Frequently Asked Questions About Keratoconus Answered by Your Optometrists in Mesa and Scottsdale
Keratoconus is one of the less well-known causes of vision problems, which means that many people find themselves puzzled by this condition. If you count yourself in that group, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about keratoconus provided by Riviera Opticare in Mesa and Scottsdale, AZ.
What Is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a deformation of the cornea, which normally maintains a spherical shape at the front of the eye. A cornea afflicted with keratoconus will bulge outward, typically in a cone-like configuration.
How Does Keratoconus Affect Vision?
Keratoconus alters your eyes' ability to refract incoming light for processing as visual data. The odd shape of the cornea causes the light to focus at the wrong point within the eye, usually causing severe nearsightedness and astigmatism. Severely deformed corneas may even "crack," causing swelling and worsening your vision even further.
What Causes Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is associated with weak corneal tissues. The main issue seems to be lack of support from the collagen fibers that normally help to maintain the cornea's shape. Oxidative damage, obsessive rubbing of the eyes, genetics factors, UV exposure, eye injuries, and eye allergies have all been implicated in the development of this condition.
When Does Keratoconus First Appear?
Keratoconus typically makes its first appearance during the teen years or early adulthood. It may then continue to get worse and worse over a period of many years.
What Kinds of Corrective Lenses Do You Prescribe for Keratoconus?
Specialized contact lenses usually do a better job for correcting for keratoconus than either eyeglasses or standard soft contacts. Scleral contacts are especially well-suited for correcting keratoconus-related vision problems. These oversized lenses extend forward from the cornea instead of resting on it, with the rims of the lenses resting on the sclera (the white of the eye) instead. This allows for consistent compensation for corneal irregularities.
How Is Advanced Keratoconus Treated?
If your condition requires advanced care, our optometrists may refer you for any of a variety of specialized treatments. Corneal cross-linking is one method used to lend extra support to the corneal tissues. A nutrient called riboflavin is delivered to the cornea so that it can stimulate new collagen growth. You might also benefit from implants called Intacs that physically support the corneas. In most extreme cases, corneal cross-linking or corneal transplant surgery can prove high successful.
Call Our Mesa or Scottsdale Office for Help with Your Keratoconus
You don't have to remain in the dark about your keratoconus when you have Riviera Opticare on hand to provide your answers. Call our Mesa office at 480-827-9184 or our Scottsdale office at 480-991-6432 today to set up an eye exam appointment!
*Published/Written by: Dr. Amy Keding & Dr. Susan Reckell