Keratoconus

Protrusion of the cornea

What is keratoconus?

It is a corneal ectasia which results in a progressive decrease in corneal thickness, acquiring the cornea an irregular conical shape. This disorder modifies how light rays enter the eye, producing distorted vision.

Normal Eye Eye with keratoconus


Which symptoms are present?

In early stages, people with keratoconus experience slightly blurred vision. Initial symptoms are not very different from those present in any ordinary refractive disorder. As keratoconus progresses, vision deteriorates. Sometimes, this occurs very quickly. Visual acuity worsens, optical correction (glasses) is frequently not effective and night vision is very poor.


Treatments

After a rigorous examination and depending on the severity of the keratoconus, the ophthalmologist will decide on the most adequate treatment:

  1. Contact lenses - In initial or middle stages, impaired vision can be corrected and it can be prevented from getting worse by using contact lenses specially designed for this purpose.
  2. Cross Linking - Using riboflavin and ultraviolet light to strengthen chemical bonds in the cornea can stop the progression of keratoconus as the cornea becomes more rigid. This technique does not correct visual impairment, but only slows down the progression of keratoconus.
  3. Intrastromal corneal rings - This surgical procedure consists in, mechanically or using femtosecond laser, doing tunnels in the cornea through which semicircular segments are inserted to correct the deformity which is causing impaired vision and to slow the progression of keratoconus.
  4. Keratoplasty (corneal transplant) - It is the last resort for keratoconus, only carried out when visual impairment is irreversible using other treatments.

  Other ocular disorders

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