What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea to assume a cone-line shape. As the cornea becomes more irregularly-shaped, nearsightedness and astigmatism will develop, causing increasingly distorted and blurred vision. Keratoconus treatment depends primarily upon the progression of the disease.

How is keratoconus treated?

There are two primary groups of treatments for keratoconus: lenses and surgery. Glasses or contact lenses can help correct mild to moderate keratoconus, but if the disease progresses, these may no longer be adequate and surgery may be required.

LensesAt first, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct vision. However, prescriptions may change frequently, and if the shape of the cornea continues to change, regular contact lenses will no longer fit or may become too uncomfortable to wear. In this case, hard contact lenses are often the next step used to treat keratoconus, because they can be designed to fit the new shape of the cornea. In the case that they are too uncomfortable, hard lenses can often be “piggybacked” on top of softer lenses. Other options include hybrid lenses, which consist of a rigid center surrounded by a softer ring, or scleral lenses, which sit on the white part of the eye and do not touch the cornea.

SurgeryFor more severe keratoconus, surgery may be necessary. Surgical keratoconus treatment most often uses plastic corneal inserts to remedy the shape of the cornea, improving vision and making it possible for contact lenses to fit properly again. A cornea transplant, in which either a portion or the full cornea is replaced, may be necessary to treat severe cornea scarring or corneal thinning. The surgery is generally very successful, but recovery can take time, and lenses may still be necessary to correct vision.

To learn more about keratoconus treatment, book an appointment with a Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next appointment online.