At Appleseed Eyecare, we are committed to helping patients with keratoconus by improving the lifestyle of patients by offering the most comprehensive vision care.
Keratoconus is a progressive disease that affects the cornea (the front part of your eye). As the disease progresses, the cornea becomes thin and bulges into a cone shape rather than a normal healthy dome-shaped cornea. Keratoconus often develops in your teens and continues to gradually worsen over time.
In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes mildly blurred and distorted vision as well as increased light sensitivity. The abnormal corneal shape is what causes the light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and therefore leads to the distortion of vision. In some cases, the cornea will swell and cause a sudden and significant decrease in vision. The swelling occurs when the strain of the cornea’s protruding cone-like shape causes a tiny crack to develop. The swelling may last for weeks or months as the crack heals and is gradually replaced by scar tissue. If this sudden swelling does occur, your doctor can prescribe ophthalmic drops for temporary relief.
In the early stages of keratoconus, glasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism that is caused by this disease. However, as the disorder progresses and the cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be prescribed to correct vision sufficiently. The rigid gas permeable contact lenses must be carefully fitted, and frequent checkups are needed to achieve and maintain good vision by alerting lens design and prescription.
In a few cases, a corneal transplant is necessary. However, even after a corneal transplant, eyeglasses or contact lenses are often still needed to correct vision. There are no medications to stop the disease from progressing.
Only your eye doctor can diagnosis keratoconus and determine the best treatment options for your particular needs. If you have a family history of keratoconus or suspect you may have this disease, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Yearly vision exams for all ages are vital to the early detection and management of all ocular diseases.
To learn more about the differences between a routine vision exam vs a medical exam, click here.