What Is Keratoconus?

What Is Keratoconus?

January 31st, 2019

Eye Doctor

Your eye is a fragile instrument. While it is a very important part of your body, it is also susceptible to injury and disease. One condition, keratoconus, is quite interesting.

Keratoconus causes your corneas to bulge and become more cone shaped. The cornea is the translucent dome-like part of your eye. When the cornea bulges, it creates issues like blurry and distorted vision.

It also affects your ability to wear contact lenses. In its early stages, keratoconus is difficult to notice. Blurry vision is mild at best, with light sensitivity and general discomfort.

Keratoconus usually affects both eyes. The cornea curvature is not the same, leading to different prescriptions in each eye.

This is why you need to have eye exams regularly! It’s only by having your eyes examined on a regular basis that eye conditions are caught.

A routine eye exam at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL can reveal problems with your eyes!

How To Treat Keratoconus

After a keratoconus diagnosis, there are several different treatment options. During the early stages of keratoconus, your vision can be improved by using glasses.

While still wearing glasses, you can undergo a method called collagen cross-linking. An ultraviolet light strengthens the cornea and prevents further bulging.

Another option is to use special devices called intacs. Intacs are implanted into your corneas and help flatten out the curve considerably.

Finally, a surgical option may be necessary to improve your vision. If your symptoms are too severe for other treatment options, you may have to get a corneal transplant.

What Is A Corneal Transplant?

The goal of a corneal transplant is to replace your corneas with corneas from a donor. There are several options for corneal transplant surgeries.

The first option is a “full thickness corneal transplant” or “penetrating keratoplasty”. With a full thickness corneal transplant, the whole cornea is replaced. This includes both inner and outer layers.

After the donor cornea has been attached, recovery can take a year or longer. With a full thickness corneal transplant, there is a higher chance of rejection. In this case, the positive outweighs the negative.

Sometimes only the outer layers of the cornea need replacing. If so, only a partial thickness corneal transplant may be necessary.

The partial thickness corneal transplant carries a lower risk of rejection. It also has a shorter recovery time than the full thickness corneal transplant.

Only your doctor can tell for sure what kind of treatment is right for you if you have keratoconus. If you have keratoconus or other eye conditions, your eye doctor is your best resource.

Life After A Corneal Transplant

Life with keratoconus is anything but easy. After a corneal transplant, it can take up to a year for your eyes to finish healing.

You may not have perfect vision and may need other instruments to see. The idea with a corneal transplant is to improve your vision as much as possible.

If you notice any issues with your transplant, let your eye doctor know! These could be a sign of rejection with your body. Common warning signs of rejection include eye pain, cloudy vision, and red eyes.

Need a treatment plan for your keratoconus? Schedule an appointment with the Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, Alabama today!