Keratoconus: What It Is And How It Is Treated
If you have been suffering from distorted vision, and your optometrist tells you that you have keratoconus of the eyes, you may wonder what to expect. Fortunately, the condition is easily treated and with proper upkeep, you will have clearer vision without worry. Here is a summary of the condition and what you can expect when having it treated.
What Is Wrong With Your Eyes?
Finding out that you have keratoconus can be a little overwhelming at first because it sounds serious. The word karatoconus is derived from the greek word "karato" meaning cornea, and "conus" meaning cone-shaped. Keratoconus is a disease where your cornea thins and changes shape, causing things to appear blurry as a result.
The cornea of the eye is usually a rounded surface. As people age, it can become cone-shaped, altering vision along the way. A dome-shaped cornea allows light rays to pass through to the retina. This gives you crisp and clear vision. A cone-shaped cornea deflects the light rays, altering them when they hit the retina, making things look distorted.
In the beginning stages, when the cornea is just starting to thin, normal tasks become a bit harder to do. Reading and driving become increasingly difficult and you will notice you are squinting more often to try to see things clearer. Keratoconus also causes your eyes to become sensitive to light.
Keratoconus is usually first noticed at a young adult age. It usually progresses for a few decades and then will stabilize. In most instances, both eyes will be affected. One eye is usually affected more than the other. At the moment, it is not known what causes this disease. There are, however, treatments available.
How Can You Fix Your Vision?
If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, glasses are not an option to fix your vision. This is because the damage is within the cornea, and because of the altered shape, blurriness can not be fixed without using corrective lenses that conform to the eye's shape.
Therefore, rigid contact lenses are one of the methods used to fix vision. The contact lenses allow light to pass through them in an obstructed way so a clear image is seen as a result. These gas-permeable contact lenses need to be checked more frequently than with other contact lens wearers. You will have appointments with your optometrist to check on the fit of your contacts, altering them as necessary as your cornea thins.
In most cases, rigid contact lenses will perfect your vision. If you have trouble with the contact lenses, or if the thinning of your corneas causes scarring, then having a corneal transplant may be recommended.