Hybrid Lenses

Hybrid lenses are corneal contact lenses that have a central gas-permeable (GP) region, hyper-bonded to a skirt of soft lens material.  There have been many generations of hybrid lenses since they were first introduced in the 1980s.  Recent hybrid lens designs represent a huge leap forward for the treatment of keratoconus and other ectasias.  New designs have materials, both soft and GP, that allow extreme amounts of oxygen to pass through to the cornea.  The new generation lenses also have design features which are built specifically to accommodate the shape of a keratoconic eye.  There are pros and cons associated with these lenses.


Ultrahealth 100u

Green dye under a hybrid lens showing that there is no touch between the lens and the steepest part of the cornea



  • Very comfortable- the soft skirt  makes the lenses feel more like comfortable soft lenses than GP lenses.
  • Better centration- the soft skirt allows the lens to stay centered, allowing consistent optics.
  • Vaulting the cornea- because of the design of the back surface of the GP portion of the lens, the lens does not contact the apex of the cornea.  This is assumed to be a much safer means of vision correction than a lens that contacts the cone.
  • Visits required for optimal fit- Fitting hybrid lenses for keratoconus requires a diagnostic evaluation with trial lenses.  In most cases, a hybrid lens can be fit properly within three to four visits.  In some cases, the patient may leave with the initial lens ordered.  This mainly depends on the complexity of your eyes and the skill of the doctor evaluating you.


  • Only certain lens parameters are available- if your eyes fall outside or even within two lens parameters, the lens may not work properly.
  • Since this lens type is much more modern, there are fewer practitioners familiar with the nuances of fitting, evaluating, and troubleshooting.


Hybrid lenses are becoming the treatment of choice for most patients with keratoconus.  Patients tend to choose them when the pros, cons, and costs are considered.


Additional information