A normal cornea is round like a ball. When the cornea is not strong enough to hold its round shape, it thins, and gradually bulges out into a cone shape. This is called keratoconus. This condition affects your vision, and fortunately, the doctors at Wichita Optometry, P.A. can treat the disease.
Q: Who Is At Risk For Keratoconus?
A: Although anyone can develop this condition, certain factors increase your risk of developing it.
- Family history of keratoconus
- Frequent vigorous rubbing of the eye
- Medical conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, hay fever, asthma, Down syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
Q: What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?
A: In the early stages, you may not experience any symptoms. As the condition progresses, you can begin to experience the following:
- Blurry vision
- Distorted vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Difficulty driving at night
- Cloudy vision
- Frequently needing eyeglass prescription changes
Q: How Is Keratoconus Diagnosed?
A: This condition can be diagnosed during an eye exam. If your eye doctor suspects that you have this condition, there are a few tests that can confirm the diagnosis.
- Slit-lamp examination: This test involves the use of a high-powered microscope to evaluate the shape of the cornea.
- Keratometry: This test is designed to determine the basic shape of the cornea.
- Computerized corneal mapping: This procedure can give your optometrist a detailed shape map of the surface of your cornea. It can also measure the thickness.
Q: How Is Keratoconus Treated?
A: In the early stages, this condition can be treated with a stronger eyeglass prescription. As the disease progresses, your optometrist may recommend special contact lenses. Gas permeable lenses are commonly prescribed because unlike soft lenses; they hold their shape. This will maintain your cornea's natural round shape. If you have trouble getting used to gas-permeable lenses, you optometrist might recommend piggyback lenses. This is where you wear a soft lens under the gas-permeable lens that acts as a cushion.
Scleral lenses are often prescribed for advanced keratoconus. Unlike traditional lenses, scleral lenses to fit over your cornea. Instead, they sit on the white part of your eye, the sclera, and they vault over the cornea.
If severe cases where the cornea is scarred or if there is extreme thinning, surgery may be necessary. Corneal inserts are one surgical option. The procedure involves having inserts surgically placed to hold a normal corneal shape. In rare and extreme cases, a corneal transplant may be the only way to improve your vision.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of keratoconus, schedule an appointment with Wichita Optometry, P.A. When the condition is diagnosed, you can begin treatment to help you see better. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today.