What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a disease of the collagen fibers on the cornea (the clear layer in front of the eye). These collagen fibers are weakened, and the shape of the cornea changes and “bulges” outward over time.
What are the symptoms of keratoconus?
The main symptom is vision worsening, even with glasses or contact lenses. It typically occurs in both eyes but can be worse in one eye versus the other. Patients typically report having to change glasses often with no improvement in vision.
What are risk factors?
Frequent eye rubbing associated with allergies or habit
Floppy lid syndrome
Puberty to early 30s is the typical age affected
How is keratoconus diagnosed?
Our eye doctors use advanced digital devices to diagnose the disease officially.
Corneal Topography: This is a topographic map of the cornea (just like you see on a map) to look at areas of bulging or “steepening.” This is a critical test for an official diagnosis.
Pachymetry: This measures the thickness of the cornea. Keratoconic patients typically have very thin corneas in one area more than others.
What are the treatment options for keratoconus?
The goal of treatment is to prevent the progression and to improve vision for those affected by keratoconus.
Cross-linking: This is an FDA-approved treatment to strengthen the collagen fibers weakened by the disease. Doing this as early as possible prevents further thinning and preserves vision. Once diagnosed, our doctors will refer you to the best center for a consultation for treatment.
Scleral lens fitting: Besides cross-linking, our doctors will also fit you with scleral lenses(use the link to the scleral lens page here) to provide you with the best visual outcome.
Corneal transplant: in patients where cross-linking was not available and/or the disease has further progressed to the point of the cornea thinning more than it should, your surgeon will recommend a transplant to save your vision and keep the eye as healthy as possible.