Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease, which causes a thinning of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. The cornea is normally a round dome shape but in the case of keratoconus the cornea becomes more shaped like a cone (bulging) which causes distortion of vision.
Keratoconus is usually a bilateral condition but one eye can progress faster than the other. Familial occurrence has been noted although most cases show no definitive inheritance pattern.
In the past patients with keratoconus would have been told that they were not suitable for refractive surgery (lasik) however there are a number of possible options available now.
Treatment for Keratoconus
Glasses and hard contact lenses to correct the refractive error induced by keratoconus are the first step in providing adequate vision. As keratoconus progresses, the quality of one's vision deteriorates and contact lenses or glasses no longer become a satisfactory solution for most people.
For many a corneal transplant was the only option. Kera ring - prescription inserts are another option between contacts and a corneal transplant that may be the best possible option to stabilise the cornea and improve vision.
The Toric Implantable Contact Lens (built in astigmatism) is an option that can be used in those with keratoconus or mild keratoconus as long as the cornea is stable and good vision can be obtained with glasses. Corneas can be stabilised by Collagen Cross Linking.
Stages of treatment
- Eyeglasses in the early stages.
- Rigid contact lenses when eyeglasses do not work.
- CXL - Corneal Collagen Cross linking with Riboflavin - increases the strength of the cornea to prevent progress.
- Kera rings (Intracorneal rings) - when there is intolerance to contact lenses and when the condition continues to progress.
- Corneal transplant in advanced stages - either a partial thickness (Deep Anterior Lamellar or DALK) or full thickness (Penetrating or PK).
We may also be able to explore various procedures to help you become independent from contact lenses &/or glasses.
We offer a FREE, no obligation suitability assessment: we will thoroughly examine and measure your eyes, and discuss the options that will suit your lifestyle and your eyes.