Keratoconus (KEHR-a-toh-kohn-nus) is a disorder that results in the thinning of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye), causing it to bulge into a “cone” shape. The condition generally affects both eyes (bilateral), but one eye tends to be more advanced (asymmetric) than the other. In the beginning stages of keratoconus, patients may be able to achieve good vision with spectacles or soft contact lenses. As the condition progresses, and corneal surface irregularities increases, spectacles and soft lenses may no longer be able to provide acceptable vision. As a result, custom fitted gas permeable contact lenses may be necessary to restore optimal vision.
General facts on keratoconus
- Estimated occurrence is 1 out of every 2000 persons in the general population
- The disease may be diagnosed during late adolescence or early twenties
- There is no significant gender, ethnic or social pattern
- The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown
- Symptoms include blurry and/or distorted vision
- Some patients complain of itchy eyes or have associated eye rubbing tendencies
- The continued thinning of the cornea progresses slowly and may reach a plateau
Management of keratoconus
- Contact lenses are not a cure for keratoconus. They simply provide the best means to improve vision.
- 10-20% of keratoconus cases may eventually need a corneal transplant.
- Corneal transplantation is usually considered only in cases where contact lenses cannot be worn or do not provide adequate vision.
- The rate of corneal transplant success for keratoconus is approximately 95%, but as with all operations, it involves potentially serious risks.
- Eyeglasses or contact lenses may still be needed after surgery for vision correction.
- Laser surgery is strongly not recommended
For more information and treatment options visit www.treatkeratoconus.com. If you are concerned about keratoconus, one of our doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam and discuss the options available to you. Contact our office to schedule your exam today.