Have you been told that your cornea is an odd shape? Were you diagnosed with keratoconus?
Keratoconus is an eye condition that occurs when the cornea is an irregular shape. When this happens, it causes vision problems.
The majority of people with keratoconus only experience mild and medium levels of the condition. Less than 10% of patients with keratoconus experience severe implications from it.
Keep reading to learn if there are symptoms with keratoconus!
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is an eye condition that occurs when the cornea’s shape is like that of a cone. The cornea should be more spherical in shape for the best vision.
When do most patients develop keratoconus?
Usually, keratoconus is diagnosed when patients are in their late teens or twenties. Most patients receive their keratoconus diagnosis in their mid to late thirties.
How does the cornea work?
The cornea is the outer part and surface of the eye. Light travels through the cornea and lens to the retina.
From there, the brain processes the information to create a visual image. A healthy cornea is round and smooth and a little bit flat on the sides.
With this shape, light can travel through it without becoming distorted. After traveling through, the light goes to the retina and creates a clear image in the brain.
How does keratoconus impact the cornea and your vision?
Keratoconus slowly impacts your cornea over time. It turns your normally round cornea into more of a cone shape and weakens and thins it.
The normal curve of your cornea changes. Due to this, you may experience a more nearsighted vision, as well as astigmatism.
Since the job of your cornea is refracting light that enters your eye, any changes to the cornea can cause a severe impact on your vision. These changes can make activities like driving and reading difficult.
It is common for one eye to develop more quickly than the other. It is also common for no changes to occur and then for more changes to occur within a period of months.
What are the symptoms of keratoconus?
There are many symptoms associated with keratoconus. These symptoms include:
- A burning sensation
- Seeing glare at night
- Sensitive eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Experiencing visual distortion
How do you treat keratoconus?
If you have mild keratoconus, most of the changes to your vision can be corrected using specific glasses or contacts. As keratoconus develops, these forms of treatment won’t help.
For advanced keratoconus, some treatments include:
Custom Soft Contact Lenses:
These treat mild to moderate keratoconus and are specifically made for a person’s unique needs. If you do not like gas permeable contact lenses, these are a good option.
They are more expensive than soft contacts, but insurance may cover them if they are for treating keratoconus.
Gas Permeable Contact Lenses:
This is the main treatment for keratoconus. Gas permeable contact lenses let you see clearly and provide a smooth surface that lets light refract correctly.
These are only two examples of treatments available for keratoconus. The severity of your keratoconus symptoms determines what your treatment plan will be.
Looking for more information about how to treat keratoconus? Schedule an appointment at Omaha Eye and Laser Institute in Lincoln, NE!