What Is Keratoconus and How Is It Treated?

Are you having to change your corrective lenses prescription every time you visit your eye doctor? If you are dealing with nearsightedness and constantly changing your prescription, then some part of your eye is in a constant state of change. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that could be causing these changes. Having your eyes checked by the skilled personnel at Faro Optometry in Lynwood and Los Angeles, CA, can help you resolve your issue.


What Is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that affects the cornea. The cornea of your eye helps to focus the light entering your eye onto the retina. Keratoconus changes the shape of your cornea, making it more cone-shaped, thus causing the light not to focus on the retina. The retina is what translates information contained in the light into neural signals that can be read by the brain. If the light falls short of your retina, then your vision becomes impaired.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

  • Progressively worsening nearsightedness
  • Distorted or blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to glare
  • Constantly changing corrective lenses prescription

What Causes Keratoconus?

An imbalance of enzymes within the cornea causes it to weaken. This weakening allows it to be susceptible to forces that cause it to bulge forward. The causes of the weakening and bulging can be genetic, leading to multiple sufferers within a single family. 

Risk factors associated to keratoconus are overexposure to UV rays, poor fitting contact lenses, chronic eye irritation, and the constant rubbing of the eyes. 

Treatments for Progressed Keratoconus

1. Corneal crosslinking: Corneal crosslinking strengthens the cornea by adding anchor points to it. This is accomplished by adding riboflavin to the cornea. The riboflavin is activated with UV light. The activated riboflavin bonds collagen fibers together, creating more cornea anchor points, thus strengthening the cornea's resistance to bulging. 

2. Intacs: Intacs are clear, arc-shaped inserts that are surgically placed within the cornea to reshape the front surface of the eye. Intacs may be needed when corrective lenses no longer give you clear vision. Intacs are removeable. If the disease continues to progress, they can be replaced until intacs no longer are a viable option. 

3. Conductive keratoplasty: By using a computer-generated topographical map of your eye's surface, radio waves can be used to reshape the front of your cornea. 

4. Corneal transplant: A cornea transplant may be the only option left for someone whose disease has reached a point that the other options no longer work. 

Eye Exams Are an Important Part of Your Overall Eye Health

Having regular eye exams can alert your eye doctor if keratoconus has developed in your eyes. The earlier the detection, the more options you will have to correct it. Give us a call at Faro Optometry in Lynwood or Los Angeles, CA, to set up regular eye exams. Our expertise will protect your vision. 

Lynwood: 310-844-7961

Los Angeles: 323-988-1033

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