Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that can affect one or both eyes. It changes the shape of the cornea, thinning it from its normal round shape to a more bulging, conical shape. The result is substantially distorted vision, including double images, streaking, and light sensitivity.
At Patel Eye Associates, our Edison, NJ ophthalmologists have received extensive training and have years of experience in diagnosing keratoconus. We can pick up on the warning signs in their early stages so that you can receive the treatment you need before the condition becomes serious.
Because of its slow progression, detection of keratoconus can be difficult. In the presence of another disorder such as Down syndrome, keratoconus can develop more rapidly. As the disease progresses and the cornea becomes more elongated, nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism affect the ability to drive or read. Often, keratoconus will result in very distorted and blurred vision, accompanied by glare and light sensitivity.
Keratoconus is most often diagnosed in adolescents and those in their early 20s. Those who develop this eye disorder may first notice something is different when their eye care practitioner recommends frequent changes in a prescription for glasses or contact lenses.
New research seems to indicate that keratoconus may stem from an enzymatic imbalance within the cornea, the thin membrane covering the eye. The cornea becomes more vulnerable to oxidative damages from free radicals, eventually developing the weakening and bulging that are hallmarks of this disorder. Some researchers believe genetics plays a part, as it has been observed affecting multiple family members. Other causes may include:
- Overexposure to ultraviolet rays
- Wearing contact lenses improperly
- Excessive eye rubbing
- Chronic eye irritations
Glasses or contact lenses may be all the treatment you need for mild cases of keratoconus. In later stages, more aggressive treatment can protect your vision.
We offer SynergEyes® hybrid contact lenses for patients with keratoconus. Rigid, gas permeable (“hard”) lenses are uncomfortable, and soft lenses don’t provide optimal vision. SynergEyes® hybrid contact lenses offer all day comfort. The “breathable” center ensures healthy eyes, providing crisp, clear vision, even at night.
Along with hybrid contact lenses, possible treatments include:
- Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
- Soft and GP Lens Combination
- Scleral Lenses
- Corneal Cross-Linking
- Coping With Keratoconus
Patients who cannot tolerate certain treatments or who do not respond effectively, may require corneal transplant. Please contact our ophthalmologists in Edison today to schedule your keratoconus consultation. Patel Eye Associates serves clients in New Brunswick, Edison and Middlesex County, New Jersey.