Keratoconus is a progressive condition of the eye that causes the cornea (The clear front surface of the eye) to thin and distort in shape.
A normal cornea has a regular dome-like shape but keratoconus causes the thin central area to protrude outward. This protrusion to the front of the cornea causes it to take on a cone shape giving the condition its name. It is this cone shape that leads to the distortion to vision. This progressive condition can be treated in a variety of ways including glasses, corneal cross-linking (CXL), corneal implants and in the worst cases may require corneal grafts.
Who can get Keratoconus?
The majority of people discover they are affected by keratoconus in mid teens through to early twenties but there are cases reported in people aged 40 or 50. Discovery usually occurs once the condition has progressed significantly enough to have an effect on vision but advances in testing methods have increased rates of early discovery. It is estimated that about 2 in every 1000 people will develop keratoconus.
Signs and Symptoms
• Increasing astigmatism (shape of eye more oval shape rather than round)
• Blurred vision even with glasses and contact lenses
• Frequent changes in prescription
• Changes in corneal curvature and topography
• Steeper than normal corneal curvature
• Irregular shaped cornea
How do I know if I have it?
At the Fendalton Eye Clinic we have the latest technology to accurately determine the topography (shape and thickness) of the cornea. This allows us to screen for any potential keratoconic changes to the eye.
How does it occur?
While keratoconus has been known and studied for over 200 years the specific cause is not yet fully understood.
Treatment options for keratoconus offered at Fendalton Eye Clinic?
In the initial stages of keratoconus most patients find that glasses or contact lenses correct their vision highly without issue. However, if the condition is progressing and regular updates to a spectacle correction are required then it is worth considering further treatment options.
Dr David Kent offers corneal cross-linking to help strengthen the corneal and halt progression and corneal implant surgery to help visual acuity.
If the shape of the eye has already become distorted due to keratoconus, a Keraring (corneal inlay) can be inserted into the cornea to help improve the shape of the cornea.