Keratoconus Diagnosis & Treatment
Cause & Treatment
Keratoconus is caused by a decrease in protective antioxidants in the cornea. If the antioxidant levels are low, collagen weakens and the cornea protrudes. We see through the cornea which is the transparent outer layers of the eye. Normally, the cornea has a dome shape and is round like a ball. Sometimes, however, the structure of the cornea is not strong enough to hold this round shape and the cornea bulges outward. Small protein fibers in the eye called collagen helps to keep the cornea stable. When these fibers become weak, they can not maintain the shape and the cornea becomes increasingly more “cone” shaped.
Keratoconus usually begins in adolescence and seems to be genetic. The cornea can change shape relatively quickly or may progress over several years. These changes can lead to blurred vision and/or a constant glare. Changes can also stop quickly or continue for decades. There is no way to predict how the condition will progress. In most cases, both eyes are eventually affected, although not always to the same extent.
Treatment can occasionally be done with glasses. Best vision for keratoconus patients will be through scleral contact lenses, also known as corneal vaulting devices. There are also specialized treatments that can be done to prevent the progression of the disease.
Vision correction laser surgery –LASIK – is dangerous for people with keratoconus, as it may further weaken the cornea and make the vision worse. Anyone with even a small degree of keratoconus should not have LASIK surgery. Contact Twenty Twenty Eyecare – your Tulsa Optometrist – to schedule your eye exam today!
Keratoconus changes the vision of two ways:
- The smooth surface over the eye becomes wavy as the cornea changes shape. This is known as irregular astigmatism.
- Vision becomes more nearsighted as the front of the cornea is expanded and anything far may be blurry.
Symptoms for keratoconus include the following:
- A sudden change of vision in one eye
- Double vision or “ghost images”
- Distorted vision, with objects both near and far
- Lights with halos or streaks
- Blurred vision while driving
Are you experiencing prolonged blurred vision and difficulty seeing at night? Could you be suffering from Keratoconus? Learn about Keratoconus symptoms, diagnosis & treatment.
First of all, what is Keratoconus? Your body has many parts that need to remain flexible to be fully functional. This includes your eye’s cornea. Keratoconus is when your cornea can no longer flex, due to becoming very thin. It might bulge, like a cone because it is stuck in one shape. Keratoconus might differ from person to person. Generally, symptoms might consist of the following: blurred vision, light sensitivity, difficulty with night vision, light halos, eye strains, headaches and eye irritation. Of course, many of these symptoms might have other causes. That is why its early stages require diagnosis from a competent eye doctor. The most severe Keratoconus can make it very difficult for you to see and live a normal life.
Diagnostic Eye Exam
Your cornea has a normal cone shape, with Keratoconus this become more pronounced, bulging and deformed. Our professional eye doctor can use a slit-lamp eye exam to determine if you suffer from corneal thinning, Fleischer’s ring, Vogt’s striae or Apical scarring. What do these medical terms mean? Fleischer’s ring is an iron colored ring around your eye’s cone. Vogt’s striae are stress lines caused by corneal thinning. Apical scarring occurs at the apex of your eye’s cone. Your vision doctor can also use eye refraction, keratometry or computerized corneal mapping for Keratoconus diagnosis.
Treatment all depends on the severity of your Keratoconus. Mild to moderate Keratoconus can be treated with stronger eyeglasses or contact lenses. The cornea should regain stability after a couple of years. Other possibilities are Corneal Vaulting Devices. Due to the larger bulge, these vision devices must clear your eye to prevent any rubbing. The worst case scenario could require surgery. Preventative eye care might involve tests to see if any chronic or long-term problems are serious. We, at Twenty Twenty Eyecare can give you a Keratoconus eye exam. Keratoconus diagnosis & treatment can help you improve your vision. We are your friendly neighborhood Tulsa, Oklahoma optometrist. Stop by to get the latest eye glasses or contact lenses. Our eye doctor can give you a vision test to make sure everything is working properly. Be proactive and enjoy the best sight.