Keratoconus explained Dr Mark Page
what is keratoconus?
So keratoconus is a disease of the eye where the surface gets very thin so stead having a natural nice shaped curve it bulges out so it almost really looks like a cone and so light going through that is gonna be you know scattered so sharpness clarity it’s gonna go away and some people it keeps getting thinner and thinner and the inside layer can kind of rip apart. so it splits and then people usually it’s very painful their vision takes a sudden dramatic turn it gets very blurry so usually, that’s the indicator that now you have to have a corneal transplant and that’s where they kind of take it’s.
Almost like a cookie-cutter type device and they do that on the surface of your eye and then they do that on the surface of the dead person’s eye and they take that tissue and they put it in place and they have to kind of use a needle and thread to sort of sewing it in but people that have gone through it they can recover their sight so with that splitting and the fluid and the scar tissue you can’t see anymore and we do the transplant and you put the other person’s tissue in there we can restore sight now most people it’s not sharp and clear because the way it goes in there it can be kind of tilted or they’ll still have irregularity
So, we sometimes have to use special types of contact lenses and the one we have you the most success with is called a sclera contact lens and it’s really quite comfortable it is made with a rigid hard plastic but it’s also made to be very permeable to oxygen so it’s quite breathable and because it’s so big when people get it on there.
I handily have any motion and it makes it very comfortable so it’s quite you when people you know need it for the first time we’ll have them help them put it on and half the time people start going is it in because I think they look at it and they feel and they go oh my gosh this is gonna be torture and then once they get it on it doesn’t move if they’ve worn a hard lens in the past or even soft lens is there some motion to those contacts and with the scleral lens it doesn’t really move so it does allow us to you know get that comfort and then we can generate different shapes to the front and to the back so depending on the shape of your eyeball now we can really make it fit very comfortably.
We can give you a very sharp vision now some people still have some scarring so you not necessarily get 20/20 every time but I’ve had some patients where you know they can’t even see the biggie on the chart and they have their glasses on because their eyes so distorted and we put the lens in oh my gosh they’re like twenty-thirty so they can go to the DMV and get a driver’s license and one of my patients said he had a Corvette and it was in his garage for six-seven years he just he didn’t feel safe going hardly out of the house and we got him fit with the sclera lenses and he sent me a picture of his Corvette actually drove it to the office for one of his follow-up visits so it’s so rewarding to be able to help someone that’s suffering you know in a situation like that to you know to get their life back get their vision back.
Can keratoconus lead to blindness?
If it is untreated keratoconus can create a severe loss of vision but most people still have some awareness of motion and lights and things like that but with the technology today we can transplant the cornea or sometimes even before that we can use a special type of design to can resharpen the focus or and make people see again you know maybe not as perfectly as they did they were 10 years old but a lot of people are able to go back to work and you know kind of life in normal life using the treatments so the surgery to do the transplant still has risk and side effects so you may get an infection it may reject so there may be times where it doesn’t get better so for most patients.
We would like to try to do the non-invasive treatment so using a contact lens basically to improve it now there are some surgical techniques too or they do the in tax and that they kind of put a little slip of plastic into the cornea so it tries to help smooth things out but for most people, it doesn’t really make their vision you know perfectly clear and then we try to fit a contact lens on that has another ridge in there it actually makes it more complicated so there are probably only rare cases where the in tax is going to be recommended so the ability to help people see is been tremendously improved with using the sclera contact lens and there’s also a couple of different designs where there’s a hybrid that made by a company called synergize and it uses a rigid center and then has a soft skirt the edge is soft and that can be pretty comfortable.
There as well but it is more challenging because the rigid part is a lot smaller and if you have a surface it’s harder to get that to sort of fit on there where we use the scleral lens it’s just so big it just kind of falls over all the irregularity so we have to lot better success using the scleral lens but there are still some cases because the scleral lens does have the highest cost as well where we can use the smaller rigid lens and when people first start wearing it it’s kind of a new pair of shoes it’s it may be pinching a little bit it’s not the most comfortable but with wearing and kind of breaking it in people you know two-three weeks later say.
I just see so good and they get used to it and people wearing the lenses for 40 years 50 years wearing the gas permeable a hard lens so it still is a functional choice for us but for most people just a comfort we can get in the sharpness of vision with the scleral lens that’s kind of more of our preferred method at this time so the reason people come to see me is part a couple of things we have the technology so we have special instruments that allow us to see with very high magnification and resolution how the lens is actually performing how its lining up to the different shapes of the eye and I think the other thing is I’m kind of stubborn and I don’t like to give up.
I had a patient recently and she said you know I went to the other place like three different times and they told me, oh it’s it’s not going to work but she’d been wearing lenses for 30 years and so the one she was using we’re irritating your eye making things very uncomfortable she’s having more trouble seeing so I said well I can’t guarantee that I’m gonna get it the first time but I’ll guarantee that I’m gonna keep working with you until we get it right and it probably took me five tries but the second time the third time.
I could tell was the confidence starting to wane a little bit but I promised her that you know this is kind of how things go you know have more information I’m learning I’m seeing what’s happening and I think we’re making improvements but with the final time she came back and said I I’m able to read my book again I can read my Bible again and I’m so thankful that you know stuck it out and you didn’t tell me that’s as good as it gets as the other people had done so I think that’s the main reason that I think people should come you know to see me and my associates we don’t like to give up we like to you know.
So for people that have keratoconus and they are struggling and things aren’t working the way they’d like them too I’ve been practicing for over thirty years and we’ve used some of the most advanced technology out there and so we have the ability to actually use it’s almost like a bio gel and we can actually apply that to the eye surface and create a unique mold of that person’s individual eyes shape so people can come in stay at the Holiday Inn Express right down the street and then come to the office and we can create that mold and that it only takes really about an hour maybe a couple hours in the office there but we can create a unique print of your eye and then we can have the lens generated and it does take a couple of weeks to have that lens created but then we come back.
We can fit that to the eye and the fitting we have been you know so successful with getting that to match the eye shape that people come from all over the country to see us and we’ve been fitting you know patients for four decades we’ve had thousands of people come for pre-care keratoconus and we feel that you know the people that are suffering we have the technology and we have you know I think again the communication with people to make it right and to keep working with you until we find that success, where you can kind of get, get your life back again so I’m dr. mark page from the founder of Arizona’s vision yeah we’d love to help you battle your keratoconus.
Why come to you and here’s why?
I’m Dr. Mark Page and I specialize in treating keratoconus and I’ve been practicing for over thirty years we’ve had thousands of patients that we’ve been able to successfully help them you know get their vision back get their life back so one of the things that set us apart is our technology so we use special instruments to make a map of the eye shape so that’s the topographical mapping and really only about 30% of eye doctors even carry that equipment and we also use what’s called ocular coherence tomography so we call it Oct for short so that allows me to create a much more sophisticated analysis of how the lens and the shape of the eye fit together and we also use bio gel to create an imprint or a print of the eye to get really just an ideal fit and with these technologies.
I’ve also developed a treatment called the Invisalens which is kind of like the braces for your eyes now with keratoconus there is more variability with the treatment of that so we actually have a lot more success with kids before their eyes change or have gotten too irregularly shaped but I’ve been able to use that technology to help people see a better life so I’d love to help you with your keratoconus and my team and my staff are you know we know it’s not a simple fix and we know it takes some time we know it takes some effort but that’s not a bother to us you know.
I know some other colleagues they’d rather get people in and out you know just to get the next person in here and for myself, I say well I want to get this right I want to do right by this person and I want to make sure that we get it you know the best that we can and using technology that we have today to make the difference so I’m dr. mark page I’m the founder of Arizona’s vision and when I had just become an eye doctor my dad developed a hole in his retina so he actually went blind in his right eye and so I told him, dad, I think I think you can have to see somebody else because you only have one eye and I was working at a warehouse clinic at that time he said well I’d rather see you so I know you’ve been thinking about your own place.
So I can help back you financially if you want to get things started so I said okay you got a deal so we developed the office and invested in technology and you know so I really believe that that family is very important to good quality of life and so actually my wife and her sister and her husband and her daughter and my mother-in-law they all work in the practice with me so we kind of take that family approach and you know so I know that I’ve got someone that can trust I know they have my back and so with our patients you know there’s kind of the family connection there and we’ve again been open for 25 years I’ve been practicing for 30 so we like to take our experience and the things that we’ve seen and how.
We can make things better and give you a comfortable experience a pleasant experience and you know glasses are you know sometimes a fashion statement sometimes a medical requirement but everyone is a little different with what’s important to them but glass that are comfortable that fit properly they can see clearly with so we really you know have a commitment to making it the best weekend for every individual so we encourage you to you know let our family help your family and your eyesight it’s so critical to a good quality of life and you know as we get older the good vision.
I think it becomes even more important than ever because we lose our physical skills we can’t play golf anymore we can’t ride the bicycle anymore we can’t you know just do the physical things so what do we like to do what we like to read we like to be on Facebook we like to watch TV but you lose your vision and it’s so you know sad really there’s so much depression in older people because of loss of their vision and we know there are things with nutrition with sunglasses with treatments and filters in the glasses that we can do to make a difference and give more longevity to our eyesight so because my dad’s had trouble my grandma went blind one of my brothers had his retina detached.
I’ve seen all these things happen to my family so it’s not just here’s glasses that you know next next next next eyesight is you know as a special passion of mine because I’ve seen what happens to people when they don’t have it and so I think that’s one of the main things about the office that we like to deliver is that it’s that passion for I care and passion for helping people and you know again I say it’s easy to take for granted you wake up open your eyes you can see but sometimes it doesn’t work that way and so we’d like to help people understand that and you know realize that most Ida’s eases don’t hurt and in the early stages people say I see fine I can see my phone I can see those street signs I don’t have any trouble why should I take my kids they can see the board but the diseases that can cause catastrophic blindness glaucoma most of the time there’s no pain vision is clear so we don’t realize it and tell it we get tested and it’s pretty simple.
We can use an eye drop to treat it so we can lower the pressure control that so the treatment is a pretty straightforward method but if you don’t know you have it how are you gonna take the treatment and if you lose your sight that’s kind of thing that we don’t have the ability to recover it so there’s just too much complexity in the optic nerves like a million cables to connect the eye to the brain so it’s gonna be a while before we figure out how to put those all together so we just encourage people to you know invest in yourself you know invest in your eyesight so there’s a lot of things we can buy and things we can have but without health, without eyesight, a lot of that is gonna be you know not to have much meaning so I encourage you to.
If you don’t think about your eyes and give us a call and let us help take care of you and you know we like to make relationships with people so we do spend a half-hour with our exam time so we allow making sure that we understand what you do for a living you know what your family history is you know so that we can help prescribe the products and treatments that help you most enjoy your life, yeah we only live once so invest in yourself and come let us take care of you at Arizona’s vision yeah so the cost you know we do accept insurance.
We’re a member of the vision service plan we’re also part of the eye med we also are providers for the visas and then we take Medicare and we also take Aetna and we also take Cigna now we also take different plans but we’re out of network for some of you and so really you can come to see us even if whatever insurance you have and we’ll help you fill out the paperwork we’ll help you get to reimbursement that you’re already paying for and if people don’t have any insurance
We do charge $164 for the comprehensive exam that includes the test for glaucoma checking for cataracts see if there’s any bleeding in the eye and we also give you a prescription for the glasses too and then also that would be a prescription for sunglasses as well so we also offer a special technology it’s called the optimum retinal scan and it takes a scan of the eyeball without having to have the drops in there so you’re able to go back to work and it allows me to create as an image than high-definition so I can check if something changes in the future so typically we do the exam we look in your eye and we make a recording we document it if there’s something unusual sometimes.
I’ll draw a picture but if you see my handwriting you’ll know I’m not an artist so being able to take a photograph and use that as my guide for the future and compare back to it it makes a tremendous difference in improvement in my ability to be a doctor and we can see things there’s special filters and scans in this technology that when we look there go okay it’s all clear but we go through the different layers of the scan and go wait for a second well let me look oh wait the normal physical view looks as we expect but through a deeper layer we can see that something is abnormal it might be the beginning of a which it might be beginning of cancer it might be beginning of retinitis pigmentosa so there are diseases that again can develop at the deeper layers so this technology allows me to just be a better doctor and take better care of your eyes and again eyesight for the rest of our life I think is it’s a wonderful thing.
Dr. Page is a licensed Doctor of Optometry, and a long time resident of Ahwatukee Arizona. He graduated from the New England College of Optometry in Boston in 1990. He moved to Phoenix to serve the community in both his clinic and by becoming a community activist.
He is deeply involved in supporting the local athletic teams, the arts, pet adoption and children. He is a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce.
After watching his father lose vision in his right eye he dedicated his career to finding a way to stopping eyes from getting worse. He is the founder of the Invisalens eye retainer and a best selling author for his book: Freedom! The Smart Parents Guide to Helping Your Child See a Better Life.
He specializes in helping his patients see better with eyeglasses, contact lenses, nutrition and genetics.
Words can’t describe what our eyes bring to life!