What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is the thinning of the cornea the clear dome-shaped outer surface of your eye. Eventually, the cornea bulges outward into a cone shape causing blurred vision, sensitivity to light and difficulty seeing at night. Most commonly affecting individuals between the ages of 10 to 25, the chance of developing it increases if it runs in the family.
Different treatment options are available, depending on the severity. Mild to Moderate Keratoconus may be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Another treatment is called Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, which uses riboflavin and UV light to strengthen the cornea. Often this treatment is used in addition to the insertion of Intacs. Intacs corneal implants are two small crescent shaped pieces made of plastic polymer which are inserted into the cornea to support the cornea’s shape, leading to improved vision. But if the cornea becomes scarred, making it painful to wear contacts, surgery is another option. Recovery time can take up to one year and you may need to continue wearing rigid contacts to ensure clear vision.
Keratoconus can worsen over time so early detection is key. If you notice any of the symptoms, it is best to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. He or she can work with you, to make sure you have the best vision possible!
Keratoconus, Treatment Overview
There are a number of treatments available for someone who suffers from Keratoconus. Mild to moderate keratoconus is typically treated with eyeglasses or a variety of contact lenses. As the shape of your cornea changes over time, these lenses may need to be updated with a new prescription. For most people, their cornea will become stable after a few years, decreasing the likelihood of severe vision problems or the need for further treatment.
In more severe cases, surgery may be required. Your doctor will recommend the procedure that’s right for you. Options may include the insertion of small plastic inserts, called Intacs, corneal cross-linking, or even a full cornea transplant, called a Keratoplasty.
It is important to monitor the progression of Keratoconus with regular checkups. Your eye care professional will work with you to ensure you receive the right treatment for your condition, giving you the best vision possible.