Correcting Cornea Coning
Keratoconus is a progressive vision disorder affecting the health and structure of the cornea (front of the eye). The resulting cone-like shape can cause visual symptoms, including distorted vision. Managing cornea health is crucial for preserving vision and preventing eye complications.
At Golden Vision Optometry, we can keep an eye on your cornea health with regular eye exams. We can also recommend treatment appropriate for your vision needs, including customized contact lenses. Talk to our eye doctors today for personalized eye care.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a vision disorder occurring when the normally dome-shaped cornea thins and becomes irregularly shaped, bulging outward into a cone-like shape. In a healthy cornea, the convex shape focuses light on the retina (tissue at the back of the eye). When abnormally shaped, light is reflected incorrectly, resulting in distorted vision.
The condition usually appears in a person’s teen years. Symptoms can progress for about 10–20 years, with development typically decreasing after. Symptoms of keratoconus can include blurry vision and light sensitivity, with more significant vision problems as keratoconus progresses.
In some cases, the cornea changes can lead to swelling, causing a significant decrease in vision. The strain on the cornea can cause a crack. Swelling can last weeks or months as the crack heals, developing scar tissue. Notably, the corneal scarring can cause additional symptoms, including:
- Eye pain
- Feeling something in the eye
- Hazy or cloudy vision
- Red or watery eyes
What Causes Keratoconus?
Keratoconus can be inherited or developed due to health conditions. Heredity is a strong indicator, as 1 in 10 keratoconus patients have a family member with keratoconus. Frequent eye rubbing over time can also contribute to cornea thinning.
Other risk factors include:
When keratoconus initially develops, eyeglasses or contact lenses can typically offer adequate vision correction. Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are generally recommended over soft contact lenses, as they offer sharper vision with a firmer structure.
However, if prescription lenses are insufficient, some patients may benefit from surgical treatment. Some options include:
- Corneal transplant: An ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) partially or fully removes the deteriorating cornea and replaces it with healthy donor tissue. The healthy tissue improves vision, however, some patients may still require prescription lenses.
- Corneal cross-linking: Vitamin B (riboflavin) eye drops and UV light are used to stimulate new bonds in collagen fibers. The new growth strengthens the cornea and can decrease keratoconus progression.
- ICL surgery: An implantable collamer lens may be an option to enhance vision, even with higher prescriptions. For patients with keratoconus, an ICL may reduce reliance on glasses or make soft contact lenses a practical option.
- Scleral lenses: Scleral lenses are custom-fitted contact lens designed to provide stable vision for patients with keratoconus. Scleral lenses vault over the cornea, instead of resting directly on it, offering greater comfort while improving vision acuity.
Personalized Keratoconus Solutions
Keratoconus is a progressive condition, so early detection is crucial for monitoring cornea health. It can also occur alongside other health or eye conditions, complicating treatment.
Our compassionate team at Golden Vision Optometry can determine risk factors and create a personalized strategy to help patients achieve the best vision possible. Talk to your eye doctor today to discuss your symptoms and protect your vision.
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