Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Keratoconus
Submitted by Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center on July 2, 2022
Keratoconus is a debilitating eye condition whereby the cornea slowly gets thinner and bulges into a cone-like shape. While experts still have not pinpointed the exact cause of keratoconus, they have developed great ways to treat the condition and limit its vision-robbing consequences. Here, Atlanta Vision Laser and Cataract Center’s two outstanding ophthalmologists, Dr. Leonard Achiron and Dr. David O’Day, share the dangers of ignoring keratoconus.
Damage Inflicted by Keratoconus
The earliest symptoms of keratoconus tend to be distorted or blurry vision and light sensitivity, even before noticing the shape of the cornea change. Sometimes these changes are easy to ignore, especially since myopia and astigmatism caused by an irregularly shaped cornea can be corrected with ordinary prescription lenses — at least early on.
Eventually, though, vision gets significantly worse to the point where regular contact lenses no longer fit comfortably on the cornea. While keratoconus never causes complete blindness, vision can be so distorted that the patient is legally blind. On top of that, patients experience emotional distress as their vision deteriorates.
How to Treat Keratoconus
The good news is that, thanks to modern treatments, patients do not need to suffer all the consequences of keratoconus. Corneal cross-linking is an effective and minimally invasive treatment that has been shown to slow or outright halt the progression of keratoconus in almost all patients. The doctor places riboflavin (vitamin B2) eyedrops into the affected eye or eyes and then stiffens the cornea.
Intacs are another great solution. Although these eye inserts do not stop keratoconus, they can help to flatten the cornea’s irregular curve caused by keratoconus. Once the eye has a more normal shape, it can better accommodate contact lenses for improved vision. Many patients have both corneal cross-linking and Intacs as part of their treatment plan.
If keratoconus has gone untreated into its late stages, it may be necessary for the patient to undergo a corneal transplant. This is a serious surgery that generally requires a year of rehabilitation before full clarity of vision is restored. For this reason, corneal transplant should be considered a last resort rather than preferable to corneal cross-linking or Intacs in any manner.
Learn More about Keratoconus
If you have keratoconus, hopefully this blog has effectively communicated to you the importance of seeking prompt treatment for the condition. You can live a normal life with quality sight! Please call (404) 765-2020 to make an appointment with one of our expert ophthalmologists today.