Keratoconus

An Overview of Keratoconus from University Eye Associates

At University Eye Associates, we are here to help the individuals and families of the Charlotte and Davidson areas with their eye care needs. Sometimes, we see patients who have a condition called keratoconus. This condition can be serious, so there are a few important things that those affected should keep in mind.

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What is Keratoconus?

When people think about eye problems, they often think of issues such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, one of the most often overlooked eye conditions is keratoconus. This is a condition that impacts the cornea of the eye. The cornea is a dome-shaped tissue surface that gradually thins and forms a bulge in the shape of a cone when affected by keratoconus.

In this condition, the cornea gradually changes shape, causing vision issues. If this issue goes untreated, it can be sight-threatening. This is why it is important to be diagnosed quickly when experiencing symptoms of keratoconus.

Who Gets Keratoconus?

While keratoconus can impact almost anyone, the most common age at which this condition presents is between the ages of 10 and 25 years old. This condition progresses slowly and may develop over ten years or more. Keratoconus usually impacts both eyes. Some of the risk factors for keratoconus include having a family history of relatives with keratoconus, those who rub their eyes continuously, or certain chronic medical conditions. Some of the medical conditions that have a higher frequency of keratoconus include:

  • Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
  • Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa

Those who suffer from these conditions are at a higher risk of developing keratoconus.

The Treatment of Keratoconus

Initially, one might not notice any symptoms of keratoconus at all. Then, some of the most common symptoms include increased sensitivity to light, blurry vision, changing prescriptions, and cloudiness over the visual field. 

There are several treatment options, including wearing glasses or contacts to correct distorted vision. Over time, hard contacts, scleral lenses, or hybrid lenses may be necessary to maintain comfort while also keeping the cornea intact. Eventually, a surgical procedure called corneal inserts may be needed. In this procedure, the doctor will place small, crescent-shaped inserts into the cornea to flatten it, improving vision.

Contact University Eye Associates Today to Make an Appointment

At University Eye Associates, it is our job to make sure that everyone in the Charlotte and Davidson areas has access to trained eye doctors who can assist with their healthcare needs. We would be happy to help you as well. If you would like to learn more about keratoconus, please give us a call today to make an appointment!

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