WHAT IS KERATOCONUS?
Many patients have a concern about what is Keratoconus, Keratoconus is a disease that causes a progressive thinning of the cornea, the clear front portion of the eye. As a result of this condition, the normal outward pressure from within the eye causes the cornea to progressively bulge into a cone-like shape.
Keratoconus rarely results in total blindness although it can significantly impair vision and, according to experts, lead to the need for a corneal transplant in up to 20% of cases.
While nobody knows the cause of keratoconus, there is evidence that the disease has genetic origins, possibly made worse by environmental factors. It normally affects both eyes, though it typically progresses at different rates. In most people, keratoconus begins during their teen years and slowly worsens before stabilizing in their 30s or 40s.
Keratoconus is estimated to affect one in 2,000 people across all races. It is normally treated with rigid contact lenses which are contoured to address the bulging cornea and to improve vision.
The cornea of an eye with keratoconus bulges outward, creating a cone-like shape and distorted vision.
Imagine your cornea as a tent with a curved top. If the sides are pushed out, the top is flattened slightly and the dome shape is restored.
A healthy eye is more spherical in shape allowing an image to come into focus clearly.
Contact lenses for Keratoconus treatment are an articulate structure of a combination of art and science. There is a need for a lot of patients that come from the fitter and the patient. Finding Keratoconus contact lenses for Keratoconus treatment can take quite a bit of time due to the individual needs for comfort, and vision correction.
Soft keratoconus contact lenses for keratoconus treatment have advanced itself in technology over the past years. Current soft Keratoconus contact lenses for Keratoconus treatment combine hydrogel materials and complex mathematics to offer comfortable wear and excellent vision. Older soft lenses for keratoconus treatment draped over the irregular keratoconus cornea and did not correct visual distortion.
An alternative Keratoconus Treatment is the usage of RGP or Rigid Gas Permeable Keratoconus contact lenses. RGP keratoconus contact lenses mask underlying irregular cornea and functions, it is perceived as a new refractive surface of the eye.
Another method used for keratoconus treatment is the usage of piggy-backs which is literally using a two lens system. The piggy-back system uses RGP lens that is worn on top of the soft lens. This provides the comfort of soft lenses but the crisp vision of RGP lenses.
Other less used alternatives for Keratoconus treatment are Scleral Lenses and hybrid lenses. Hybrid lenses are designed to combine RBP lenses and soft peripheral skirts. Scleral lenses for keratoconus treatment are large in diameter and rest on the white portion of the eye called a sclera. This method is rarely used due to the diameter size of the Keratoconus contact lenses that alert patients. However, the diameter size of the contacts is actually a significant aspect to making these lenses more comfortable. The increased diameter size prevents fall out and dirt particles from entering underneath the contact lens.
There are many more alternatives routes for keratoconus treatment, common ones being keratoconus surgery. Within a keratoconus surgery, micro-thin intacs are inserted into the mid layer of the cornea. When the intacs are inserted in the keratoconus, the cornea is flattened and initially changes the shape and location of the cone. More severe cases are needed for Keratoconus surgery for corneal transplants, which is a general percentage of 15-20% who chose this keratoconus treatment route.