Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory, bilateral corneal thinning disorder in which the cornea (clear, front part of the eye) becomes weak and assumes a conical shape.
- Onset is in the teens or 20’s and the condition progresses for an average period of 20 years before stabilizing.
- Causes a significant amount of near sightedness and astigmatism which progresses from a regular form to an irregular form, which glasses cannot correct for. Progresses to the point of corneal scarring and in severe cases Hydrops. Hydrops are cracks on the back of the cornea caused by the structural weakening and is a very painful condition.
- Thought to be caused by a genetic mutation that affects the structural integrity of the corneal stroma (the foundation of the cornea) and cells in the cornea called keratocytes. Allergies and subsequent eye rubbing is also thought to play a role in the development/progression of the disease. In rare cases keratoconus can develop after refractive surgery such as LASIK, PRK, and radial keratotomy.
- Symptoms include blurred vision, frequent changes in your glasses prescription, extensive eye rubbing, double vision, and ghosting/shadowing of letters.
Mile High Eye Institute are committed to providing our patients with the best and most up to date treatment options for all eye conditions.
- Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking – Newest technology which has been around in Europe for 15 years and has recently been introduced to the United States through a FDA clinical trial. The goal of CXL is to stabilize or ‘freeze’ the cornea to prevent keratoconus from worsening.
- Intrastromal Ring Segments (INTACS) – Implantable polymer semi-circular rings that support the weakened cornea and flatten the conical shape of the keratoconic cornea.
- Corneal transplantation – In cases where keratoconus has caused significant structural degradation, corneal scarring, and degraded vision a corneal transplant is required.
- Specialty contact lenses- Sclerals, hybrids, soft lens designs for keratoconus that correct irregular astigmatism in a way that glasses and traditional soft contact lenses cannot.