Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a corneal disorder where the cornea (the front “windshield” of the eye) undergoes progressive thinning and steepening resulting in increased amounts of astigmatism and decreased best corrected vision.

normal cornea
normal cornea
keratoconus
keratoconic cornea

 

 

 

 

 

Keratoconus affects 1 in 2000 people.  Most cases involve both eyes, frequently in an assymmetric fashion.  For many, keratoconus is very slowly progressive and vision remains very correctable with standard glasses or contact lenses.  For some, keratoconus can be more progressive eventually leading to surgical options to maintain good vision.

Symptoms of keratoconus

  • progressively blurred vision
  • increasing amounts of astigmatism
  • increasing difficulty to correct vision to 20/20

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of keratoconus is often delayed at first until vision is noticed to not be correctable to 20/20 and/or a large increase in astigmatism occurs between eye exams.  Your doctor can perform a corneal topography test to detect early keratoconus.

Treatment

As it pertains to vision, early keratoconus is treated with glasses or contact lenses.  Although initially soft contact lenses may work to achieve good vision, eventually rigid gas permeable or mini scleral contact lenses become necessary to correct the irregular corneal shape.  If contact lenses becomes intolerable, surgical options can be discussed.

Surgical options include corneal cross linking, intacs corneal ring segments, penetrating keratoplasty and DALK (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty).

If you have been told you have keratoconus, schedule a corneal evaluation to learn more about your options for treatment.