Diagnosis and Treatment

The cornea is the clear, dome-shaped, outer part of the eye. Keratoconus is an eye disorder where the cornea gradually weakens, causing blurred vision, and unbearable light sensitivity. As the condition progresses, the cornea morphs into a cone shape, making it difficult to focus. In its advanced stages, the condition necessitates a corneal transplant. Our eye specialists at University Eye Associates provide professional, customized eye care for patients affected by keratoconus.


What Causes Keratoconus?

While doctors are yet to come to a conclusive answer as to what causes keratoconus, the condition may be triggered by one or more of the following factors:

  • The weakening of collagen fibers around the cornea may cause it to alter its shape.
  • Reduced antioxidants in your cornea.
  • Genetics. It can be passed down for generations.
  • Certain eye diseases including retinitis pigmentosa, osteogenesis imperfecta, and vernal kerato-conjunctivitis.

The Signs and Symptoms of Keratoconus

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Uncomfortable glare when around bright lights, especially at night
  • Unexpected vision changes such as double vision in one eye
  • Poor or distorted vision for near and far objects
  • Multiple ghost images


Our optometrists can identify keratoconus through a routine eye check, even if you do not have any symptoms. We will measure the arc of your cornea and check for variations since your previous eye examination. If the corneal structure is exceptionally curved, the eye doctor may recommend further testing.


Depending on the severity of your condition, keratoconus can be treated using various methods, including:

  • Intacs: These are tiny, arched implants placed on the cornea during surgery. The cornea is first flattened before placing the inserts. This procedure dramatically improves vision.
  • Contact Lenses: If the condition is detected in its early stages, special firm contact lenses can be used to improve your vision.
  • Corneal Cross-linking: This is a minimally invasive form of treatment where the optometrist applies eye drops (riboflavin) and shines ultraviolet light into your eyes to strengthen and get your cornea back to its normal shape.
  • Corneal Transplants: Surgery is only performed for an overly damaged cornea.

Contact Our Optometrists at University Eye Associates

The cornea is a very significant part of your body since it is responsible for your clear vision and focus. A comprehensive eye exam is the first step to detecting and treating keratoconus. At University Eye Associates in Davidson, Harrisburg (Rocky River), and Charlotte, we provide eye exams, treatment, and other eye care services. Contact our team today to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists.

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