WHAT IS KERATOCONUS?
The cornea is the central circular clear part of the eye, in front of the color (iris) of the eye. Keratoconus is characterized by a progressive thinning of the cornea, leading to a conical protrusion. The condition often presents during puberty with progressive nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism.
The result is often a rapid change in the strength of the spectacle correction needed, or deterioration in vision that does not improve with the use of spectacles. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential in order to prevent visual deterioration. This has been greatly improved with the use of the latest topographical software included with the Pentacam examination.
Early detection of keratoconus is essential in order to treat and prevent progression. The topographical examination with the Pentacam measures the cornea on thousands of points to determine any abnormality. The Bellin Ambrosio keratoconus risk evaluation is software that permits early detection of any abnormality and also monitor any progressive corneal thinning and bulging.
Initially spectacles and soft contact lenses can be used to correct vision, but with progression rigid contact lenses are required to provide a regular refractive surface and therefore greatly improving vision.
Corneal collagen cross-linking with either Riboflavin or Ricrolin is a very effective procedure aimed at stabilizing or improving the conical protrusion. This once-off treatment is 95% effective in stabilizing the cornea and preventing further corneal thinning. Without treatment, or if diagnosed late, progression in the surface irregularity necessitates corneal graft surgery.
Corneal cross-linking is a procedure that strengthens the cornea through cross bonding in the cornea, provided by the riboflavin that is activated by a special UV light. Due to the progressive nature of keratoconus, it is essential the cross-linking be performed as soon as the diagnosis of keratoconus is confirmed. Preventing progression and improving the abnormal corneal shape has two advantages. Firstly, the patients vision can be successfully improved with either spectacles or contact lenses. Secondly, the need for corneal graft surgery can also be avoided.
Do you have keratoconus symptoms?