What Is Keratoconus?
With Keratoconus, the cornea becomes gradually cone shaped, protruding slightly as the corneal tissue thins. This condition usually appears between ages 10 and 25, and may continually worsen for a period of years after onset. It is often hereditary about 10 percent of sufferers have at least one parent with the condition. Campus Eye Group provides care, testing, and treatments for our patients with Keratoconus.
When this condition occurs, early symptoms can include vision that is suddenly cloudy or blurry. Sensitivity to light is also common. Patients may also find they frequently need new eyeglass prescriptions, as the changing shape of the cornea distorts light entering the eye. Some sufferers experience visual disturbances that can make it hard to carry out normal daily activities. Night driving can become impossible because of inability to withstand the glare of car lights.
When you visit Campus Eye Group for Keratoconus screening, you will undergo some tests. Tests typically used to diagnose this condition include slit-lamp examination, eye refraction, computerized corneal mapping, and Keratometry.
For the Keratometry test, we will measure the reflection of light shone on your cornea. From that measurement, our doctors can determine if your cornea is normal or cone shaped. Slit-lamp examination is similar, in that it also involves evaluating the shape of your cornea based on light reflection.
In an eye refraction examination, you will look through a series of different lenses so the doctor can gather information about the shape of your eye.
Most precise is computerized corneal mapping, a technique that collects data about corneal topography and optical coherence tomography to build a comprehensive representation of the shape of the cornea.
Health Conditions that Lead to Keratoconus
Some medical conditions carry an increased risk of keratoconus. These include Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Down syndrome, and even sleep apnea. There are also multiple eye conditions that can result in this type of corneal deformation, such as Leber congenital optical neuropathy. To get a proper diagnosis, it’s important to share your full medical history with your care provider.
Treatment Options for Keratoconus
When seeking help for Keratoconus, you have multiple options.
Eyeglasses that correct the changes in the cornea are often the first treatment. Contact lenses are often more effective than eyeglasses, since glasses can’t correct peripheral vision. You may find soft contacts to be sufficient to relieve symptoms, at least initially. If those don’t work, other lenses, such as rigid or hybrid types, may help.
However, some patients only achieve lasting symptom relief through corneal transplant surgery, or Keratoplasty. Fortunately, new techniques are being developed to provide alternatives to a full transplant.