Our Optometrist Diagnoses & Treats Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a cause of vision loss, with some research estimating that as many as 1 in 375 people are affected by it. At Best Eyecare Associates, our optometrist offers a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic services for people living with this condition.
The clear half-dome shape covering the colored iris in your eye is called the cornea. When someone develops keratoconus, their cornea becomes misshapen and bulges out abnormally. This disrupts the way light normally enters the eye and can prevent images from focusing correctly on the retina.
It’s not entirely clear why keratoconus happens. Since about 1 in 10 people with this condition have a parent who also has it, genetics are believed to play a role. Most people first develop symptoms in their late teens and early twenties and remain undiagnosed until their late twenties. The condition progresses gradually over about one to two decades and if left untreated will lead to complete vision loss.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
Keratoconus signs and symptoms can affect each eye differently (or affect only one eye) and tend to change as the condition progresses. Key symptoms include:
- Blurry vision that gets worse over time
- Straight lines might appear wavy
- Heightened light sensitivity
- Redness and swelling in the eye
- Decreased tolerance to use of normal contact lenses
- Worsening of previously existing refractive errors like astigmatism or myopia (nearsightedness)
How Our Optometrist Can Diagnose & Treat Keratoconus
Our optometrist can diagnose keratoconus during a comprehensive eye exam using advanced technology and techniques (including retinoscopy, slit lamp testing, keratometry, and digital corneal mapping techniques) to assess the curve and shape of your corneas. With a positive diagnosis, treatment can begin to help minimize your vision distortion and slow the progression of the condition.
Our services for keratoconus depend on factors like disease stage and symptoms, but commonly include:
- Eyeglass prescription updates (especially if your normal contact lenses are no longer comfortable)
- Rigid gas permeable contact lenses or scleral lenses, which are specialized hard-to-fit contacts that can better accommodate corneal irregularities
- Medicated eye drops to reduce swelling, inflammation, redness, and irritation in the eye
Some people elect to undergo surgical procedures to manage their keratoconus. If this is the case for you, optometrists can also provide the necessary pre- and post-operative evaluation and treatments to ensure proper continuity of care and ideal outcomes.