Learn to Recognize the Early Symptoms of Keratoconus
Submitted by Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center on July 9, 2018
You may never have heard of keratoconus. You probably don’t know how to say it or spell it. But if you care about your eyes, you should know some basic facts about what keratoconus is and how to recognize its early symptoms.
Let’s start with what keratoconus is. Your eyes have a clear, dome-shaped, window-like cover known as your cornea. Your cornea’s job is to focus light into the center of your eye.
When keratoconus strikes, your cornea begins to get thinner; over time, it starts to bulge out into a cone-like shape. Keratoconus typically develops in both eyes, although it can affect each eye differently.
While many eye diseases afflict older people, keratoconus typically develops in those in their late teens or early 20s. It can worsen quickly, but it may also become more serious slowly, over the course of a decade or two.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Next, let’s look at the symptoms that keratoconus can cause.
Blurry, distorted vision
When the cornea starts to thin and bulge, it can’t focus light as effectively as a healthy cornea. As a result, it can distort your vision. Blurriness from keratoconus can make it more difficult for you to read, work, or do other activities that require you to focus your eyes.
As keratoconus gets worse, it can cause scar tissue to build up in your eyes, which makes your vision even worse.
Problems with eyeglasses or contact lenses
Because it affects your visual focus, keratoconus can contribute to nearsightedness and astigmatism. As a result, you may need to change your eyeglass prescription more often than other people. And you may have trouble wearing contact lenses.
Sensitivity to light
Keratoconus can affect how light enters your eye, which can cause you to become more sensitive to glare and light.
Protect Your Eyes
Be sure to get an eye exam if you’re experiencing any symptoms of keratoconus. Our experienced, highly trained eye care providers at Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center can check your eye health and diagnose eye conditions such as keratoconus.
Although you can’t prevent keratoconus, you should know whether you have it so you can take steps to protect your eyes. For example, although rubbing your eyes won’t cause keratoconus, it can worsen the condition if you already have it. Allergies can also worsen the symptoms of keratoconus.
Exciting New Treatment for Keratoconus
Some patients with keratoconus may benefit from a treatment known as corneal cross-linking, which uses eyedrops containing vitamin B2 along with ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea.
Corneal cross-linking, which was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, is the first and only treatment that effectively stabilizes the cornea and stops keratoconus from getting worse. Before the development of corneal cross-linking, patients had no treatment options for stopping the progression of keratoconus.
The eye care professionals at Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center have the training and experience needed to perform corneal cross-linking on patients with keratoconus.
To schedule an eye checkup at Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center and to learn more about keratoconus and corneal cross-linking, call our office or use our website’s online booking option.