LensBase: An Innovation for Contact Lens Wearers

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LensBase: An Innovation for Contact Lens Wearers

Since the Clearly KC podcast began a year ago, several inspiring guests have shared stories about how keratoconus changed their life. Few have been as directly impacted as Mark Morarie from Denver, Colorado.

Self-described as high energy, Mark was an accomplished athlete and coach when he began to experience headaches from eye strain and changes to his vision. After three frustrating years of misdiagnosis, and a wide variety of eyeglasses and contact lenses, Mark was starting to lose hope that he would ever see well again. Finally diagnosed with keratoconus in his late 20s, Mark began wearing hybrids, and describes it as one of the most life-changing moments that he’s experienced.

Mark was then invited to join an extended scleral lens clinical trial at the University of Houston. Each week, for five years, he visited the College of Optometry where he would try on new scleral lens designs and undergo vision testing.

As Mark described in the podcast, he recalled thinking when he was presented with his first scleral, “Wow. These are amazing, but how do you get them in?” Years into the study, he still had trouble handling the lenses.

Unsatisfied with the tools and methods that existed, Mark channeled his energy into tinkering: sketching ideas for a device that would make every day a little easier for scleral lens users. There were several boxes to tick with his invention: it had to be gentle on the eye, easy to clean, and inexpensive. He also wanted something portable and lightweight that fit into his backpack or back pocket. Finally, he wanted to manage the excess saline that always ended up on his countertop.

After almost ten years and six different 3D-printed prototypes, Mark received the utility patent and LensBase became an FDA registered, class-one medical device. As he shared with Dr. Barnett on the Clearly KC podcast, “It is so cool that something I played with for a decade is something that people want to use. It means the world to me.”

Multiple contact lens companies, and even a saline solution brand, have taken notice of Mark’s invention and are working with him to distribute the product to their customers. LensBase is now available in about 750 eye clinics in the US and Canada, and directly from https://thelensbase.com/

Friends of NKCF can receive a 10% discount when they purchase LensBase by entering the discount code NKCF before 12/31/24

Thank you to Mark for his generosity and inspiration to the keratoconus community!

To hear more about Mark’s keratoconus story and his invention of The LensBase, listen to Episode 26 of the Clearly KC podcast with Dr. Melissa Barnett