Diagnosing And Treating Keratoconus
Have you been experiencing mild blurring or distortion of vision? Maybe you've noticed increased eye redness, swelling, and increased sensitivity to light. These are some of the common symptoms of keratoconus in its early stages. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease, changing the shape of the cornea. If not treated, the condition can severely damage your vision. Are you thinking of visiting your eye doctor for an eye examination? Read on to learn more about how doctors diagnose and treat keratoconus.
Signs and Symptoms
If you've been having frequent significant changes to your eyeglass prescription, you may have keratoconus. This is true especially in the amount of astigmatism. This initial symptom is usually followed by the gradual progression of vision problems. These include glare symptoms and seeing halos, ghost images, and double or multiple images perceived by every eye individually.
Keratoconus is when the cornea thins and slowly bulges out into a cone. Diagnosing keratoconus early on is crucial in managing the disease. More advanced technologies now let doctors detect and treat keratoconus successfully. The most sensitive diagnostic tool available in diagnosing keratoconus is corneal topography. The method lets your doctor examine the shape of your cornea. The most commonly used topography instruments only measure the cornea's front surface. But more advanced forms now evaluate both the cornea's front and back surfaces. They even provide corneal thickness profiles.
Your doctor may also perform other diagnostic tests to detect keratoconus and determine progression early on. These tests include aberrometry techniques to obtain measurements of different forms of visual distortion. Another common test to diagnose keratoconus is corneal optical coherence tomography. It can provide your doctor with detailed images of your cornea.
For mild keratoconus, eyeglasses or contact lenses may be all you need to improve vision. Some of the custom lenses can offer you the best vision and comfort as your condition progresses. These lenses include:
- Soft Contact Lenses.
- Rigid Gas Permeable Lenses.
- Piggyback Lenses.
- Hybrid Lenses.
- Scleral Lenses.
To remodel very steep corneas, your doctor may suggest intrastromal corneal ring segments or simply known as Intacs. These are synthetic, clear, arc-shaped implants surgically placed by laser or another surgical instrument in the outer edge of your cornea. Intacs cannot stop or slow down the progression of keratoconus. But it can help improve your corneal optics, reducing refractive error.
Another option to treat keratoconus is corneal cross-linking (CXL). It's a non-surgical procedure that aims to strengthen the weakened structure of your cornea. This is possible by allowing collagen fibers in the middle layer of the cornea, known as stroma, to form new bonds to each other. CXL cannot reverse the changes that have already occurred as a result of your keratoconus. But the procedure can stop or slow down the progression of the disease.
For the most severe cases, the standard of care for patients with keratoconus is corneal transplant surgery. It's often prescribed to repair damage or corneal scarring and degeneration of the cornea. If keratoconus is too advanced, your cornea may have to be replaced.
Do you want to learn more about keratoconus? At Horizon Eye Care & Optical, we will answer any questions or concerns you may have about this eye disease. Call our office today in Sugar Land, Texas, to schedule your appointment.