What is Keratoconus?

The cornea is the clear dome shaped surface of the eye that focusses light into the eye.  Keratoconus is defined by the progressive thinning of the cornea, which causes it to bulge into a “cone” shape.  This progressive thinning causes vision to blur and become distorted.  In mild cases, patients may still be able to wear glasses and soft contact lenses, however, as the surface of the eye becomes more irregular, specialty contacts may be necessary to maintain clear single vision.

Diagnosis: Keratoconus is diagnosed through routine eye examination and by measuring the curvature of the eye surface.  Onset usually begins in late 20s to early 30s but should be screened for yearly if there is known family history of the condition.  Special cameras can be used to “map” the surface of the eye to show exactly where thinning is occurring.

Treatment: There is currently no way to reverse or cure Keratoconus, but there are ways to manage and slow progression.

  • Corneal Cross-linking is a procedure that helps to stabilize the surface of the eye to prevent further thinning of the cornea
  • Intacs: these are surgical impants that help flatten the surface of the eye to produce clearer vision
  • Corneal Transplants are the most extreme option reserved for severely damaged eye surfaces that no longer respond to standard therapeutic measurements.

Specialty Contact Lenses:

It is possible for even severely effected eyes to see 20/20 again with the proper eyewear.  Traditional Rigid Gas Permeable contacts (RGPs) as well as larger diameter Scleral lenses can be custom fit to provide clearer, more comfortable vision.  These lenses may be considered Medically Necessary through Vision insurance and can be life changing for those who have lost valuable sight to eye surface disease.
Consult with Dr. Lexie Ives if you are interested in hearing more about your options!  Vision is our specialty, and our goal is to help our patients navigate