Typically presenting in adolescence, keratoconus is a disease of the cornea; that is, the transparent, outermost layer of the front of your eye.
Keratoconus leads to changes in the thickness and shape of your cornea, potentially affecting your vision if left untreated.
You may be at higher risk of developing keratoconus if you have a family history of the disease, you rub your eyes hard and often, or you have an underlying medical condition like asthma, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, retinitis pigmentosa, Down syndrome, or hay fever. Knowing your family’s medical history can improve your awareness, and subsequently, your odds of early detection.
Those at risk of developing keratoconus should see their eye doctor for exams every six to twelve months depending on their provider’s recommendations.
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Symptoms of keratoconus include:
- blurred vision
- severe light sensitivity
- glare that interferes with vision
- requent vision prescription changes
- sudden clouding or worsening of vision
Treatment depends on two primary factors: the rate at which the disease is progressing and the severity of the current condition.
Most patients will need corrective lenses in the form of glasses, contacts, or scleral lenses. These function to correct your vision. For those whose condition continues to progress, corneal collagen cross-linking is often recommended. This treatment could help prevent the need for a corneal transplant in the future. Our Grand Junction ophthalmologists are experienced in corneal collagen cross-linking surgery and happy to discuss options with you.
In the most severe cases, corneal transplant is necessary and generally very successful.
To learn more, schedule your consultation appointment with ICON Eyecare here.