Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes the cornea (the clear front surface of the eye) to weaken and become conical in shape; thus causing your vision to blur.
If you have keratoconus there are a number of treatments available. Mild to moderate keratoconus is typically treated with eyeglasses or a variety of contact lenses. As the shape of your cornea changes over time, these lenses may need to be updated with a new prescription. For most people, their cornea will become stable after a few years, decreasing the likelihood of severe vision problems or the need for further treatment.
In more severe cases, surgery may be required. Your doctor will recommend the procedure that’s right for you. Options may include the insertion of small plastic inserts, called Intacs, corneal cross-linking, or even a full cornea transplant, called a keratoplasty.
It is important to monitor the progression of keratoconus with regular checkups. Your eye care professional will work with you to ensure you receive the right treatment for your condition, giving you the best vision possible.
At Exeter Eye you will always be seen by a qualified ophthalmic surgeon who will carefully assess your symptoms and design a personalised treatment plan for you. Depending on your needs and the severity of your condition, keratoconus treatments are varied and include:-
- Contact lenses
Intacs are thin, clear, semi-circular plastic ring inserts that can help provide clearer vision for those with vision problems from a condition known as Keratoconus.
These inserts provide a unique alternative to contact lenses, and can sometimes postpone the need for a corneal transplant. During the procedure, the inserts are placed in the outer areas of the cornea. The inserts change the curvature of the cornea, reducing the cone-like distortion caused by keratoconus.
The procedure allows the cornea to be reshaped without removing any tissue. Intacs are designed to be permanent, but they can be exchanged or even removed if vision needs change over time. Intacs cannot be felt, are no more visible than a contact lens and require no maintenance.
Corneal collagen cross-linking
Corneal collagen cross-linking is used to strengthen the cornea in people with keratoconus. In doing so, corneal collagen cross-linking can stop keratoconus from worsening. It can also help flatten the central cornea in about 50 percent of patients, who often experience better vision as a result.
The procedure is relatively simple, safe, highly effective and completely painless. Before the procedure, you will be given a local anaesthetic so you won’t feel any pain. Your surgeon will carefully and painlessly remove the surface of your cornea and drops will be applied to your eye for 30 minutes.
Then, a measured dosage of UV light is applied to your cornea for a further 30 minutes. Together with the drops, the UV light encourages bonds between collagen fibrils to form, strengthening your cornea.
After the treatment, a contact lens will be placed on your eye to help with healing and make your eye more comfortable. You will need to keep this in place for a few days and you will also be given eye drops to use. Any discomfort during healing is usually mild and should only last the first few days.
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Exeter Eye is a specialist ophthalmic eye clinic treating all eye conditions and offering the very best in patient care and comfort. We always ensure we fully understand your condition and lifestyle before identifying your treatment options and then help you choose the best one for you.