Keratoconus, an eye condition characterized by a bulging of the cornea, results in significant visual impairment for those affected. While the exact causes of keratoconus are still relatively unknown, researchers have made great technological advances in its treatment.
Find information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment methods for keratoconus from the expert team at Milan Eye Center.
Keratoconus is an eye condition that results when the cornea, or outer lens of the eye, loses its dome-like shape. In people with keratoconus, the cornea becomes unusually thinned due to a weakening of protective fibers in the cornea. This weakening in the corneal fibers causes the cornea to lose its normal shape, and it begins to take on a cone-like, bulging form.
The exact cause of corneal thinning is not known. Keratoconus tends to be genetic, but it may also be caused by excessive eye-rubbing due to allergies or other environmental factors. The condition normally appears during adolescence or the early twenties, but it also may occur later in life.
Keratoconus may cause significant vision problems in those affected. The shape of the cornea is essential to proper vision, and as the cornea loses collagen and thins, the vision may become distorted in a variety of ways.
The symptoms of keratoconus may come on suddenly or over a period of several years. The first symptoms are normally blurred vision that cannot be corrected with eye glasses or contact lenses. As the condition develops, more significant vision problems may include:
Until very recently, the only treatments available for keratoconus were Intacs, or plastic corneal inserts, and specialty contact lenses. While these methods can be effective in the early stages of keratoconus, they are unable to correct the significant visual impairment that occurs in more developed keratoconus cases.
Fortunately, a new treatment method, called corneal crosslinking, has recently been developed that has changed the lives of many patients with keratoconus. This new technology is simple, minimally-invasive, and can be performed in an office setting.
Corneal crosslinking works by increasing the number of collagen crosslinks, or protective fibers, within the cornea. By limiting the deterioration of the cornea, corneal crosslinking works to halt the progression of keratoconus.
If you are experiencing blurred vision or any of the other symptoms of keratoconus, please contact the Milan Eye Center location nearest you to make an appointment with one of our expert ophthalmologists. With multiple locations in the metro Atlanta area, we are conveniently located to serve patients with all of their eyecare needs.
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