Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keratoconus-A Thin Bulging Cornea

Keratoconus is a type of Corneal Dystrophy in which the Cornea becomes thin and bulges. Although Keratoconus is a relatively rare corneal disease, its impact on vision and overall lifestyle can be quite significant as it progresses. Vision correction in the early phases is often possible with eyeglasses and contact lenses. In the intermediate phases specialized contact lenses are often necessary to provide good vision and physical tolerance. As Keratoconus progresses and reaches its later phases, corneal surgery including transplantation may be required in order for patients to conduct normal activities and enjoy normal lifestyles. Newer types of corneal surgery and treatment may include implantation of prescription inserts and a non surgical approach called Corneal Cross Linking or CXL that enhances corneal collagen cross linking through the photoactivation of riboflavin. By carefully monitoring the progression of Keratoconus and applying the necessary treatment options it is possible to help patients maintain good vision and functioning.

Keratoconus is generally first diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens and progresses through the third or fourth decade of life. It tends to progress more rapidly in young patients. Keratoconus occurs about equally in men and women. The signs and symptoms of Keratoconus may change as the disease progresses and may include a) blurred or distorted vision b) monocular double vision c) rapidly changing eyeglass prescriptions especially with high degrees of astigmatism d) increased sensitivity to bright light and glare e) problems with night vision f) headaches from eyestrain and in the most severe situation e) hydrops, a painful condition in which the back of your cornea ruptures and fills with fluid, causing a sudden clouding and loss of vision.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Keratoconus or the various treatment options please schedule an appointment with Birmingham Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D. at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center by calling 205-930-0930. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.