ICON Eyecare offers treatment for those suffering from keratoconus, a progressive eye condition where the cornea thins and protrudes in an abnormal shape. A normal cornea is a dome shape, but with keratoconus the progressive thinning produces a ‘cone’ shape. Because the cornea is responsible for allowing light to enter the deeper structures of the eye to focus light, those with keratoconus often do not have clear vision because light will not bend properly as it enters the eye.
Keratoconus most often affects young people, with symptoms sometimes appearing as young as the early teenage years.
Keratoconus Treatment Options
Keratoconus is most often found in younger people and symptoms can start during the early teen years. Symptoms of keratoconus often progress rapidly for the next 10 to 20 years.
Keratoconus symptoms include:
- Frequent eye wear prescription changes
- Difficulty driving at night
- Halos and ghosting, especially at night
- Eye strain
- Headaches and general eye pain
- Eye irritation and excessive rubbing of the eye
How is Keratoconus Diagnosed?
Keratoconus can usually be diagnosed with a slit-lamp eye examination as well measurement of the corneal curvature. Your optometrist will look for signs such as corneal thinning, stress lines, and scarring at the apex of the corneal cone.
Keratoconus, especially in the early stages, can be difficult to diagnose and its symptoms can be associated with other eye problems. Simply recognizing symptoms does not diagnose this eye condition.
Traditional Keratoconus Treatments
Glasses and contact lenses have always been the first-line treatments for Keratoconus. Until recently, when the disease progressed and these optical methods were no longer able to correct vision, surgical options were the only next step. One of these surgical procedures is called Intacs ®. When inserted in the keratoconic cornea they flatten the cornea, changing the shape and location of the cone. Advanced keratoconus often requires a corneal transplant which is invasive and comes with the risk of rejection and repeat surgeries.
Corneal Cross Linking for Keratoconus
The latest treatment option for keratoconus is corneal cross linking. This technique strengthens the cornea to prevent thinning and the need for a corneal transplant.
With corneal cross linking, riboflavin drops are applied to the affected eye for a period of roughly 30 minutes. This is followed by an ultraviolet light exposure treatment. Riboflavin is a type of vitamin B12 which is a normal part of a healthy diet. When this vitamin is dropped directly in the eye – and then exposed to the ultraviolet light – new cross-links between the collagen fibers in the cornea are formed. This strengthens the eye cornea and can stop progress of keratoconus. Corneal cross linking will not eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses.
ICON Eyecare has performed corneal cross linking as a treatment for keratoconus on patients as young as 12 years old.
If you are suffering from keratoconus, there are treatment options available for you. Contact ICON Eyecare to schedule your consultation, and your doctor will review the right keratoconus treatment option for you.
Keratoconus is an eye disease that impacts the very structure of the cornea. In this video we pronounce it for you. Feeling comfortable with the medical terms is important so that you can start to have an intelligent discussion with your doctor.