If you’ve been diagnosed with keratoconus, you will have plenty of questions about what this diagnosis means for your vision and your life. The fellowship-trained eye doctors at the Eye Center of Northern Colorado can help you understand the implications and teach you about the treatment options.
- Keratoconus is estimated to affect 1 in 2,000 people of all races.
- Keratoconus is a disease that causes a progressive thinning of the cornea (the front clear portion of the eye).
- As a result, the normal outward pressure of the eye causes the cornea to bulge into a cone-like shape.
- Although keratoconus rarely results in absolute blindness, it can significantly impair vision and approximately 20% of patients may require a corneal transplant.
- Treatment options include scleral lenses, corneal collagen cross-linking, and corneal transplants.
Causes of Keratoconus
- While the cause of keratoconus is somewhat unknown, there is evidence to support that it has genetic origins that are possibly worsened by environmental factors, such as eye rubbing.
- Keratoconus typically affects both eyes but progresses at varying rates.
- Characteristically it begins in the teen years, gradually worsening and eventually stabilizing in the 30s and 40s.
New Options for Treatment of Keratoconus
- Treatment of keratoconus typically consists of fitting the patient with rigid contact lenses to address the bulging cornea with the objective of improving vision.
- A proper contact lens fit by Dr. Chaney and Dr. Marske, trained professionals in the treatment of keratoconus, is essential in obtaining the best possible vision as well as physical comfort.
- Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) is an FDA approved treatment for patients with keratoconus and other conditions that cause weak corneas.
- This procedure has been shown to strengthen the fibers of the eye’s cornea by applying riboflavin, a form of vitamin-B2, followed by treatment with ultraviolet A light.
Types of Corneal Crosslinking:
- Epithelium off: The thin layer covering the eye’s surface is removed, allowing for faster penetration with liquid riboflavin
- Epithelium on (Transepithelial): The epithelial surface is left intact which requires a longer riboflavin loading time
If you are experiencing symptoms of keratoconus, contact us today to see if you are a candidate for Corneal Crosslinking.