgery is an invasive procedure which involves corneal incisions, whereas non-surgical corrective treatments are less intense with lower risks
  • Not permanent, so it’s easier to try different treatment methods to find which ones work for your needs
  • LASIK has ZERO guarantees for how many years you’ll enjoy 20/20 vision. Whether you have 1 year or 10 years is completely up to your eyes. Orthokeratology, however, provides guaranteed 20/20 vision or better as long as you wear the lenses.
  • Orthokeratology can correct both near and far vision. LASIK is only for nearsightedness.
  • Some patients may not be good candidates for eye surgery due to age, a thin cornea, or the presence of other viruses or eye conditions. For example, a patient with chronic dry eyes could be ineligible for LASIK, since this surgery can exacerbate symptoms of Dry Eye.

Vision Correction is Safe For Kids As Young As 6 And For Adults Over 60!

Non-surgical vision correction is safe for children as young as 6 and adults over the age of 60.

Some vision correction surgeries cannot be performed on patients under 21 years old. Kids’ eyes are still developing and their vision is unstable, so most doctors prefer to wait until their young patients’ eyes stabilize before considering surgical vision correction.

As we age, our vision changes. Typically beginning in middle-age, the lens of the eye begins to lose some elasticity causing presbyopia, a form of farsightedness. Presbyopia can be treated with corrective lenses, including multifocal lenses. Multifocal lenses have various degrees of lens power, which helps the patient experience clear vision in any direction – up, down, and to the sides.

If you or a family member needs vision correction and you’re looking for a safe, risk-free treatment, contact Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center to schedule a consultation.

Vision Correction Is Good For Athletes, Travelers & Business Leaders

Athletes

Competitive sports is more than just a game. The ability to see clearly from both near and far distances is critical in sports. Athletes with nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism can’t play well if they can’t see well. The right vision correction can provide the visual clarity that serious athletes need to play and win!

People Who Travel

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, air travel can lead to dry eyes. This is due to the air pressure and dry environment that’s inside of the airplane cabin. Some people find that administering artificial tears provides the relief they need. If you generally wear contact lenses, swap them for glasses during the flight to avoid painful dry eyes. This is especially important for long, international flights.

People Who Need That Edge In Business

In the digital age, we enjoy constant connectivity to our smartphones, computers, and tablets. For business people with vision problems, who need to remain connected with a high level of visual clarity, getting the right vision correction treatment is not only beneficial for their visual health, but for their jobs.

So if you need to be at the top of your game in business, talk to Myopia Management Expert, Patricia Jitodai, ODabout your vision needs. We’ll focus on improving your vision, so you can focus on your business.

If you suffer from vision problems, contact Innovative Eyecare's Myopia Management Center. Our caring staff will provide you with the best vision correction treatment that’s right for you.

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Call Us 206-516-2020

Scleral lenses and Your Insurance Provider

When vision starts to become blurry, the immediate solution is to see an eye doctor and purchase a new pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. In some cases, a person may elect for LASIK surgery, which comes at a much higher price tag.

On rare occasions, a patient may not benefit from wearing standard eyeglasses or contact lenses and is not a candidate for LASIK. These “hard-to-fit’ patients require a more advanced form of treatment like scleral lenses in order to restore their vision to normal. When patients discover they require more advanced vision correction, they have to face new challenges like adjusting to their new eyewear and, more pressing, the additional costs. We’ve put together some brief tips below to help our scleral lens patients take advantage of their insurances to reduce the burden and achieve visual success.

Medical Insurances & Scleral Lenses Tukwila, Washington

While our vision is vital for daily activities, many medical insurances are very restrictive in how they cover any service related to eyewear. Although medical insurances are used for specific eye care services, purchasing eyewear is often not covered — not even partially. Our practice can review with you the specific details regarding your medical insurance, and whether or not you can expect coverage for a pair of scleral lenses. In general, medical insurances are best used towards the eye exams and diagnostic measurements.

Vision Insurances and Scleral Lenses in Tukwila, Washington

Contrary to medical insurance, vision insurance plans are meant to reduce the costs for eyewear purchases. For some of our patients who have vision insurance with a contact lens plan, such as through EyeMed or VSP, a large portion of their scleral lenses will be covered. Please keep in mind that vision insurance policies differ. How much vision insurance will cover a specialty contact lens like scleral lenses is never concrete. Also, the experience of one patient may be totally different from the outcome of another patient’s experience.

This is why we recommend patients to schedule a consultation at our practice. We’ve seen many patients benefit a lot from their vision insurance plans, and we’ve guided numerous patients on how to maximize their coverage. Ultimately, we want our patients to enjoy the best possible vision for their eyes, and scleral lenses are often the solution.

One of the major reasons keratoconus patients and others with corneal irregularities come to our practice is precisely for our knowledge, experience, and expertise. Each specialty contact lens consultation will assess what are your visual needs and budget to develop the perfect pair of contacts. If you’re looking for scleral lenses and want to learn how your insurances can provide you coverage, call us today or schedule a consult online.

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Where Do Scleral Lenses Fit In Your Dry Eye Treatment Protocol?

DES It is among the top drivers that lead patients to seek help from eye care professionals trained in treating dry eyes.

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) is a highly common condition that occurs when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too quickly. This condition can be temporary or chronic and is characterized by dry, itchy, stinging and irritated eyes.

Curiously, a recent survey revealed that out of the more than 30 million Americans who have symptoms of Dry Eye, only half of those are diagnosed, and an even smaller number receives the medical attention they need. These numbers are a concern since there are millions of people needlessly suffering from a treatable condition.

If you’re suffering from dry eye, contact Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center today. We offer effective and lasting treatments that are sure to improve your quality of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease

Dry Eye can be caused by several factors, such as aging, medication, environmental changes, hormonal changes, allergies, among others. The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • Crusty eyelids
  • Dryness
  • Grittiness
  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Tearing
  • Blurred vision
  • Burning
  • Intense eye pain
  • Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Sensation of something stuck in the eye

How Can Scleral Lenses Help With Dry Eye?

Scleral lenses are customized rigid lenses that tackle three factors simultaneously: they provide vision correction, they protect the eye, and they serve a therapeutic purpose by lubricating the eye.

Due to their large shape, unique features, and customized fitting, scleral lenses offer an excellent solution for dry eyes. They decrease pain, discomfort, eye redness, and itchiness in those with dry eyes.

While scleral lenses can provide relief to patients suffering from DES, the question is deciding on the right time to incorporate scleral lenses into a dry eye treatment plan.

Scleral lenses should not be the primary treatment method

Despite their countless benefits, scleral lenses should not be the primary therapy or treatment method for patients with mild to moderate dry eye syndrome. Eye practitioners often advise to try out prior treatment options first.

Additional Dry Eye treatment methods include:

  • Environment modifications
  • Improved eyelid hygiene
  • Nighttime goggles
  • Nighttime lubrication
  • Prescription dry eye medications
  • Preservative-free eyedrops

Scleral lenses as a tertiary therapy

Scleral lenses should only serve as tertiary therapy after overnight treatment options and prescription medications such as moisture goggles or ointment have been exhausted. That said, scleral lenses should be incorporated before the long-term use of steroids, surgical punctual occlusion, and amniotic membrane grafts.

Some of the other tertiary therapies that can be recommended alongside scleral lenses include:

  • Autologous/allogeneic serum eye drops
  • Oral secretagogues
  • Soft bandage contact lenses

Like scleral lenses, these treatment procedures are highly effective, but should only be used if the primary and secondary therapies fail to improve the patient’s Dry Eye condition.

If you experience any eye pain or discomfort, book your appointment with Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center today.

Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center serves patients from Tukwila, Renton, Burien, Seattle, and throughout Washington .


Book An Appointment
Call Us 206-516-2020

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Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

Keratoconus (keh-rah-toe-cone-us) is a non-inflammatory eye disorder in which the round dome-shaped cornea progressively thins causing a cone-like bulge to develop.

Hence the name keratoconus, from the Greek word ‘kerato’ (cornea) and ‘conus’ (cone-shaped).

Because those with keratoconus have irregular, cone-shaped corneas, glasses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution, therefore, is scleral contact lenses, since they sit on the sclera without touching the cornea and deliver maximal clarity while being perfectly comfortable in most cases.

What are Scleral Lenses?

what are scleral lensesCustom designed scleral lenses help patients with corneal irregularities achieve dramatic improvements in visual acuity and comfort. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera while avoiding the diseased cornea. This creates a new optical surface instead of the damaged cornea and prevents discomfort by resting on the sclera of the eye. Moreover, the reservoir of pure saline solution between the back surface of the lens and the front of the cornea ensures that the eye is always in a liquid environment – making it optimal for healing.

Both rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses and scleral lenses provide the eyes with sufficient oxygen. However, scleral lenses provide more comfort and stable vision than traditional GP lenses. In most cases, scleral contact lenses are the optimal choice of treatment for patients with keratoconus and irregularly-shaped corneas.

If you have Keratoconus and are interested in scleral lenses, Patricia Jitodai, OD at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center can help. We serve patients from all over Tukwila, Renton, Burien and Seattle, Washington , and provides the highest level of care.

Two Major Benefits of Scleral Lenses for Keratoconus

1) Scleral Lenses Provide More Comfort

Our patients report comfort as the most prominent feature of the scleral lens. Throughout the fitting process, we survey our patients on how the lenses feel, and not surprisingly, the usual response we get is “fine” or “I can’t feel them at all”.

The size of a scleral lens is one of the reasons it is more comfortable than a traditional gas permeable contact lens. A traditional contact lens is much smaller, typically 9 -10 mm in diameter. With each blink, this contact lens moves a bit over the cornea and the lid tends to roll over the edge of the lens as well. Many patients report being unable to wear them for more than a few hours at a time due to discomfort.

The scleral lens, on the other hand, is larger in diameter and spreads its weight over a much greater, less sensitive area so that when you blink, the eyelid doesn’t catch the edge of the lens. Moreover, because the lens vaults over the bulging cornea, it protects the cornea from any abrasion caused by blinking or external irritants. Furthermore, the scleral lens is made up of highly oxygen permeable materials and provides a soothing bath of artificial tears that refresh the ocular surface.

2) Scleral Lenses Offer Improved Vision

Patients with keratoconus have a clearer vision with scleral lenses than with glasses. With glasses, patients usually see 20/200, whereas with scleral lenses their vision typically improves to 20/30 or even 20/20. Furthermore, because the lenses sit firmly on the eye, they offer more stable vision than traditional lenses. The scleral lens not only offers comfort but also improves vision acuity.

What Changes Will I Notice with Scleral Lenses?

Once you have been properly fitted for scleral lenses, you can expect to gradually see improvements in clarity, color and detailed contrast between multiple images and objects within your visual field. The comfort you’ll experience will enable you to wear your custom-made scleral lenses all day long so that you can keep doing all the things you enjoy – but with better vision.

Should I See An Eye Doctor Specialized in Fitting Keratoconus Patients with Scleral Lenses?

improved vision with scleral lensesIf you are interested in seeing whether scleral lenses are right for you, make sure that the eye doctor you visit has the knowledge and experience required to correctly fit the lenses on patients with keratoconus. Scleral lenses require precise customization, and every patient’s case of keratoconus varies in degrees of severity and corneal measurements.

To check if you are a good candidate for scleral lenses, contact us at The Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center. Our staff has the expertise in fitting specialty contact lenses, and serve patients from Tukwila, Renton, Burien, Seattle and throughout Washington .

Call or Book Online and Regain Your Quality of Life.

“I loved my visit from start to finish. The Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center staff is friendly, caring, and knowledgeable. The eye exam that I had for keratoconus was incredibly thorough and Patricia Jitodai, OD explained all the results very clearly. He fitted me for scleral lenses, and now my eyes feel so comfortable that I frequently forget that I’m wearing contact lenses.“

REFERENCES:

Ariela Gordon‐Shaag, Michel Millodot, Igor Kaiserman, Tzahi Sela, Guy Barnett Itzhaki, Yaffa Zerbib, Efrat Matityahu, Shira Shkedi, Svetlana Miroshnichenko and Einat Shneor, Risk factors for keratoconus in Israel: a case–control study, Ophthalmic and Physiological Optics, 35, 6, (673-681), (2015).


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portrait photo of man in white crew neck t shirt with 1139743

Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking for Keratoconus

Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is currently the only treatment that may slow down the progression of keratoconus. It is a minimally invasive procedure to strengthen corneal tissue and stabilize the cornea’s shape.

If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, or if you are concerned that your condition might be deteriorating, contact Patricia Jitodai, OD at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center to evaluate whether CXL is the best option for you.

What Is Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking?

Corneal collagen cross-linking is a surgical procedure performed by a corneal specialist or ophthalmologist to stabilize the shape and firmness of the cornea. By applying riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops and ultraviolet light, the surgical treatment promotes the building of new collagen fiber links within the cornea. In many cases, it helps prevent the need for a corneal transplant.

Collagen plays a vital role in creating and maintaining the smooth round shape of the eye’s surface. The tightness of the woven collagen fibers determines the strength of the corneal tissue. A weak cornea is prone to deformation, causing keratoconus to progress.

CXL is also effective in treating corneal ulcers in cases where topical antibiotics did not produce results. Several other corneal infections have also successfully been treated with CXL.

Your Optometrist Prepares You for CXL

A few steps need to be taken before you undergo corneal collagen cross-linking. Patricia Jitodai, OD can assess whether you are a candidate and get you ready for the surgical procedure.

1) We’ll Evaluate If You Need CXL

At Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center, we will inquire into your patient history to determine whether any previous eye surgeries might prevent you from undergoing CXL. We will also examine several other factors, such as keratoconus progression and corneal thickness. In case you have dry eye, this needs to be treated appropriately before scheduling the CXL procedure.

2) Connecting You With The Right Surgeon

Following your eye exam and the evaluation of your suitability for CXL, we will connect you with an ophthalmologist to schedule the actual procedure. We at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center work with the finest corneal specialists in the area because we want you to be in good hands.

3) Pre-Op Exam With Your Optometrist

Just before the surgery, you will have a short pre-op examination at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center. Lens wearers are required to remove their contact lenses a few days prior to this examination so that measurements can be entirely accurate.

Patricia Jitodai, OD will gather measurements about visual acuity, refraction, the shape of the corneal surface, and intraocular pressure. The data generated in this examination will be used for comparison in every future examination, and provide background for follow-up should the keratoconus continue to progress after the surgical intervention.

The CXL Procedure

seniors smiling 2 640The ophthalmologist will first apply riboflavin eye drops (vitamin B2) to the surface of the eye. This substance is conducive to photo-enhancing; in other words, it improves light absorption. Next, the practitioner will expose the eye to a specific ultraviolet light to activate the development of new collagen cross-linking. This will cause the collagen fiber to thicken across the entire cornea and reinforce it.

There are two types of corneal cross-linking procedures:

  • Epithelium-on cross-linking or transepithelial cross-linking. In this procedure, the doctor applies the eye drops onto the outer layer of the cornea, called the epithelium.
  • Epithelium-off cross-linking. To allow the riboflavin to penetrate more easily into the lower layers of the cornea, the doctor removes its outer layer before applying the drops. This surgical intervention has a slightly higher risk, as it could cause the disruption of surface cells in the epithelium.

We Provide Post-Op Care

The success of the one-hour surgical treatment depends as much on the quality of postoperative care as it does on the procedure itself. Careful management of eye health is essential for rapid rehabilitation of visual clarity and to reduce the risk of complications.

Follow-up care provided at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center includes three main objectives, of which the speedy healing of the corneal surface is primary. Generally, patients are prescribed temporary soft contact lenses to protect the eye surface during the healing process. The lenses also serve the purpose of minimizing potential pain.

To prevent infections, Patricia Jitodai, OD will provide topical antibiotics and other medications that may be needed to protect the cornea and ensure a safe and fast recovery.

Who Can Undergo Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking?

The surgical treatment is recommended for patients who have recently been diagnosed with keratoconus and patients with a rapidly worsening condition. The sooner the treatment is applied, the better the chances of strengthening the cornea or even improving its shape.

Because CXL does not restore lost vision, early treatment is critical to prevent visual acuity from declining. This can also increase the chances of wearing traditional contact lenses later on.

Patients with stable keratoconus, a thin cornea, or a scarred cornea may not benefit from CXL and can potentially delay or avoid the procedure altogether.

Contact Patricia Jitodai, OD at Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center for additional information or to schedule an eye exam.

Innovative Eyecare's Keratoconus & Scleral Lenses Center serves patients from Tukwila, Renton, Burien, Seattle, and throughout Washington .

 

Book An Appointment
Call Us 206-516-2020

 

Resources:

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/corneal-crosslinking.htm

https://eyewiki.aao.org/Corneal_Collagen_Cross-Linking

https://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/keratoconus.htm

https://www.nkcf.org/corneal-cross-linking-are-you-a-good-candidate/

https://www.eyeworld.org/article-postoperative-management-of-corneal

https://crstoday.com/articles/2017-jul/simplifying-the-preoperative-evaluation/

Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington

Keratoconus is a rare, progressive disease that affects the cornea, which is the clear, transparent layer at the front of the eye.

Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington

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Patricia Jitodai, OD

Dr. Patricia Jitodai graduated from the University of Washington and then went on to the University of California Berkeley, where she completed her Doctorate of Optometry. She also received a Bachelor’s of Science in Vision Science at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Jitodai received training in specialty contact lens fittings as well as orthokeratology. Ortho-K lenses help children prevent their vision from worsening due to myopia or nearsightedness. In addition, ortho-k lenses help adults achieve perfect vision free of glasses or contacts without resorting to surgery.

Dr. Jitodai grew up in the Seattle, WA area and has lived there most of her life. She spends her free time watching movies, exploring the outdoors, and hiking as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. She first decided to become an eye doctor after working alongside a local optometrist in town. She was impressed by the care he provided to every patient, and she felt she was a perfect fit.

This desire to help people and improve their vision continues to be what drives Dr. Jitodai, and she derives great satisfaction from positive outcomes. An example of one of those positive outcomes is whenever we see a scleral lens patient. For instance, one patient who came in had 20/80 vision. His eyes could not tolerate standard contact lenses, and prescription eyewear would not correct his vision. After Dr. Jitodai fit him with a scleral lens and his vision improved to 20/20! He was overjoyed that after years of struggling, he was able to attain a clear vision. Those opportunities to improve her patients' health and quality of life are why Dr. Jitodai became an optometrist.

The most important value to Dr. Jitodai is the ability to help restore vision to every patient. From young to old, vision plays an essential part in our lives, and she wants everyone to enjoy viewing their world.

Dr. Jitodai is an American Board of Optometry Diplomate and a member of the following distinguished organizations: The American Optometric Association, The Orthokeratology Society, and The Washington Optometric Association.

Our Doctor Can Diagnosis and Treat Keratoconus

Your cornea is the transparent, outer lens of your eye, and it typically has a smooth dome shape. Keratoconus describes a condition in which the corneal structure isn’t strong enough to maintain a healthy ball shape.

Meet with our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington to define your eye's condition and ways for treatment.

As a result, the cornea bulges outward into more of a cone. Our professional optometric team at our eye care clinic is knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat keratoconus.

Keratoconus is rare, with an estimated one person out of every 2,000 having the condition. It generally appears in the teenage years and can progress slowly or rapidly.

Keratoconus also runs in families, so if you or your children are at risk, it’s advised to contact us for a thorough eye exam.

Famous People with Keratoconus

Stephen Curry, one of the NBA's greatest basketball players, has Keratoconus. Diagnosed in 2019, Curry recently announced that he has been playing with Keratoconus for the past 10 years! If a great athlete can correct his blurry vision so can you!

Causes of Keratoconus

Your cornea is held in place by very small collagen fibers. When they are weakened and too fragile, they aren’t able to preserve the round shape of your cornea.

A reduction in the protective antioxidants of your cornea, which act to destroy damaging by-products made naturally by corneal cells, is what causes keratoconus.

In addition to genetics, some types of eye injuries may increase your chance of being diagnosed with keratoconus.

Specific ocular diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and retinopathy of prematurity, as well as some systemic conditions (Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis and osteogenesis imperfecta) are also associated with this corneal abnormality.

Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.

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Symptoms of Keratoconus

When the shape of your cornea begins to bulge, it alters your eyesight in two different ways. As the cone shape forms, your normally smooth corneal surface becomes wavy, called irregular astigmatism. Additionally, as your cornea expands, vision becomes increasingly nearsighted. Focusing becomes impossible without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Usually, the problems begin in one eye and develop later in the other eye too.

Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.

When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.

Altogether, these changes can create the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Streaking of lights
  • Halos around bright lights at night; glare
  • Sudden change of vision in only one eye
  • Objects appear distorted, both near and distant
  • Double vision from just one eye
  • Triple ghost images

How We Diagnose Keratoconus

Our eye doctors will inspect carefully for the signs of keratoconus during your comprehensive eye exam. It’s critical to inform us of any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. To diagnose the condition, we’ll measure the shape of your cornea. Computerized Corneal Topography is used for this procedure, which takes a picture of your cornea and analyzes it instantly.

Treatment for Keratoconus

The first line of treatment is usually new prescription eyeglasses. If this solution doesn’t help you achieve good vision, then contact lenses will be tried. Rigid, gas permeable lenses are typically prescribed.

As the disease progresses, however, glasses and soft contact lenses may no longer correct vision and soft lenses may become uncomfortable. This is when other forms of vision correction will be recommended.

Gas Permeable and Scleral Contact Lenses

At the more advanced stage of keratoconus rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, scleral or semi-scleral lenses may be used for increased comfort and visual acuity. Since they are more rigid, RGP and scleral lenses are able to create a smooth, round shape around the cornea, creating a smoother surface for better vision.

Scleral or semi-scleral lenses have a larger diameter which covers the entire cornea and reaches over into the white part of the eye, which is known as the sclera.

Many patients find these more comfortable than regular RGPs and find that they move around less when the eyes move. The main disadvantage of these rigid lenses is that for some, they are somewhat less comfortable than soft lenses and they must be continually refitted as the shape of the eye changes.

Whether it is glasses or contact lenses being used to correct vision, patients will likely have to undergo many tests and prescription changes as their vision needs to change.

Intacs

Intacs are small, surgically implanted plastic inserts which are placed on the cornea to flatten it back to shape. Usually they are able to restore clear vision, with the continued use of glasses. Intacs are often recommended when contact lenses and eyeglasses are no longer able to correct vision adequately. Intacs take about 10 minutes to insert and can delay the need for corneal transplant.

PTK for severe keratoconus

Severe keratoconus may lead to extreme scarring, due to overstretched collagen fibers. If the back of your corneas tears as a result, swelling may occur. It can take months for the swelling to go down, and a large scar is generally created. PTK, a specialized procedure, can smooth out this scar, thereby enhancing contact lens comfort.

Cornea collagen crosslinking

Cornea collagen crosslinking is another therapy that has shown to be effective in slowing the progression of keratoconus. An alternate remedy is called intacs, which are semicircular implants inserted under the surface of the cornea to flatten the bulging cone shape and give better vision.

Cornea Transplant

As a last resort, a cornea transplant may be performed. During this procedure, the center of your cornea will be removed and replaced with a donor cornea. The new cornea is stitched into place, and you’ll need to wear contact lenses for adequate vision after the surgery.

Dangers of LASIK and Keratoconus

LASIK can potentially weaken the cornea of anyone who suffers from keratoconus, making it a dangerous procedure. If this happens, your vision will become substantially worse. Even if your keratoconus is mild, LASIK is not an option.

Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington is happy to meet with you for a 1-on-1 consultation to get you back on the path to reaching clear vision.

Meet with Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington


Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington

Keratoconus is a rare, progressive disease that affects the cornea, which is the clear, transparent layer at the front of the eye.


Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington

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Patricia Jitodai, OD

Dr. Patricia Jitodai graduated from the University of Washington and then went on to the University of California Berkeley, where she completed her Doctorate of Optometry. She also received a Bachelor’s of Science in Vision Science at UC Berkeley.

Dr. Jitodai received training in specialty contact lens fittings as well as orthokeratology. Ortho-K lenses help children prevent their vision from worsening due to myopia or nearsightedness. In addition, ortho-k lenses help adults achieve perfect vision free of glasses or contacts without resorting to surgery.

Dr. Jitodai grew up in the Seattle, WA area and has lived there most of her life. She spends her free time watching movies, exploring the outdoors, and hiking as well as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. She first decided to become an eye doctor after working alongside a local optometrist in town. She was impressed by the care he provided to every patient, and she felt she was a perfect fit.

This desire to help people and improve their vision continues to be what drives Dr. Jitodai, and she derives great satisfaction from positive outcomes. An example of one of those positive outcomes is whenever we see a scleral lens patient. For instance, one patient who came in had 20/80 vision. His eyes could not tolerate standard contact lenses, and prescription eyewear would not correct his vision. After Dr. Jitodai fit him with a scleral lens and his vision improved to 20/20! He was overjoyed that after years of struggling, he was able to attain a clear vision. Those opportunities to improve her patients' health and quality of life are why Dr. Jitodai became an optometrist.

The most important value to Dr. Jitodai is the ability to help restore vision to every patient. From young to old, vision plays an essential part in our lives, and she wants everyone to enjoy viewing their world.

Dr. Jitodai is an American Board of Optometry Diplomate and a member of the following distinguished organizations: The American Optometric Association, The Orthokeratology Society, and The Washington Optometric Association.


Our Doctor Can Diagnosis and Treat Keratoconus

Your cornea is the transparent, outer lens of your eye, and it typically has a smooth dome shape. Keratoconus describes a condition in which the corneal structure isn’t strong enough to maintain a healthy ball shape.

Meet with our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington to define your eye's condition and ways for treatment.

As a result, the cornea bulges outward into more of a cone. Our professional optometric team at our eye care clinic is knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat keratoconus.

Keratoconus is rare, with an estimated one person out of every 2,000 having the condition. It generally appears in the teenage years and can progress slowly or rapidly.

Keratoconus also runs in families, so if you or your children are at risk, it’s advised to contact us for a thorough eye exam.


Causes of Keratoconus

Your cornea is held in place by very small collagen fibers. When they are weakened and too fragile, they aren’t able to preserve the round shape of your cornea.

A reduction in the protective antioxidants of your cornea, which act to destroy damaging by-products made naturally by corneal cells, is what causes keratoconus.

In addition to genetics, some types of eye injuries may increase your chance of being diagnosed with keratoconus.

Specific ocular diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and retinopathy of prematurity, as well as some systemic conditions (Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis and osteogenesis imperfecta) are also associated with this corneal abnormality.


Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.

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Symptoms of Keratoconus

When the shape of your cornea begins to bulge, it alters your eyesight in two different ways. As the cone shape forms, your normally smooth corneal surface becomes wavy, called irregular astigmatism. Additionally, as your cornea expands, vision becomes increasingly nearsighted. Focusing becomes impossible without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Usually, the problems begin in one eye and develop later in the other eye too.

Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.

When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.

Altogether, these changes can create the following symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Streaking of lights
  • Halos around bright lights at night; glare
  • Sudden change of vision in only one eye
  • Objects appear distorted, both near and distant
  • Double vision from just one eye
  • Triple ghost images

cornealtopography girl

How We Diagnose Keratoconus

Our eye doctors will inspect carefully for the signs of keratoconus during your comprehensive eye exam. It’s critical to inform us of any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. To diagnose the condition, we’ll measure the shape of your cornea. Computerized Corneal Topography is used for this procedure, which takes a picture of your cornea and analyzes it instantly.


Treatment for Keratoconus

The first line of treatment is usually new prescription eyeglasses. If this solution doesn’t help you achieve good vision, then contact lenses will be tried. Rigid, gas permeable lenses are typically prescribed.

As the disease progresses, however, glasses and soft contact lenses may no longer correct vision and soft lenses may become uncomfortable. This is when other forms of vision correction will be recommended.





Gas Permeable and Scleral Contact Lenses

At the more advanced stage of keratoconus rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, scleral or semi-scleral lenses may be used for increased comfort and visual acuity. Since they are more rigid, RGP and scleral lenses are able to create a smooth, round shape around the cornea, creating a smoother surface for better vision.

Scleral or semi-scleral lenses have a larger diameter which covers the entire cornea and reaches over into the white part of the eye, which is known as the sclera.

Many patients find these more comfortable than regular RGPs and find that they move around less when the eyes move. The main disadvantage of these rigid lenses is that for some, they are somewhat less comfortable than soft lenses and they must be continually refitted as the shape of the eye changes.

Whether it is glasses or contact lenses being used to correct vision, patients will likely have to undergo many tests and prescription changes as their vision needs to change.





Intacs

Intacs are small, surgically implanted plastic inserts which are placed on the cornea to flatten it back to shape. Usually they are able to restore clear vision, with the continued use of glasses. Intacs are often recommended when contact lenses and eyeglasses are no longer able to correct vision adequately. Intacs take about 10 minutes to insert and can delay the need for corneal transplant.





PTK for severe keratoconus

Severe keratoconus may lead to extreme scarring, due to overstretched collagen fibers. If the back of your corneas tears as a result, swelling may occur. It can take months for the swelling to go down, and a large scar is generally created. PTK, a specialized procedure, can smooth out this scar, thereby enhancing contact lens comfort.





Cornea collagen crosslinking

Cornea collagen crosslinking is another therapy that has shown to be effective in slowing the progression of keratoconus. An alternate remedy is called intacs, which are semicircular implants inserted under the surface of the cornea to flatten the bulging cone shape and give better vision.





Cornea Transplant

As a last resort, a cornea transplant may be performed. During this procedure, the center of your cornea will be removed and replaced with a donor cornea. The new cornea is stitched into place, and you’ll need to wear contact lenses for adequate vision after the surgery.





Dangers of LASIK and Keratoconus

LASIK can potentially weaken the cornea of anyone who suffers from keratoconus, making it a dangerous procedure. If this happens, your vision will become substantially worse. Even if your keratoconus is mild, LASIK is not an option.

Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington is happy to meet with you for a 1-on-1 consultation to get you back on the path to reaching clear vision.


Meet with Our Keratoconus Specialist in Tukwila, Washington

Ortho-K Quiz

Are you Aware of the Costs of Vision Correction? Consider Orthokeratology! Renton, WA

girl glasses 1280x853The costs of eyewear and general eye care services can vary year to year depending on the changes in prescription, medical eye care needs, and even choice of fashion. While some adventurous individuals invest in designer brands of eyewear, others dip their wallet into the various contact lens options spending nearly a thousand dollars yearly.

Although increased costs generally provide unique benefits or a more fashionable appearance, vision correction such as through ortho-k lenses can be just as affordable and easy to maintain. When browsing through the various prices and shopping for bargains, most practices that provide orthokeratology require an orthokeratology consultation to assess the health of your cornea, a variety of specific measurements, and ultimately prescribe the unique contact lens solution for your pair of eyes.

Each pair of ortho-k lenses are unique to your visual requirements, so the cost of the evaluations required make for a higher initial investment. Fortunately, the costs beyond the first fitting are far more affordable and can be with a practice like , we’re able to support your budget and make vision correction a reality.

Achieving 20/20 or perfect vision has never been more available to both children and adults that have a competitive price for purchasing daily contact lenses every year.

Why do costs for orthokeratology differ between practices? Not every eye doctor is as experienced or utilizes the same advanced technology as . Some provide ortho-k lenses using cheaper lenses that are less customizable or durable, requiring replacements sooner.

Want to take the first step in vision correction without surgery for you or your child? Contact our practice, today.