Regaining your Confidence with Keratoconus.

Keratoconic cornea
Normal cornea

Whether you have been living with Keratoconus for a long time, or you have recently been diagnosed, you will know how frustrating the blurred vision makes your day to day life.

The first piece of information that you need to know about Keratoconus is that there are always ways and means to improve your vision. This helps you to regain your Confidence in your day to day life. Improving the little things such as making you feel comfortable again with driving at night.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition that causes an shallow, cone shaped elevation of the cornea or outside surface of the eye.

The elevation occurs due to the normal internal pressure of the eye distending an area of weak cross-links between the collagen fibres in the corneal stroma. The cornea becomes thinner in this region. You can see the difference between a cornea with Keratoconus and a normal cornea in the graphic on this page.

Optically this cone shaped area causes light to bend excessively resulting in blurred vision. Typically people with keratoconus will see ‘tails’ of blur on objects, a phenomenon called coma.

Keratoconus usually affects both eyes, however the effects can be significantly greater in one eye than the other. It can be either an inherited condition or occur spontaneously within a family. Keratoconus will typically onset about during the late teenage years and progress from this point. The degree of progression varies from individual to individual.

How can you improve your vision?

Initially, people with mild keratoconus can wear spectacles quite successfully. The successful prescription of these spectacles does require an experienced optometrist, and David and Irma have developed advanced measurement techniques to improve spectacle prescription accuracy for patients with Keratoconus. No matter what you have been told in the past – spectacles may still be an option – even if only for around the house after removing your contact lenses in the evening.

As the condition progresses the spectacles become unable to cope with the increasing levels of coma in the keratoconic cornea. At this time, rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be used to correct the vision very successfully resulting in sharper vision with reduced coma. Contact lenses are used as a visual prosthesis in Keratoconus. This means that the contact lens is an engineered, smooth, artificial replacement for the cornea in Keratoconus.

By optically ‘replacing’ the front surface of the cornea the contact lens tricks light particles into believing that your eye once again has a more ideal front surface. The light particles will then create a much more realistic and accurate image on the back of your eye. This restores Confidence in your vision – once again allowing you to contemplate day to day tasks such as driving at night comfortably, and being able to read without having to hold the page only centimetres from your nose.

In the much longer term, a minority of people with keratoconus will find that their corneas will no longer support the wear of contact lenses. When this occurs the cornea is unable to perform its normal physiological functions resulting in it becoming unhealthy. In this situation a corneal graft (corneal transplant) is required to restore a degree of normal healthy function to the eye. David and Irma can help you through the process of the corneal transplant and the visual recovery afterwards. Fortunately only 10% of people with Keratoconus will require a corneal transplant.

Contact us to arrange a review of your Keratoconus options.

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