Strong Eyes and Body
At 29, Adam had started feeling like there was some sort of dust or debris in his right eye and the more he rubbed his eye, the more he feared that he was making it worse. However, when he went to an optometrist, there were no foreign objects found. While there, the optometrist checked Adam’s vision, and he learned that he no longer had perfect 20/20 vision. He was shocked to hear that his eyesight had fallen to 20/30 in his right eye. Upon further examination, Adam was told he had an irregular cornea and was fitted for glasses in 2016.
Soon after being fitted for glasses, Adam moved to Los Angeles. He had been wearing the glasses for a while but found that they were not helping him see better and wearing them became a challenge during the cardio portion of his CrossFit workouts.
He sought out a new optometrist, who diagnosed Adam with keratoconus, a condition which causes progressive warping of the cornea, and if left untreated, possible blindness. He was told about FDA approved cross-linking, a procedure that may halt or slow the progression of keratoconus. Because the diagnosis was so new to him, Adam decided to hold off the procedure, monitor the progression of the disease, and be fitted for RGP lenses, which are rigid lenses made of durable plastic that can transmit oxygen.
Facing His Next Move
In late 2018, just over a year after he had been fitted for his RGP lenses, Adam’s eyesight had deteriorated from 20/45 to 20/75. He went on to try eight different contact lenses before finding a pair that were strong enough to help his vision. Unfortunately, the level of pain caused by the contact lenses was extremely uncomfortable and impacted his daily life. Often while at CrossFit, Adam would leave the class for 15 minutes in order to clean his lens, put it back in, and blink until the pain dissipated.
When he had first heard of cross-linking, he was initially terrified. However, he knew that he could no longer put up with the pain and frustration of dealing with painful contact lenses. He spent almost a year in the same pair of RGP Xcone lenses, however they did break on occasion and cost him over a thousand dollars in replacements.
Adam met with a local ophthalmologist who clearly explained the procedure and was able to directly answer his questions. She told him that they would numb the eye, then it would take about 10 seconds or less to remove the epithelial (outermost) layer on his right eye. After that, he would spend about 30 minutes having drops put in his eye. Then, he would be under a UV light for 30 more minutes. Finally, a bandage contact lens would be placed on this eye, and he could head home.
After hearing the doctor describe the process, Adam felt much more comfortable and scheduled his FDA approved cross-linking procedure.
A Weight off His Shoulders
Adam was relieved that the procedure went as his ophthalmologist described. He was a bit uncomfortable for the first couple days after his cross-linking but was able to manage his pain using the medication prescribed to him.
“I’m so glad I didn’t wait any longer to have my cross-linking done,” shared Adam. “Knowing that the progression has been slowed down or halted has been a huge weight off my shoulders.” Adam is now being fitted for a scleral lens, a large contact lens that rests on the sclera and creates a tear-filled vault over the cornea. His left eye is still being monitored for any signs of keratoconus, but he already knows that if it is ever recommended for him to get cross-linking performed again, he will be prepared.
“It’s exciting for me to be back in action with my group fitness classes and fully enjoy my time in them again,” said Adam.
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The results described on this site are based on data collected regarding short- and intermediate-term efficacy of treatment. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.