Frequently Asked Questions About Keratoconus
Keratoconus is one of those terms you never seem to hear about until you’re suddenly confronted with the condition in your own life. This corneal abnormality can seriously distort your vision while also leaving you with a number of questions about what’s happening and what you can do about it. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about keratoconus.
- What is keratoconus? Keratoconus is a condition in which the tissues of the cornea — the normally perfect translucent sphere covering the pupil — are too weak to maintain normal curvature. This causes the cornea to bulge outward in an uneven or cone-like shape, with each cornea presenting a different degree of alteration. It typically makes its first appearance in young adulthood.
- How does keratoconus affect the eyes and vision? Keratoconus affects the refraction of incoming light, causes images to look blurry or otherwise distorted. Extreme sensitivity to light is another problem you may encounter. These symptoms may continue to advance for up to 20 years before finally slowing down.
- What causes keratoconus? The causes of keratoconus are hard to identify. Researchers believe that oxidative damage to the corneal tissues, genetic factors, allergies, or even chronic eye-rubbing can contribute to the condition.
- I have keratoconus, but it has always progressed slowly. Why has my vision suddenly gotten much worse? Once in a while, a cornea with keratoconus may develop small cracks in the tissue, causing the tissue to swell up. This can cause a temporary but alarming change in your vision.
- How can your eye doctor treat mild to moderate keratoconus? Our eye doctor, Dr. Christine Best, can monitor the condition closely and provide helpful forms of vision correction. If you have mild to moderate keratoconus, you may need nothing more than eyeglasses of soft contacts, although you can expect frequent changes in your prescription. Scleral contacts, which cover the entire cornea with their own perfect spheres, can be highly effective in more advanced keratoconus cases. Cracked, swollen corneas can be soothed with eye drops.
- Can severe keratoconus be treated? Even if you have severe keratoconus, you don’t have to let it ruin your vision and your quality of life. Our eye doctor can refer you to a specialist for procedures such as Intacs (corneal inserts that reinforce normal curvature), collagen cross-linking (a medical technique to strengthen the corneal tissues), or even corneal transplants to give you a brand-new ability to view the world clearly. If surgery is required, we will be happy to co-manage that process and monitor your recovery period.
Concerned About Keratoconus? Schedule an Eye Exam Today!
Don’t let your worries about keratoconus intimidate you into simply accepting the condition. Call Best Eyecare Associates at (303) 254-4888 to schedule an eye exam. We can evaluate your situation and prescribe the smartest, most effective remedy to help you get the most out of your eyesight!