What are my Options if I have Keratoconus?
- Posted on: Nov 15 2017
Seeing double, blurred vision, or seeing halos around bright lights. These are all signs of an eye disease known as keratoconus. Keratoconus appears to be genetic and can begin during the teenage years. In other cases, it has been known to show up after the age of 30. Keratoconus is an aggravating eye condition that can cause many vision problems. It develops when the protein fibers, or collagen, lack the strength to contain the structure of the cornea. As a result, the normally dome-shaped cornea progressively takes on the form of a cone. This slow bulging process is caused when low antioxidant levels weaken the collagen. Keratoconus can become severe overtime, or suddenly stop progressing. Before we discuss treatment options, let’s first identify what could be a symptom of keratoconus:
- An abrupt change in vision in one or both eyes
- Bright lights that appear to have halos surrounding them
- Seeing double or triple ghost images
- Feeling uncomfortable driving at night because of blurred vision
- Objects both far and near appearing distorted or blurred
- Lights that appear to streak
In the mildest of keratoconus cases, you may simply need to update your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses are typically recommended to those with keratoconus. If updated vision wear doesn’t work, cornea collagen crosslinking may be recommended. This procedure is effective at preventing keratoconus from getting worse by placing implants beneath the cornea to help reduce the cone shape that has developed. Another treatment utilizes a laser that will smooth out scar tissue, allowing contacts to rest more comfortably on the eye. If none of these treatments are effective, a cornea transplant may be performed. During this procedure, a donor cornea will take the place of the damaged cornea.
It is important to note that those with keratoconus should never get LASIK surgery. Even those with mild forms of the disease are at risk for making their eyesight worse with this procedure. LASIK will further weaken the cornea and increase your vision problems.
Schedule an eye exam
If you suspect you have any keratoconus symptoms, don’t hesitate to call the Shammas Eye Medical Center. Contact us to schedule your next eye exam at 310-638-9391 (Lynwood), 562-862-4444 (Downey), 562-690-8887 (La Habra), or 562-464-0590 (Whittier).
Posted in: Eye Conditions