What Is Keratoconus?
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The transparent, dome-like structure covering the front part of your eyes is known as the cornea. Its main function is to accurately bend light rays toward your retina. Delicate and tiny protein fibers hold your cornea in place. When they weaken, your cornea may slowly thin and bulge out, resulting in a condition called keratoconus.
How It Happens?
The cause behind keratoconus remains unknown. Experts, however, found that heredity is a major contributing factor to its development. Roughly 1 out of 10 individuals with this condition has a parent who has it too. Some researchers also suggest that frequently rubbing your eyes and wearing ill-fitted contact lenses may weaken the protein fibers holding your cornea. Studies show as well that keratoconus may be a complication of other pre-existing medical problems, enzyme imbalances and oxidative damage.
How It Affects Your Vision?
Having a cone-shaped cornea is the hallmark symptom of keratoconus. During the early stage, you may experience mild blurring of your vision. Your eyes may also turn red and swollen. Increased sensitivity to glare is common as well.
Advanced keratoconus, on the other hand, is often associated with distorted vision. Your visual acuity may also change often, requiring you to frequently upgrade your prescription. Your contact lenses may not fit properly as well, giving you severe visual discomfort.
How It’s Managed?
For mild keratoconus, we may recommend using eyeglasses to improve your vision. Scleral lenses are also a great option. Unlike regular contact lenses, they have a wider diameter that covers most of your cornea. They serve as a substitute for your irregular corneal surface.
If you have advanced keratoconus, we may suggest inserting Intacs® in your cornea. They help flatten your eye surface for your better visual clarity. Collagen cross-linking involves using a special ultraviolet (UV) light and eye drops to flatten, stiffen and strengthen your cornea, stopping it from bulging out further.
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