At Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA, we offer keratoconus diagnosis and treatment services. Proper diagnosis and treatment both slow the progression of this condition, which can greatly interfere with your vision when ignored. It may also cause irreversible blindness. We have state-of-the-art equipment and highly skilled optometrists to take care of your vision needs.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a condition characterized by corneal thinning and outward bulging that forms into a cone shape. The cornea is the clear front part of the eye and normally has a round shape. There are no direct known causes of keratoconus. However, environmental and genetic problems are thought to be somehow associated with the condition. There are also risk factors that can increase the chances of developing keratoconus. These include:
- Having conditions like down syndrome and retinitis pigmentosa
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Coming from a family with a history of keratoconus
Keratoconus can affect both eyes differently, where it can be more advanced in only one eye.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Some of the most common symptoms of keratoconus include having trouble seeing during the night, seeing halos, sensitivity when it comes to bright light, clouded vision, and eye irritation. Symptoms of keratoconus usually appear during a person’s late teens. Symptoms may progress for another 20 years, then slow down.
Before treatment, an optometrist conducts various tests to diagnose the condition and determine its extent. Different tests may need to be performed, such as corneal topography, slit lamp exam, and pachymetry. A person may develop astigmatism and nearsightedness during the early stages of keratoconus, which may be corrected using soft contact lenses or eyeglasses. When the disorder progresses to the point that the cornea has changed its shape and thinned significantly, an eye doctor may prescribe rigid gas permeable contact lenses. A corneal transplant might be needed for some cases, too.
Corneal crosslinking is a type of surgery used in the treatment of keratoconus. It is particularly useful where other vision correction methods don’t give the desired outcomes. While this treatment cannot make the cornea regain its normal shape, it prevents the worsening of vision. If not treated, keratoconus can cause permanent vision damage.
Unfortunately, keratoconus cannot be cured completely, but it can be managed to slow its progression. A person suffering from keratoconus will require frequent checkups from an optometrist.
If you have been recently diagnosed with keratoconus, you may have many questions. Keratoconus is a condition that causes the cornea to become distorted over time. The team at Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA, has put together the following list of answers to the questions we most commonly receive concerning this condition. We hope it helps you familiarize yourself with this eye disease and the treatment options available to you.
What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?
If you have keratoconus, you will experience symptoms such as sensitivity to light, eye irritation, distorted or blurred vision, and astigmatism as the condition progresses.
Who Gets Keratoconus and What Causes It?
Typically, people begin to develop keratoconus in early adulthood for reasons that are not known. However, certain factors may contribute to the development of keratoconus including excessive eye rubbing, inherited traits, and weak or thin corneal tissues.
Are There Complications Associated with Keratoconus?
Patients suffering from more severe cases of keratoconus may have tiny tears in their cornea, which can cause swelling. This is caused by the corneal tissues bending until they break. The swelling can last for months which can significantly reduce a person’s already impaired vision.
Can Eyeglasses or Contacts Correct Keratoconus?
Both contact lenses and eyeglasses have limited ability to correct keratoconus if the disease has already progressed beyond its early stages. Patients may achieve good results from gas-permeable contact lenses because they have a more rigid center area and allow the corneas to maintain their shape.
What Type of Lenses Can Treat Vision Impairment Caused by Keratoconus?
A good option for those suffering from keratoconus for vision improvement is reverse geometry contacts. They consist of a curve that makes up for the visual distortion seen in enlarged corneas. Scleral lenses are also a good option since they provide a steady curve and cover the entire cornea, thus correcting any visual impairment without resting entirely on the cornea.
Will My Eyesight Get Worse or Will I Eventually Go Blind?
While keratoconus is a progressive disease that causes your eyesight to worsen over time, you will not go completely blind. It is impossible to predict how fast your condition will progress, and while you will not go blind, you may experience low vision. However, with an early diagnosis and prompt treatment, your vision can be corrected to a point where you can live a normal life.
Visit Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA, for Keratoconus Treatment
Although keratoconus has no cure, it can be controlled to avoid significant vision interference. At Warm Springs Optometric Group in Fremont, CA, we offer keratoconus treatment to improve your vision and prevent more severe problems like vision loss. We always evaluate our patients thoroughly before treatment to make sure we address the condition in the best way possible. Call us at (510) 490-0287 to talk to our optometrist.