Keratoconus in Marietta
Keratoconus (KEHR-uh-toh-KOH-nus) is a very rare eye condition in which the normally round, dome-like cornea (the clear front window of the eye) becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge. Keratoconus literally means “cone-shaped cornea.”
The cornea is a very important part of your eye. As light enters the eye, it refracts, or focuses, the light rays so you can see clearly. With keratoconus, the shape of the cornea is altered, distorting your vision. Keratoconus can make some activities difficult, such as driving, typing on a computer, watching television or reading.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, however; symptoms in each eye may differ. Surprisingly, this is not an eye condition that affects only the elderly. Symptoms usually start to occur in people who are in their late teens and early twenties and may include:
- Mild blurring of vision
- Distortion of vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Slight irritation
The rate of keratoconus progression varies. It will often progress slowly for 10 to 20 years and then suddenly stop.
Causes of Keratoconus
The cause of keratoconus is still not known. Some researchers believe that genetics play a role, since an estimated 10% of people with keratoconus also have a family member with the condition.
Treatment for Keratoconus
Treatment will often depend on the severity of the condition. During early stages, vision can be corrected with glasses. As the condition progresses, rigid contacts may need to be worn so that light entering the eye is refracted evenly and vision is not distorted. You should also refrain from rubbing your eyes, as this can aggravate the thin corneal tissue and make symptoms worse.
When good vision is no longer possible with contact lenses, a corneal transplant is recommended. This surgery is only necessary in about 10-20% of patients with keratoconus. In a corneal transplant, a cornea specialist removes the diseased cornea from your eye and replaces it with a healthy donor cornea.
While a corneal transplant will relieve the symptoms of keratoconus, it may not provide you with flawless vision; glasses or contacts may still be needed to achieve your best vision.
Keratoconus should only be treated by corneal specialists who have extensive backgrounds in studying the cornea and corneal diseases. If you are experiencing any symptoms of keratoconus in Marietta, Georgia, contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our corneal surgeons: Dr. Steven Corwin or Dr. Andre Cohen.