Rose-K Contact Lens is a gas-permeable rigid contact lens design that can help improve vision in those with keratoconus. These lenses are specially designed for keratoconus to help improve visual acuity or vision and are different from traditional contact lenses. These are one type of lenses for keratoconus. Others being scleral lenses.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that leads to gradual thinning of the cornea. It begins from the posterior surface of the cornea. Over time, the normal corneas loose their round shape and buldge into a cone, which causes blurry and distorted vision. For monitoring these changes, corneal topography becomes a very important test. How blurry the vision is would depend on the grades of keratoconus that the patient has in each eye.
Thus, Rose K lenses help in visual rehabilitation of Keratoconus patients who can no longer wear glasses or regular contact lenses. One can read more about Keratoconus but its important to note that if the keratoconus is very advanced then a corneal transplant would be needed.
These contact lenses are a very effective method for correcting vision in patients with keratoconus and are the most prescribed contact lens in the world for keratoconus. Paul Rose an optometrist, the creator of the lens from New Zealand came up with the Rose K design because he was frustrated with his inability to treat keratoconus patients effectively. He realized that most contact lenses in the market did not imitate the shape of the cornea well. For most patients, this shortcoming wasn’t a problem, a standard contact lens shape was close enough to the usual corneal shape to provide sufficient vision correction. For patients with keratoconus, the shape of the standard lens was a poor match.
During the early stages of keratoconus, standard eyeglasses or soft contact lenses can often provide patients with clear and comfortable vision. This is when the eye power is still not very high. As the corneal shape becomes increasingly irregular, the eye becomes incapable of focusing light effectively. For, irregular astigmatism or highly irregular corneas like in the case of moderate to advanced keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft lenses cannot adequately compensate for the irregularities, which means they do not provide effective vision correction. Keratoconus that has progressed beyond the early stages needs to be treated with other alternative vision correction technologies.
Rose K lenses hit the market in New Zealand first and then got FDA approval, arriving in the United States in 1995. In the years since the Rose-K lens has become one of the most popular Rigid Gas Permeable ( RGP) lenses for correcting corneal irregularities.
There are several features that make the Rose K lens ideal for correcting vision in keratoconus and other irregular corneal diseases and disorders to improve visual performance. The result is a lens that fits very well over an irregular eye, leading to clear, comfortable, and improved quality of vision.
Your eye specialist will ask for a baseline visit and then will perform a contact lens fitting with trial lenses to measure all the parameters that are needed for outstanding acuity or vision. Most important of these parameters is the curvature of the cornea and this curvature decides the base curve of the contact lens. They will have different diagnostic lenses and trial sets to try on your eyes. They will then choose a lens that gives you the best fit and gives you the best vision. Also, they may ask you for a return visit to check and perform aftercare and do an assessment of vision.
Once an acceptable comfort and vision are achieved with the trial contact lenses, they will order a pair of these lenses with your modified parametric values and customized measurements.
Rose K is a type of specialty contact lenses with a unique design that is custom-made to the exact specifications prescribed by your eye doctor in order to provide the best possible vision, eye health, and comfort. Also, there is a wide range of lens designs available which your eye specialist can offer you according to your ocular health and requirements.
For these reasons, professional and fitting fees associated with rosek lens fitting and lens replacement costs are higher than other contact lenses and vary with different brands. Generally, the process of acquiring a rosek or rosek2 contact lens is as follows:
Step 1: Visit the eye hospital for a comprehensive eye test; testing your eye number, general eye health, reviewing the diagnosis and retinal evaluation. In case you are diagnosed with keratoconus, your eye doctor might ask you to undergo a topography test where we come to know, how severe is the keratoconus and the reports also help us decide on the rosek contact lens parameters to consider for your eyes.
Step 2: Before the rosek contact lenses are given, there is a fitting process, where a trial rosek lens is fitted on the eye to understand how it behaves on your eye and note down some crucial measurements. Usually, the trial visit is for 1 hour because lens fitting is different compared to other contact lenses like scleral lenses.
Step 3: Once the trial is finalized, we send the lens parameters along with the power of the lens to the lab for the lenses to be made and after a few weeks the lenses arrive. This is when you will be called up for the “Dispensing visit”. The newly arrived lenses are fitted on your eye and verified if the lenses are made as per eye doctor’s instructions. On this visit you will be taught the insertion and removal techniques of the rosek contact lenses and also counselled and trained regarding the care and maintenance procedures.
Step 4: Follow up visits: Since rosek contact lenses require this rigor to finalize the fit, the process of wearing and maintaining them is quiet overwhelming sometimes, thus, a follow up after 7 days of wear, 2 weeks after wear, a month after wear and every 6 months thereafter is required to make sure the lenses and your eyes are doing fine. Most patients get comfortable with rosek contact lenses within the first week of wear.
The price of Rose K lenses in India starts from about Rs 25000 for both eyes. Depending on the power of the lenses needed these prices may vary.
One should keep in mind that professional and fitting fees associated with fitting this lens design and lens replacement costs are higher than other contact lenses and vary with different brands. The chair time needed for this trial session can also range from 45 min to an hour.