What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a distortion of the front surface of your eye, the cornea. It is typically an inherited disease, but can also result from excessive eye rubbing. The cornea of your eye has the responsibility of directing light to your retina. By collecting and funneling light, it allows you to see clearly. However, if the cornea is misshapen, it does not allow the light to focus in the same place on your retina, and therefore causes distorted and blurred vision.
If you have keratoconus, the cornea has a cone shape that typically worsens over time. This cone shape does not focus light correctly. At first, you may have astigmatism and minor blurriness. However, over time the blurriness can worsen, and you could develop scarring on your cornea.
How to Diagnose Keratoconus
First, our optometrists will perform a comprehensive eye exam. During this exam, your doctor will test your vision and look at the topography of your cornea. You should have annual eye exams to compare your current cornea measurements with past information. Significant changes can indicate a rapid progression of keratoconus, which may require more advanced treatment options such as surgery.
How To Treat Keratoconus
The first line of treatment is corrective lenses. Typically, mild versions of keratoconus only need vision correction with glasses or contact lenses. If you choose contacts, you may need rigid gas-permeable lenses or scleral lenses to create a new front surface to focus light correctly.
If your keratoconus is progressing, you may benefit from a procedure called corneal cross-linking to prevent further shape changes in your cornea. If you have a severe form of keratoconus that resulted in corneal scarring, you may require a cornea transplant. Your optometrist will talk you about the right treatment options for your eyes.