The irregular steepening of the cornea
Keratoconus (KC) is a progressive, non-inflammatory eye disease in which the cornea gets thin causing it protrude outward like a cone. This causes significant visual impairment. Eventually, the disease can progress to a point where there is severe scarring and blindness.
Who gets KC?
The actual incidence of KC is not known. It’s estimated 1:2,000 persons in the general population. Typically diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens, KC has no known significant geographic, cultural or social demographic.
What do patients experience?
You may have blurred vision, distorted vision, astigmatism, double vision, inability to see in dim light, nearsightedness, sensitivity to light, or vision loss.
Treatment options for KC
Glasses –may cause distortion and aberrations due to the curvature of the cornea. Therefore, contact lenses are recommended. Hard (Rigid Gas Permeable – RGP) contact lenses are permeable contact lenses that vault over the cornea, replacing its irregular shape with a smooth, uniform refracting surface to improve vision
Scleral Contact Lenses used for Keratoconus
These large diameter, gas permeable contacts are large enough that the periphery and edge of the lens rests on the “white” of the eye (sclera). Scleral lenses cover a larger portion of the sclera. The center of scleral lens vaults over the irregularly shaped cornea, so that lenses do not apply pressure to the eye’s cone-shaped surface for a more comfortable fit.
Hybrid Contact Lenses used for Keratoconus
These lenses are specifically designed contact lens for the treatment of keratoconus and other corneal irregularities. The hybrid contact lens combines the best of both worlds – the crisp vision of a GP contact lens in the center, with the all-day comfort and convenience of a soft lens at the skirt.
Surgical Options for Treating KC
A surgical procedure, also called corneal collagen cross-linking or CXL. It strengthens corneal tissue to halt bulging of the eye’s surface caused by KC. This usually involves a referral to a corneal specialist.
A corneal transplant used when the cornea becomes dangerously thin or when an individual’s visual needs can no longer be achieved by contact lenses due to steepening of the cornea, scaring or lens intolerance