Our corneas are surprisingly resilient. However, they are susceptible to many different conditions. One of these conditions, affecting about 1 in every 2,000 people, is keratoconus.
Corneas are normally a smooth, dome shape. People prone to keratoconus have thinner, unstable corneas. Because the cornea is thin, it eventually begins to lose its shape. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea will begin to bulge and take on a more cone-like shape. This cone-shaped cornea can cause extremely blurry vision.
Keratoconus progresses very slowly. The average age of keratoconus onset occurs around age 16. The earliest signs of keratoconus are blurry vision and frequent prescription changes. Symptoms of keratoconus include:
- Vision that cannot be corrected with glasses
- Increased light sensitivity
- Poor night vision, especially when driving at night
- Halos around light
- Headaches and general eye pain
- Irritated eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to contact your eye doctor right away!
Keratoconus does not have many treatments, and there is still a lot of research being done to make treatments even more effective. There are three common treatments for keratoconus:
- Corneal cross-linking helps to restore collagen crosslinks inside of the cornea, making the cornea stronger.
- Intacs is a small curved device that your eye surgeon inserts into your cornea. Intacs aid in flattening the cornea, preventing the cornea from bulging further.
- Corneal transplant replaces the diseased cornea with a new, donor cornea. This is often a last-resort treatment for advanced cases of keratoconus.
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, please be sure to contact us for treatment options!