Keratoconus is a serious eye condition that involves the thinning and bulging of the cornea. The cornea is supposed to be round-shaped, but sometimes it bulges out like a cone, and that is what is known as the Keratoconus. This condition is treatable if diagnosed early.
There is no major cause of Keratoconus. It mainly affects people who have certain medical conditions, as well as those who have the disease in their family history. Patients with this condition tend to have red eyes due to rubbing their eyes, and that increases the chances of developing it to worse stages.
Some of the main symptoms of Keratoconus include:
Blurred vision in one or both the eyes
Double vision even when wearing eyeglasses
Seeing halos in bright lights
If you have this condition, you might slowly notice that your vision is getting distorted, and that is when you should visit your optometrist. It mainly affects young people in their teen years.
There are various methods that your doctor can use to diagnose Keratoconus. Some of the tests include:
This test involves using a special microscope to view your eye. Your optometrist will ask you to place your chin on the microscope for a better view. Through the slit lamp test, your doctor can examine the shape of your cornea to check if there are any abnormalities.
In this test, a beam of light is used to determine your cornea’s shape based on how it reflects the light.
Eye refraction is used to check for vision problems. Your doctor can use a device containing various lenses to identify the combination that gives the best vision. Your doctor can also use handheld equipment to give similar results.
Corneal mapping involves the use of photographic tests such as corneal topography and corneal tomography to determine the overall shape of your cornea. With corneal tomography, your doctor can detect signs of Keratoconus before it gets worse.
Keratoconus treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. If the symptoms are mild or less, your doctor can prescribe eyeglasses. If the symptoms are severe, you may be required to wear hard contact lenses or undergo cornea transplant surgery.
Typically, there are two treatments of Keratoconus. One of them is collagen cross-linking. It involves the use of special eye drops and UV light to strengthen your cornea. It is one of the treatments that can save you from cornea surgery.
The second treatment is using eyeglasses or contact lenses. This is when the symptoms are mild. Eyeglasses may be a permanent solution, especially if the cornea becomes strong with time.
If the two treatments are not working, your optometrist may advise you to undergo a cornea transplant. Note that this is only done when the symptoms are severe and there is no other solution. The damaged cornea is replaced with a new and healthy cornea tissue through the transplant.
Learn more about diagnosing & treating keratoconus, contact Houston Dry Eye Clinic in Houston, Texas at (713) 664-4760 to schedule an appointment.