What is Keratoconus ?
Keratoconus is a disease of the cornea. The cornea is the clear window at the front of the eye which focuses light travelling through the eye onto the back of the eye (retina). In keratoconus, the shape of the cornea is cone-shaped rather than being spherical. This results in abnormal focusing of light as it travels through the eye leading to poor vision. Keratoconus is a disease that gets progressively worse with time, resulting in a worsening of vision.
Keratoconus, a condition where the typically round cornea thins and bulges into a cone-like shape, affects the refractive power of the eye. This curvature leads to astigmatism and blurriness in vision. As we guide you through the keratoconus treatment landscape, you’ll discover how modern solutions are enhancing the quality of life for many.
Keratoconus Treatment and Symptoms: When to Seek Help
During the late teens or early twenties, keratoconus often begins to show its signs. The initial indicators include:
- Distorted and blurry vision
- Heightened light sensitivity
- Frequent changes in eye prescriptions
- Challenges with night vision
These symptoms necessitate a detailed examination by an eye specialist.
Keratoconus Detection: The Starting Point for Treatment
Contemporary imaging technology, like corneal topography, aids in detecting keratoconus early on. By mapping the corneal surface, specialists can determine both the presence and the extent of the condition, ensuring timely keratoconus treatment.
Halting Keratoconus Progression: Cross Linking Surgery
Cross linking surgery is pivotal for those looking to halt the advancement of keratoconus. This outpatient procedure involves the application of riboflavin drops, followed by exposure to UV light. The resulting strengthened corneal fibres prevent further deformation. As an established keratoconus treatment, cross linking surgery has shown promise globally.
Vision Correction in Keratoconus: Tailored Solutions
Once keratoconus progression is managed, the focus shifts to vision restoration. This involves a multi-pronged approach, customised to individual requirements.
Keratoconus Treatment with Specialised Contact Lenses
Offering a uniform refractive surface, specialised contact lenses like scleral, hybrid, or gas-permeable types can significantly improve vision.
Keratoconus Surgery: Laser-Assisted Reshaping
Some individuals benefit from keratoconus surgery using lasers. This procedure refines the cornea's shape, enhancing visual clarity and reducing dependency on corrective eyewear.
Revitalising Vision with Corneal Transplant
In advanced cases where keratoconus treatment with lenses or laser is insufficient, a corneal transplant becomes a viable option. Techniques such as Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) or Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK) promise renewed vision clarity.
Ongoing Care in Keratoconus Management
Routine consultations with an eye specialist are pivotal for monitoring the stability of keratoconus and the effectiveness of the chosen treatment, ensuring adjustments are made as needed.
Safeguarding Your Eyes Post-Treatment
Post-keratoconus treatment, avoiding eye-rubbing, sporting UV-protective sunglasses, and adhering to eye safety guidelines are essential to maintain the health of your cornea.
Exploring Macular Degeneration Treatments
Alongside keratoconus treatment, being vigilant about other potential eye conditions is crucial. Staying updated on treatments, especially for conditions like macular degeneration, is vital. Exploring the latest in treatment for macular degeneration ensures that you are well informed and prepared to address this prevalent eye condition proactively.
What can be done to stop keratoconus getting worse ?
Corneal collagen cross-linking is a treatment performed on the cornea to strengthen the fibers (collagen) that comprise it. Riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops are applied to the cornea and the cornea is exposed to ultraviolet light (UVA). This causes a chemical reaction which results in chemical bonds (cross links) to form between the collagen fibers in the cornea. The result is that the cornea becomes stiffer and, as a result, the keratoconus is much less likely to worsen. There is very good evidence from large studies around the world that this is an effective treatment in stopping keratoconus progression.
How can vision be improved in keratoconus?
In mild cases of keratoconus, glasses can improve vision. Frequently, however, the quality of vision achieved with glasses is unsatisfactory.
Specialised contact lenses are required in keratoconus because soft contact lenses cannot correct for the abnormal cone shaped cornea. There are several types of contact lenses that can be used including, rigid gas permeable lenses, hybrid lenses and scleral lenses. These contact lenses can be fitted by a contact lens specialist with expertise is fitting these lenses in eyes with keratoconus. They provide a spherical surface over the cone shaped cornea which allows light to be focused in a normal manner. The vision achieved is usually excellent.
In some cases of keratoconus, laser can be applied to the cornea to improve its shape and improve its ability to focus light. This results in improved vision.
In some severe cases of keratoconus, contact lenses may not be tolerated or may not provide satisfactory vision. In these cases, corneal transplantation becomes an option. The 2 types of corneal transplants performed for keratoconus are Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (PK) and Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK). Find out more. Find out more.
Choosing Your Keratoconus Treatment Specialist
As you navigate the journey of keratoconus treatment, partnering with an eye specialist in Hervey Bay updated with the latest in corneal care can make a world of difference. It's essential to ensure they are also knowledgeable about advanced procedures like refractive eye surgery to offer a comprehensive range of solutions.
Living with Keratoconus: Embracing the New Normal
Keratoconus might be a lifelong condition, but with the advancements in keratoconus surgery and treatment options, leading an active, fulfilling life is a reality. Embrace regular check-ups, communicate openly with your specialist, and be proactive in your care for the best outcomes.