If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus, there may be a million questions you probably still have unanswered. What’s vital is that you prevent your condition from getting worse. The best way to do so is by listening to your eye specialist and ensure that you heed their advice.
What is Keratoconus (KC)?
KC is an eye disease mainly affecting the cornea of the eye. It is a thinning disorder of the cornea which leads to an abnormal bulging of the cornea. As the cornea progressively thins, the patient will notice an increase in their shortsightedness and astigmatism. This can worsen over time as you age.
What happens when a diagnosis takes place?
At your eye exam, your doctor will test the severity of the KC. If it is already progressing, the best way forward is to doctor stop the progression. This is usually done by treatments known as cross-linking, which is minimally invasive and effective in preventing or delaying the spread of KC. If KC is advanced, the ophthalmologist may propose corneal transplantation.
Tips to manage KC
What are the treatment options for Keratoconus?
Once the KC has stabilised, there are therapeutic options to improve vision, and these include: Spectacles, Contact lenses, Intra corneal Ring Segmants, Implantable Collamer lens and therapeutic PRK. KC progression can be successfully stopped with a procedure called Corneal Collagen Cross Linking (CXL). CXL is a safe and effective treatment in stabilising KC.
Another treatment method to consider is Intracorneal Ring Segments implantation (ICRS). This is usually proposed if the patient has an irregular cornea which can cause you to continue to suffer from poor vision after CXL. If you are contact lens intolerant after the treatment or have had previous corneal transplants, ICRS would also be considered. This is a safe and reversible procedure.
You may need surgery if you find that you still have poor vision after wearing the strongest prescription lenses, or if you have corneal scarring or extreme thinning of your cornea, then surgery may be recommended.
About Dr. Sachin Bawa
Sachin Bawa is a founder of Dr. Sachin Bawa Cataract and Vision Clinic. He is a qualified ophthalmic surgeon for more than 9 years. He holds a medical degree from the University of Witswatersrand which he completed in 2004.