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What is Keratoconus and What are the Treatments available for it?

Understanding Keratoconus

Patient with Keratoconus
Patient with Keratoconus

When it comes to the health of our eyes, we often take our vision for granted. But for those who suffer from a condition called Keratoconus, daily life can be a constant struggle. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder that affects the cornea, the clear tissue at the front of the eye. In this first part of our exploration, we'll delve into what Keratoconus is, its causes, and the symptoms it presents.

Keratoconus is characterised by the thinning and bulging of the cornea into a cone shape. While it typically impacts both eyes, one eye may be affected more severely than the other. The exact causes of Keratoconus remain somewhat mysterious, but research suggests it could be influenced by genetics and environmental factors. For instance, constant eye rubbing can contribute to irregular astigmatism and alter the curvature of the cornea, potentially exacerbating the condition.

Symptoms of Keratoconus often make their debut during puberty or the late teenage years. They include blurred vision, sensitivity to light and glare, astigmatism, double vision, and difficulty seeing in dim lighting conditions. It's crucial to recognise these symptoms early, as prompt intervention can be beneficial.

Unfortunately, Keratoconus cannot be cured or reversed. However, the good news is that there are treatments and solutions available to prevent its progression and provide clear vision. In the early stages, it's possible to correct Keratoconus with spectacle lenses or contact lenses. There's also a promising treatment known as C3R (Corneal Collagen Cross-Linking) for halting the progression of the disease. For advanced cases where other treatments prove insufficient, a cornea transplant may become the last resort.

Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses

RGP Contact Lenses vs Soft Contact Lenses vs Scleral Contact Lenses
RGP Contact Lenses vs Scleral Contact Lenses

As Keratoconus progresses, the irregular shape of the cornea can make it challenging to achieve optimal vision correction with eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. That's where Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses come into play.

RGP lenses are corneal lenses that offer an excellent option for patients who aren't achieving the desired level of vision correction through conventional means. These hard lenses are designed to vault over the cornea, creating a smooth, light-refracting surface that improves vision. What sets them apart from other contact lenses is their durability and ability to provide consistent vision correction.

Among RGP lenses, Rose-K contact lenses, or their counterpart Accucone-K, stand out. These lenses are specially designed to fit irregular eye shapes. They're crafted using digital design processes to ensure a perfect fit for each patient. Rose-K and Accucone-K lenses have gained popularity for their effectiveness in treating corneal irregularities associated with Keratoconus.

Scleral Lenses

How Scleral Contact lenses sit on the cornea
Scleral Contact Lenses

For individuals grappling with Keratoconus, Scleral lenses represent a compelling alternative. These lenses are larger than typical RGP lenses and are custom measured to fit each eye with precision accuracy.

What sets Scleral lenses apart is the space between the corneal surface and the lens itself, which is filled with a sterile saline solution. This fluid reservoir not only hydrates and protects the cornea but also corrects its irregularities. As a result, Scleral contact lenses offer optimal vision restoration and unparalleled comfort for individuals with Keratoconus.

In summary, Keratoconus may pose a significant challenge to those affected, but there are viable solutions available. From early-stage treatments like spectacle lenses to advanced options such as RGP lenses, specifically Rose-K or Accucone-K, and the comfort-enhancing Scleral lenses, individuals with Keratoconus can find hope in a range of interventions tailored to their unique needs. By understanding the condition and exploring these options, a clearer and brighter world of vision awaits those who seek it.

If you need help with Keratoconus, Progressive Myopia and High Cylindrical corrective options which are also non-surgical solutions, then Get In Touch with us or Book An Appointment with our Chief Optometrist for the same.

treatment for keratoconus | keratoconus eye disease treatment


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