Keratoconus: What You Need to Know

Keratoconus: What You Need to Know

Keratoconus: What You Need to Know

Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory eye condition characterized by the thinning and bulging of the cornea, which is the clear, dome-shaped outer layer covering the front of the eye. This abnormal shape disrupts the way light enters the eye, leading to distorted vision.

Understanding Keratoconus is crucial for early detection and effective management. Below, we’ll explore its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options.

What Causes Keratoconus?

While the exact cause of Keratoconus is still unknown, several factors contribute to its development:

●      Genetic predisposition: Individuals with a family history of Keratoconus are at a higher risk

●      Eye rubbing: Excessive rubbing of the eyes may aggravate the condition

●      Collagen abnormalities: Changes in the collagen fibers within the cornea may weaken its structure, leading to Keratoconus

●      Environmental factors: Certain environmental factors, such as UV light exposure, may play a role in the development of Keratoconus

What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?

Keratoconus symptoms often begin during the teenage years or early adulthood and may gradually worsen over time. Common signs and symptoms include:

●      Blurred or distorted vision

●      Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)

●      Frequent changes in prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses

●      Difficulty driving, especially at night

●      Halos or glare around lights

●      Eye irritation or discomfort


Diagnosis and Treatment

Early diagnosis of Keratoconus is essential for effective management. Your eye doctor may perform various tests to assess the shape and thickness of your cornea, including corneal topography and pachymetry.

Treatment options for Keratoconus depend on the severity of the condition and may include:

●      Glasses or contact lenses: In the early stages, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may correct vision adequately.

●      Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses: RGP lenses provide a smooth surface over the irregular cornea, improving vision by compensating for its shape.

●      Scleral lenses: These larger, gas-permeable lenses vault over the cornea, providing clear vision and increased comfort for individuals with advanced Keratoconus.

●      Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL): This minimally invasive procedure involves applying riboflavin (vitamin B2) drops to the cornea, followed by exposure to UV light to strengthen the corneal tissue and halt the progression of Keratoconus.

●      Corneal transplant: In severe cases where other treatments are ineffective, a corneal transplant may be necessary to replace the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea.:

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that requires timely diagnosis and appropriate management to preserve vision and quality of life. If you experience any symptoms of Keratoconus or have a family history of the condition, it's essential to schedule a comprehensive eye examination with an experienced eye care professional. At Kopolow & Girisgen, Doctors of Optometry, our caring staff is ready to provide personalized care for patients with Keratoconus and other eye conditions.

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