If you’ve noticed that your eyesight is getting progressively worse to the point that your vision is now distorted or even blurry, you may have keratoconus. Typically, this condition begins during a patient’s late teens or early twenties and can affect each eye differently.
Still, a rapidly changing lens prescription is a good indication that someone might have this disease. However, sometimes keratoconus is clearly visible as well. If you suspect that you may have keratoconus, have someone look at your eye from the side. If the cornea — the transparent layer over the eye — is slightly cone-shaped instead of rounded, you probably have it.
There is no clear cause of the disease, although scientists speculate that oxidative damage is likely to blame, in combination with genetics. Other things that may worsen the condition are UV ray exposure, eye rubbing and irritation, and poorly fitted contact lenses.
Well, since the cornea is thin and cone-shaped, it actually prevents light from entering the eye correctly. So you may expect:
● Astigmatism and blurred vision
● Vision distortion
● Light and glare sensitivity
● Some vision loss due to cornea bulging
● Cracks and scars in the cornea
Usually, the disease progresses quickly at the beginning, then slows down. But what can we do in the meantime to come up with a feasible keratoconus treatment plan?
According to the American Optometric Association, some cases of keratoconus could be relieved by eye drops. The vision problems may also be treated by various types of custom-made soft contact lenses. However, the condition itself is sadly permanent. Other treatment options are more surgical in nature.
When people talk about Keratoconus Surgery options, they’re usually referring to corneal transplant. However, there are other procedures that might help the condition as well.
For one, corneal cross-linking has shown a lot of promise when treating keratoconus. It involves taking the outermost layer of the cornea off to infuse the cornea with vitamin B. Trying this procedure before going for a corneal transplant is the right course of treatment for some patients. As always, though, you’ll want to consult with an eye specialist and consider each treatment option before proceeding.
Certainly, corneal transplants are the last course of action. That treatment is usually reserved for patients who have exhausted all other options. There are no lenses that will fit their eyes, and their vision is so poor that they can’t function properly. That’s where a cornea transplant, or penetrating Keratoplasty, might help.
The main thing that causes corneal distortion is the thinning of the cornea. Therefore, the newly transplanted tissue restores the layer to full thickness, which should also restore the roundness of the cornea. The patients still end up needing corrective lenses of some sort. However, these post-surgery results are definitely better than having to look through scar tissue and light glares to see.