Thursday, Sep 1, 2022 by Nisha Gupta, MD

This month we will talk about the condition keratoconus.

What is keratoconus and what causes it?

Keratoconus is a condition that affects the shape of the cornea. The cornea becomes thinner and bulges outward like a cone. No one knows the definitive cause of the disease. It can be passed down in families and is associated with excessive eye rubbing, chronic inflammation, and connective tissue disorders like Marfan syndrome.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms usually start in the late teens to early 20s and progress over time. Both eyes can be affected but one may be worse. Changing the shape of the cornea makes the vision blurry. One may also see distortions, be sensitive to light, or have a red eye. In advanced stages, scarring can occur leading to worse vision.

How is it detected?

A comprehensive exam including checking the vision and measuring the cornea surface are important to make this diagnosis. Pictures may be taken to create a map of the corneal surface.

What are the treatments?

Glasses or contact lenses: In early stages, glasses help with the vision. Hard contact lenses may be required.

Intacs: This is a device placed in the cornea to flatten it and improve the vision.

Corneal cross-linking: This procedure flattens the cornea using UV light and a specialized solution for the eye.

Corneal transplant: Used in advanced cases, the cornea is replaced with donor tissue.

Other tips: Do not rub the eyes. Excessive rubbing can damage the cornea and worsen symptoms.

Return next month for a discussion on a new topic!

Call us for an appointment

Call Now