What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that may affect one or both eyes. It changes the shape of the cornea from a normal round shape to one that is more elongated and conical. This altered shape causes visual distortions, including double images, streaking, and light sensitivity.
What causes Keratoconus?
An enzymatic imbalance within the cornea may cause the condition, although ophthalmologists don’t know for sure. The belief is that the cornea becomes more vulnerable to oxidative damages from free radicals. The result is a cornea that is weak and bulges. Genetics may be a factor, as doctors have observed keratoconus occurring in multiple family members. Additionally, overexposure to ultraviolet rays, improper contact lens wear, excessive eye rubbing, and chronic eye irritations may be potential causes.
What are the signs and symptoms of Keratoconus?
Early symptoms of keratoconus include a long, conical corneal shape, increased nearsightedness or irregular astigmatism, and progressive, pronounced changes to your vision prescription.
How is Keratoconus treated?
Mild cases of keratoconus may be effectively treated with glasses or contact lenses. In later stages, treatment options are aimed at providing adequate vision correction and eye protection. Treatment options include:
- Gas permeable (GP) contact lenses
- Soft and GP lens combinations
- Internal or surgical options such as corneal inserts or corneal collagen cross-links
- Corneal transplants
At Patel Eye Associates, we generally recommend SynergEyes® hybrid contact lenses for our keratoconus patients. These lenses provide you with greater comfort than other types of contact lenses.
Why might Keratoconus require corneal transplant?
For those that cannot tolerate rigid lenses or those for whom corrective therapies no longer work, a corneal transplant or Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK) may be the only way to correct your condition.
Please contact our eye doctors in Edison, New Jersey today to schedule your initial consultation. Patel Eye Associates serves patients in Edison, New Brunswick, and Middlesex County, New Jersey.