What Is Keratoconus?

Apr 16, 2021

Keratoconus at Levin Eyecare

Have you worn glasses since childhood because of blurry vision? Are you considering LASIK but you’ve found out that you have an eye condition called keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a degenerative affliction of the eye that causes your vision to be blurry or distorted. This eye condition often affects young African Americans and Latino boys in their early teens to late twenties.

Keratoconus mostly stops progressing after patients are in their thirties and early forties. Vision becomes distorted because of changes in the shape of your cornea.

This is due to the tissue that covers your eye thinning out and bulging out. This effect makes your eye look cone-shaped, which causes your vision to become blurry and distorted. Keep reading to learn more about keratoconus!

What happens when you have keratoconus?

You may have first noticed symptoms of this when you were entering middle school. You may have had moments of blurred vision or an unexplained sensitivity to light.

Other symptoms of keratoconus include:

  • Experiencing mild blurry vision
  • Slightly distorted vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Red eyes
  • Feeling tired frequently which may be due to eye strain

What causes keratoconus?

Keratoconus may be caused by excessive eye rubbing. Allergies can cause your eyes to become dry and itchy. With dry and itchy eyes, it can be almost impossible to resist rubbing your eyes.

When you add a genetic factor like the imbalance of enzymes in your eye, this can cause the cornea to weaken and become misshapen. There is no cure for keratoconus.

It can’t be naturally or medically reversed with diet, exercise, or medications. If left untreated, it can lead to significant vision impairment.

Untreated keratoconus can cause:

  • Severe vision loss
  • Irregular astigmatism
  • Blurred vision
  • Nearsightedness
  • Glare
  • Extreme light sensitivity

It may become impossible to wear contact lenses because of the shape of your eye. Your eye doctor will tell you that it is too dangerous for you to have corrective eye surgery (such as LASIK).

You may despair thinking that you’ll only be able to wear glasses forever with no other options!

There are treatment options for keratoconus

When diagnosed early, you can correct your vision using glasses or special contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist will perform an eye exam to measure the curve of your cornea. This will show the change or abnormality of its shape.

Your eye doctor may prescribe UV light therapy and eye drops to help strengthen your cornea. They may also use Intacs.

Intacs are a surgically placed device that helps reshape the cornea. This minimally invasive procedure surgery is primarily performed on patients with keratoconus.

A clear crescent-shaped piece of plastic polymer is inserted into your eye to help reshape it. Another option is corneal cross-linking (CXL).

This minimally invasive, advanced therapy procedure can slow down and stop the progression of the cornea becoming deformed. By making the collagen bond in the cornea stronger, it becomes more solid and stops bulging.

For more severe cases of keratoconus, your eye doctor may recommend a corneal transplant.

Looking for keratoconus treatment options? Schedule an appointment at Levin Eyecare in Baltimore, MD to discuss a treatment plan with one of our eye doctors!


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