A healthy cornea is round like a ball. When it begins to thin, it can no longer hold its shape, and bulges into a cone shape, causing a condition called keratoconus. This condition often affects both eyes, and one is often worse than the other. Fortunately, the professionals at The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery in McHenry, IL can treat the condition.
When Do the Symptoms of Keratoconus Typically Begin?
This condition often affects people between the ages of 10 and 25, and it is very mild. Over the next 10 years or more, the condition progresses slowly.
Who Is at Risk for Keratoconus?
Although nobody really knows the cause of keratoconus, there are factors that can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- Family history: Around 1 in 10 of people with this condition have a parent who has it as well.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions can increase your risk for keratoconus, including hay fever, asthma, retinitis pigmentosa, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
- Frequent and vigorous rubbing of the eyes.
What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?
Keratoconus causes symptoms that affect your vision. These include:
- Blurry vision
- Distorted vision
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Needing frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
- Sudden worsening of vision
- Sudden clouding of vision
- Trouble driving at night
How Is Keratoconus Diagnosed?
Our eye doctor can diagnose keratoconus during your annual eye exam. During a typical exam, our eye doctor will perform a refraction and a slit lamp exam. If we suspect keratoconus, we will perform further tests.
- Keratometry: During this test, our ophthalmologist will focus a circle of light on the cornea. This allows us to measure the reflection to get a good look at the basic shape of your cornea.
- Computerized corneal mapping: Our eye doctor can use photographic tests to create a detailed shape map of the cornea.
How Is Keratoconus Treated?
In the early stages of the disease, our eye doctor will prescribe glasses or contacts to correct your vision. Since this condition causes your cornea to bulge into a cone shape, you may not be able to wear soft contacts. Fortunately, there are other alternatives:
- Gas permeable lenses: Gas permeable lenses are rigid and can hold your eye's round shape.
- Hybrid lenses: Hybrid lenses are an option if you cannot get used to gas permeable lenses. The contacts have a hard center and a soft outer ring, which can be more comfortable than gas permeable.
- Scleral lenses: These lenses are great if you have an irregularly shaped cornea. Rather than resting on the cornea like typical contacts, they rest on the white of the eye and vault over the cornea.
- Intacs: These are braces that are implanted into the cornea to gently reshape it.
- Collagen cross-linking: This method includes using B2 eyedrops and ultraviolet light on the cornea to stop it from changing its shape. This treatment can slow or stop the progression of the condition. It can prevent the need for a corneal transplant in the future when the condition becomes severe.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Ophthalmologist
If you are experiencing symptoms of keratoconus, seek treatment immediately. At The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery in McHenry, IL, we will slow the progression of keratoconus. To schedule an appointment, call us today.