Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the cornea thins and bulges into a cone-like shape. This cone shape causes the vision to be distorted and may require special contact lens types or surgical intervention.
The cause for this condition is often unknown, but it has been suggested that the collagen fibers in the eyes become weakened. When this occurs, these fibers cannot hold the round shape of the cornea and it starts to form into a cone shape.
Keratoconus has also been linked to vigorous rubbing of the eyes and associated with certain medical conditions. Keratoconus tends to be hereditary and can be first observed in the teenage and early twenties years.
In the early stages, keratoconus can be difficult to detect because it usually develops slowly. As it progresses, keratoconus causes a progressive increase in nearsightedness and astigmatism, creating distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may be noticed.
For the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. For moderate and advanced keratoconus, the treatment includes: • Gas permeable contact lenses – a semi-hard contact that helps reduce progressive changes in the corneal shape • Piggy backing contact lenses – the use of both a gas permeable and soft contact lens to increase comfort for those who cannot adapt to gas permeable contacts • Hybrid contact lenses – one contact lens that has a gas permeable center and a soft contact lens skirt; often more comfortable than piggybacking • Scleral rigid gas permeable – a semi-hard contact that is more fits over the complete cornea to help reduce the risk for the cornea changing shape as the keratoconus progresses; these are more comfortable than standard gas permeable contacts • Intacts – plastic inserts applied within the cornea to reshape the cornea; an option performed when contact lenses are no longer beneficial • C-3 crosslinking (collagen corneal crosslinking with riboflavin) – provides some reversal of keratoconus and some vision improvements; may significantly reduce the need for corneal transplants • Corneal transplant –removal of the affected cornea and applying a donor corneal tissue Only an annual eye examination can determine if you have keratoconus. Specialty testing procedures are required such as keratometry and topography to determine the true shape of the cornea. If you are in need of an eye care provider, I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care. We perform all the tests and fit all the different types of contact lenses if you have keratoconus.
321 W. Montgomery
Crossroads, Savannah (near Hunter Golf Course and VA Medical Clinic).
For appointments, call
(912) 927-0707 and visit us at www.envisionsavannah.com