THINNING CORNEAS AND EXTREME ASTIGMATISM
What is keratoconus, and how can we address it?
Keratoconus is a severe form of astigmatism. It is a degenerative non-inflammatory disorder of the eye in which structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than its normal gradual curve.
What are the symptoms of Keratoconus?
Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all often reported by the patient. If both eyes are affected, the deterioration in vision can affect the patient’s ability to drive a car or read normal print.
The early symptoms of keratoconus
Causes of keratoconus
How is keratoconus diagnosed?
Keratoconus is typically diagnosed in the patient’s teenage years and attains its most severe state in the twenties and thirties. One of the more common factors associated with keratoconus is eye rubbing.
Once patients reach their forties the cornea begins to stiffen up naturally and this slows or even stops the progression of the keratoconus.
This observation has led to the development of a treatment called collagen cross-linking. Riboflavin and ultraviolet light are used to stiffen the lens by three hundred percent.
What is the keratoconus treatment?
In most cases, corrective lenses are effective enough to allow the patient to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally.
Further progression of the disease may require treatment (such as Cross-linking CR-3) or surgery including intracorneal or intrastromal rings or a corneal transplant (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty or penetrating keratoplasty).
Mr Ball is one of a handful of surgeons who is able to offer the full range of treatments for keratoconus.
Further information about keratoconus
MORE USEFUL INFORMATION
Read more about keratoconus surgery
Custom Vision Clinic’s YouTube Channel features James Ball answering hundreds of eye-related questions on video – ranging from laser refractive surgery, lens exchange and keratoconus treatment. Click here for more information
Laser eye surgery reviews of Custom Vision Clinic on Trustpilot. Click here for more information
One of the UK’s leading sight loss charities and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people publishes information about keratoconus. Read more.
The UK Keratoconus Self-Help and Support Association (includes a discussion group and links to resources). Read more.
Cornea transplants are usually performed to correct problems with your eyesight caused by certain medical conditions. Read more…
About the author
Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS
I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic, St James’s University Hospital, and Nuffield Hospital. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.