Each month, LaserVision highlight a different eye condition with the aim of raising awareness of the symptoms while providing information on the cause and possible treatments available at LaserVision.
What exactly is keratoconus?
The term keratoconus derives from the Greek translation of ‘kerato’, meaning cornea and ‘konus’, meaning cone. It is a progressive eye disease that changes the structure of the central area of the cornea and forms irregular bulging and weakening of the tissue; resulting in a refractive error with the end result being distorted vision. For the eye to function and focus effectively, the cornea must be smooth.
What are the symptoms?
Early signs of keratoconus include eye strain, blurred vision, frequent changes in eye prescriptions when visiting the opticians and irregular bulging of the cornea.
What is the cause?
Keratoconus is most commonly a genetic condition that runs in the family. The collegen protein fibres within the eye keep the cornea in place and at its optimum shape, however when these fibres are weakened, the cornea can no longer hold its shape allowing for the cornea to become more cone shaped which can worsen progressively. It is estimated to affect 1 person in 2000. Therefore keratoconus is not uncommon.
How can I be diagnosed?
Keratoconus is usually first diagnosed in the form of an Astigmatism, where the cornea is seen to bulge slightly, which in turn, will impair the eyes’ ability to focus. However, for some patients keratoconus will progress to the point where vision is impaired such that glasses or contact lenses cannot improve the vision further. Although often only one eye is noticeably affected, it is common for both eyes to be affected. A professional optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist will be able to give a thorough diagnosis.
How can Keratoconus be treated?
Keratoconus has a significant impact on daily life and can be treated in many ways depending on the progression and stage of the disease. At LaserVision, we offer a wide range of solutions to reverse the effects of keratoconus and improve vision.
The current range of treatments available at LaserVision include rigid contact lenses, corneal segments including Intacs, Kerarings and Ferrara Rings, corneal collagen cross-linking – CXLink, LaserLink™ and Corneal Graft surgery.
Your LaserVision consultant surgeon can expertly guide you through the best treatments for you. Each of the above solutions is an effective way of treating keratoconus but the treatment has to be personalised to achieve the best results.