Effective Treatments for Keratoconus
Keratoconus is when the cornea, the eye's clear front surface, becomes thin and cone-shaped. This abnormal shape prevents the eye from focusing light properly, causing distorted vision. Keratoconus typically affects both eyes and can cause severe vision problems and even blindness if left untreated.
The exact cause of keratoconus is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It is a progressive condition, meaning it worsens over time. To prevent this, visit our vision specialist from Eye Care Associates in Optometry in New York, NY, for these effective treatments highlighted below.
Early Diagnosis and Treatment
Early diagnosis is essential to controlling the progression of keratoconus. If you or your child are experiencing blurry vision, distortions, light sensitivity, or frequent changes in prescription, it could be a sign that you have keratoconus. Your eye doctor may use corneal topography to diagnose the condition. This test measures the cornea's curvature to determine if it is normal or has become thin and cone-shaped.
Your optometrist may also use an auto-refractometer to measure the cornea's curvature. If you are diagnosed with keratoconus, your eye doctor will most likely recommend glasses or rigid contact lenses to correct your vision. Rigid contact lenses are specially designed to fit over the cone-shaped cornea, helping to reduce distortion and improve vision.
Treatments to Stop Progression
To stop the progression of keratoconus, your doctor may recommend other treatments besides glasses and contact lenses. Corneal collagen cross-linking, intacs, and corneal implants are the most common treatments. Below is a detailed explanation of each of these treatments.
- Corneal Collagen Cross-linking (CXL): Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is a procedure in which eye drops strengthen the cornea's collagen fibers. This treatment makes the cornea stronger, reducing the risk of further deterioration.
- Intacs: If you have mild to moderate keratoconus that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, Intacs might be your best treatment option. These treatments are also effective for patients with other eye conditions, such as astigmatism or corneal irregularities. Clear plastic semicircles are inserted into the cornea to improve shape and vision. Intacs also help stabilize the cornea and slow the progression of keratoconus.
- Corneal Implants: Corneal implants are artificial corneas used to replace damaged cornea. They are often recommended for severe cases of keratoconus and when other treatments are ineffective. This treatment usually involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea.
It is important to note that while these treatments can help to slow or stop the progression of keratoconus, they cannot cure the condition. If you or your child have been diagnosed with keratoconus, it is important to consider a regular eye exam with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. They will be able to monitor your condition and initiate treatments when necessary.
Get Keratoconus Treatment in New York, NY
If you think you or your child may have keratoconus, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor or optometrist at Eye Care Associates in Optometry. We will conduct a thorough eye exam to determine the progression of your condition and provide the most effective treatment. We also treat other eye conditions affecting your vision. Call us at 212-583-9000 to begin your treatment journey.