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In My Own Words: Denise Scott

Originally published in NKCF Update (May 2023)

Meet Denise Scott who lives outside Washington DC. She shares her keratoconus journey with Update readers and offers tips on coping with scleral lenses. Denise recommends, “take time to learn different methods of putting your lenses in and taking them out. I wear sclerals and use ZERO tools. I use the tripod method (thumb and two fingers to balance the lens) and, for me, it is easier. Find out what works for you!”

“Shortly after graduating college in 2004, it became almost impossible to see with my eyeglasses. I often tapped on the right lens to ensure that the lens was still in the frame because my sight was so blurry.

“My optometrist said that I had astigmatism and that he couldn’t fit me. He recommended I switch to soft contacts/toric lenses. Those did not work for me either.

“I found another optometrist who changed my life! After only five minutes in her chair, I was diagnosed with keratoconus. Twenty minutes later, I had my first pair of gas permeable (GP) lenses .Fortunately, the ones she had in the office were a decent fit for me, and I didn’t have to wait for her to order a pair to have more crisp vision.

“I’ve had a rollercoaster of experiences, mostly due to losing a contact lens, fighting with an insurance company, or trying to budget appropriately so that I can afford a new lens. I was too old for the FDA crosslinking trials, and it appears that my age has worked in my favor as my keratoconus is no longer progressing as fast as it once did.

“Nonetheless, it is now 2023, and I am still under the care of a phenomenal optometrist. I now wear scleral lenses: I am satisfied with my vision and am happy to report keratoconus has not gotten the best of me. I’m still able to do all the tings I love and see what is important to me!”

Denise’s message to others living with KC, “Enjoy life!”