Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that often appears during teens or early twenties. Keratoconus is characterized by the thinning and eventually bulging of the round cornea into a cone-like shape.
This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision. Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes.
Keratoconus Symptoms and Signs
Keratoconus can be difficult to detect as it develops rather slowly. As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, progressive nearsightedness and irregular astigmatism start to develop, adding up to the distorted and blurred vision. It’s not unusual to have a delayed diagnosis of keratoconus especially if the practitioner is not familiar with the early-stage symptoms of the disease.
What Causes Keratoconus?
The root cause of keratoconus is still unknown but new research suggests that the weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to this may be due to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage from compounds called free radicals, causing it to weaken and bulge forward. Risk factors for oxidative damage and weakening of the cornea include a genetic predisposition, explaining why keratoconus often affects more than one member of the same family. Keratoconus is also associated with overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun, excessive eye rubbing, a history of poorly fit contact lenses and chronic eye irritation.
In the mildest form of keratoconus, eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may help. But as the disease progresses and the cornea thins and becomes increasingly more irregular in shape, glasses or soft contacts no longer provide adequate vision correction. The Pentacam, a rotating Scheimpflug camera which captures Scheimpflug images of the anterior eye segment is commonly used for early diagnosis of Keratoconus.
Treatments for moderate and advanced keratoconus include:
Corneal Cross Linking: Another new procedure for treating keratoconus, known by the brand name of C3-R (corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin), is a non-invasive method of strengthening corneal tissue to prevent bulging of the eye’s surface.
In the C3-R procedure, eye drops containing riboflavin (vitamin B2) are placed on the cornea and are then activated by ultraviolet (UV) light to strengthen links between the connective tissue (collagen) fibers within the cornea.
Collagen cross linking is not a definitive cure for keratoconus, but rather a preventive method to arrest its progression.
Corneal transplant: This is considered to be the last remedy for keratoconus for more advanced cases where contact lenses or other therapies no longer provide acceptable vision. Corneal transplant is also called a penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP).
Ebsaar offers a New Module in the Treatment of keratoconus at which consist of a combination of Two New and Effective procedures
The irregular shape of the cornea in keratoconus that causes image deformation can be modified by means of topography guided laser photorefractive keratectomy (T-CAT PRK). This is the first step of treatment and this amazing technique will improve the quality of vision and eventually the visual acuity that can free the patient of glasses and other visual aid.
Along with T-CAT PRK, we will perform collagen cross linking procedure to increase the stiffness of the cornea, stabilize it and stop its bulging. The simultaneous T-CAT PRK with CXL will provide the following: 1. Correct the irregular shape of the cornea; 2. Improve the quality of vision; 3. Improve the visual acuity; 4. stabilizes the cornea and protect the patient from the need of keratoplasty.
Ebsaar Eye Surgery Center, one of the leading Laser Eye Surgery Specialists in the region.