Maple Eye and Laser Center
Keratoconus Treatment at Maple Eye and Laser Center

Keratoconus Treatment


Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition estimated to affect around 1 in every 2000 people in the United States. Most commonly diagnosed in patients during their late teens or early twenties, the symptoms of this condition can continue to worsen for between ten and twenty years, before finally slowing or stabilizing. Although keratoconus can badly impair a patient’s vision, it will not cause blindness. Even patients with extremely severe keratoconus should be able to have their vision restored using contact lenses.

Our professional team have extensive experience in delivering exceptional quality keratoconus treatments, and would be delighted to work with you to find the best solution for you achieve clearer, improved vision.

What is keratoconus and what causes it?

Keratoconus is an eye condition that is characterized by a change that affects the way that light enters the eye. The cornea is usually a round, dome-shaped window that covers the eye. However, in patients with keratoconus, the cornea progressively thins, which causes it to bulge into a cone-like shape. This affects the way in which light enters the eye, deflecting it so that the patient becomes increasingly more near-sighted. Glare and sensitivity to light may also become a problem. A diagnosis of astigmatism is normally given, as the shape of the eye becomes more irregular.

Although the exact cause of keratoconus is not known, it is believed that environmental and genetic origin may play a role. Some research suggests that oxidative damage from free radicals may weaken the cornea and make it more susceptible to becoming misshapen. Keratoconus is generally more common in non-Caucasians and has been associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays, excessive eye irritation and chronic eye rubbing.

Treatments for keratoconus

Thankfully, it is no longer necessary to live with the effects of keratoconus. Our experienced, knowledgeable eye doctors can offer you several different treatments which will help you to see more clearly.

Contact Lenses

Keratoconus is a progressive condition, meaning that the effects of the disease will worsen over time. In the beginning, most patients benefit from the mildest form of treatment available – contact lenses. Contact lenses work by altering the way in which light hits the retina, so that the image is focused correctly, and the patient can see more clearly.

Rigid contact lenses are the most effective for treating keratoconus as they are better at flattening out the front surface of the eye, which improves vision. Soft lenses are generally not strong enough to achieve this.

Corneal Implant Surgery

Also known as a keratoplasty, corneal implant surgery is recommended for patients with keratoconus who are not achieving the desired quality of vision through using contact lenses.

The surgery can be carried out under either local or general anesthetic, meaning that you should not be in any pain, and the entire process usually takes under an hour. As its’ name suggests, the procedure involves removing the old, damaged and misshapen cornea and replacing it with a full thickness, artificial cornea which is the desired domed shape. Once in place, the new cornea is held securely with microscopic stitches, and these are left in place for between 12 and 24 months after your surgery.

Your new, artificial cornea will be able to refract the light that enter your eye correctly, allowing you to see clearly without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, one of our reassuring doctors will speak to you about your treatment options, and will support you in deciding which is right you at this time. To find out more about this condition, or to speak to one of our team, please do not hesitate to contact either of our New York offices.