Eye Care Services » Keratoconus Treatment
Keratoconus Treatment White Plains New York
Keratoconus is an eye issue that is caused when the cornea of the eye thins so much that the pressure within the eye actually causes the eye to bulge. This bulging can affect a person’s ability to see clearly and cause light sensitivities. While the underlying cause of keratoconus is not clearly understood, about ten percent of patients with keratoconus have also had a parent with the condition. While this suggests that there may be a genetic link, scientists also must consider that it may be environmental.
Many patients don’t know that they have keratoconus until they come in for an eye appointment. However, there are also some signs that you may begin to notice that should trigger an exam outside of your normally scheduled time.
Typically, patients first develop keratoconus between the ages of 10 and 25, but the condition can slowly progress for the next ten years. However, if you notice that you begin to have a blurry or distorted vision, light sensitivity, sudden cloudy vision, or a frequent change in your prescription lenses, you should contact our offices to schedule an appointment.
Once you have arrived at our offices, there are a variety of different tests that may be performed to see if you have keratoconus. The first step is typically a routine eye exam. This will include a review of your medical and family history, so if you know that you have a parent with keratoconus, it is important to relay the information to our staff.
In addition to an eye exam, you may be given an eye refraction test that measures your eyes and identifies which lens gives you the sharpest vision. You may also be given a slit-lamp examination. This exam uses a thin beam of light and a low-powered microscope to examine your eye and see if there are any detectable deformations around the cornea. Keratometry may also be used, which focuses a circle of light on your eye and measures the basic shape of your cornea. Finally, computerized corneal mapping can be used. This creates a detailed map of the shape and thickness of the cornea and can often detect keratoconus at lower levels than other methods.
Treatment options can vary for patients depending on the severity of the condition when it is first identified, and how rapidly keratoconus progresses. There are a number of different options available though, so understanding your options can help you decide what is best for you.
• Eyeglasses or soft contacts – These prescription lenses can help vision be corrected, but keratoconus can often rapidly change the need for a different prescription.
• Gas Permeable Contacts – These rigid contact lenses can help the corneas maintain their shape longer without needing to change prescriptions, and also offer the benefit of clear vision. Many patients require some period of adjustment to the feel of these lenses.
• Hybrid lenses – These lenses have a soft perimeter with a rigid center. This helps to blend the comfort of soft lenses with the structure of a hard contact lens.
• Corneal Cross-Linking – This therapy uses drops of riboflavin with ultraviolet light to saturate the cornea. This process can help stabilize the cornea and reduce the risk of progressive vision loss but must be used in the early stages.
• Corneal Inserts – This approach requires a surgery that places inserts into the cornea to help maintain a flatter shape and improve vision.
• Corneal transplant – This surgery is used for severe cases of keratoconus. It removes the cornea and replaces it with an artificial lens or donor tissue. While it is a more major operation, it has a high level of success in treating keratoconus.
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