Keratoconus is a condition that can greatly affect your eyesight and the health of your eyes. The condition usually starts in the teenage years and can progress and cause a variety of symptoms, such as impaired vision. At Vision Solutions in La Mesa, CA, our team provides eye exams to diagnose keratoconus in the early stages and to decide which treatment or intervention is necessary.
Keratoconus affects the cornea, which is the clear protective outer layer of the eye. The shape of a normal cornea is usually more steep in the center then gradually flattens out in the periphery in all directions. This shape slowly alters when someone has keratoconus. A thinning of the cornea develops inferiorly on the surface and a bulge or “cone” forms causing visual distortion and many times astigmatism and a large change in prescription. When this occurs, you may experience several symptoms, such as blurry vision or double/shadowed vision. The condition usually begins between the ages of 10 and 25 and progresses over the next 10 years. While keratoconus can progress slowly, it is essential to receive treatment early in the process to halt the worsening irregular shape of the eye, which can lead to permanent vision loss.
Stages of Keratoconus
The condition can start out very slowly and may not present any severe symptoms at the beginning. During the early stages, you can still wear routine soft contact lenses, but most of the time they will need to be toric lenses to correct for astigmatism. Glasses may also work fine in the early stages but not for everyone. As keratoconus progresses, the irregular shape of the eye from the cone will continue to change the prescription and vision and will eventually make glasses a poor option for best vision. Once the condition has progressed, you will need specialty contact lenses such as Rigid Gas permeable or Scleral contact lenses, or hybrid contact lenses to help you see more clearly. These lenses provide the wearer with a more symmetrical shape to the front of the eye’s cornea that helps to improve the vision instead of glasses. However, once keratoconus becomes severe, surgery such as a corneal transplant may be beneficial in the later stages to replace the irregular cornea. After the procedure, you will experience clearer vision but likely will still need custom contact lenses for best vision.
Keratoconus now has an FDA approved treatment called corneal cross linking that when performed early in the keratoconus disease can prevent the cornea from continuing to become more malformed with time. It can prevent the worsening of the disease and the need for a corneal transplant.
Contact us for Treatment Today
When you have keratoconus, it's important to visit Vision Solutions in La Mesa, CA, so our eye doctors can see how much the condition has progressed each year. You may also need to specialty contacts to help correct your vision or a referral for corneal crosslinking. At our practice, we offer various treatments and can decide which would best suit you after an eye exam. To learn about the wide range of services that we provide or to schedule your appointment with one of our optometrists, call our office at (619) 461-4913 today.