Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that can be slowed if caught early enough. In fact, the earlier it's caught, the bigger the chance you'll have of managing the disease. While the disease doesn't necessarily lead to total blindness, it can affect the eye enough so that it is difficult to correct the affected eye's vision completely. Without correction and proper management, sight in the affected eye becomes so blurry that daily activities may be adversely affected. Our team at Lavenburg Medical Group, serving Elkton, MD, Newark, DE, and Wilmington, DE, can help you if you've been diagnosed with keratoconus.
What Is Keratoconus?
This is a condition in which the cornea of your eye, the clear layer that covers the iris and pupil of your eye, becomes thinner and starts to bulge out. There can be a genetic component to the disease, but not always. Symptoms often start when you're a teen or young adult, but you want to monitor for signs of the disease at every eye exam, just as you would for other eye diseases.
Symptoms can include increasingly blurry vision. If you wear contacts, you may notice that formerly comfortable prescriptions are now difficult to deal with. Your night vision may become poor, and lights may seem to have halos around them. Eye rubbing and frequent eye inflammation (such as from allergies) can worsen the symptoms of keratoconus.
What Treatments Are Available?
If caught early, keratoconus can be treated with a corneal collagen cross-linking procedure, which helps harden the cornea and stops it from elongating. Mild cases of keratoconus may also be helped with specific prescriptions for glasses or contacts. Severe cases might be treatable with a special plastic ring implanted in the cornea, and some patients may require corneal transplants.
What's the Deal with Contacts and Keratoconus?
Sometimes keratoconus reaches a point where glasses no longer help your vision. Rigid contacts are then needed. If the condition is progressive, the contacts need to be updated regularly. Sometimes different combinations of lenses are used, such as one where the center is rigid but the parts that touch the eye are softer. A piggyback combination of a rigid lens over a soft lens may also be used.
Contact Us for Optometry or Ophthalmology Services from Our Professional Eye Doctors
Our professional staff at Lavenburg Medical Group, serving Elkton MD, Newark DE, and Wilmington DE, can help diagnose and treat keratoconus. Whether you need to see an optometrist or escalate to ophthalmology, our office has resources to help you. Contact us at (302) 993-0722 to learn more about how we can help you maintain your vision and eye health.