What to Know About Keratoconus Provided by Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ Optometrists
Not everyone has the typical eye shape. People with non-round eyes tend to have problems with vision. Additionally, the curvature of the eye makes it more difficult to fit a person with contacts. At Riviera Opticare Inc., serving Mesa, Scottsdale, and the nearby Arizona regions, our optometrists may pair patients with issues like keratoconus with the proper treatment to optimize their vision.
Definition of Keratoconus
Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea. The thin layer of the cornea gives it structure. If you have keratoconus, this layer begins to diminish. As a result, the eye bulges and causes it to have a conical shape. Since the eye isn't shaped correctly, the light that enters your eye doesn't focus directly on your retina as it should. Because of this, you experience vision problems.
It's not known what causes keratoconus. However, it appears you're more at risk if you have a family history of it. Other issues seem to increase your chances of developing it, including:
- Rubbing your eyes vigorously frequently
- Retina pigmentosa
- Hay fever
- Down syndrome
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Having low levels of antioxidants
Symptoms of Keratoconus
You may experience distorted, clouded, or blurry vision. Some people experience increased sensitivity to bright lights or glare. In some cases, people who have keratoconus struggle to drive at night. You might notice you have frequent changes in your eyeglass or contact prescription. Your symptoms will worsen as the shape of your eye changes.
Most people start having symptoms of keratoconus as a teenager or when they're in their 20s. It's not as common, but some people don't receive a diagnosis of the condition until they're older. This occurs when the irregular shape of the eye isn't severe. Once you have keratoconus, the symptoms of the condition will worsen for a while and slowdown in about 10 to 20 years.
Diagnosing and Treating Keratoconus
We diagnose the condition based on your eye examination. We can detect it through visual acuity testing as well as our astigmatism test. We can also tell if you have it based on how frequently you change eyewear prescriptions. We'll provide you with the option of glasses or contacts to correct your vision. You may need to wear scleral contact lenses since they cover a larger portion of your eye. We might prescribe contacts for astigmatism to optimize your vision. We may advise you to opt for gas-permeable lenses because they'll be more comfortable for you. Hybrid lenses or wearing two different contacts in each eye are often effective as well. As it worsens, you may want to consider undergoing LASIK eye surgery.