What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus is an eye disorder caused by thinning and steepening of the transparent layer of the eye, the cornea, with progressive myopia and astigmatism. Onset of the disease is typically in adolescence, although patients become aware of the condition in their 20s. Keratoconus progresses between the ages of 20 and 40, and enters the stationary phase after the age of 40. The cornea is a very important part of your eye. Light enters the eye through the cornea. The cornea refracts, or focuses, the light rays for clear vision. With keratoconus, the shape of the cornea is altered, distorting vision. Keratoconus can make some activities difficult, such as driving, typing on a computer, watching television, or reading.
What Causes Keratoconus?
Although the exact cause of keratoconus is unknown, genetics and mechanical traumas play an important role in its development. Environmental factors such as eye rubbing and wearing hard contact lenses may cause further progression of the disease in patients with a genetic predisposition.
What are the Disease Symptoms?
- Persistent eye allergy or itching (mild eye irritation)
- Presence of progressive myopia and astigmatism
- Low quality of vision despite eyeglasses
- Increased sensitivity to light
These symptoms are indicative of a high risk of keratoconus disease. In such cases, it is recommended that you consult an expert physician for examination since early diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus disease are of great importance to prevent material vision disorders which may subsequently emerge.
Keratoconus is associated with two essential problems;
Decreased vision: Contact lenses are the first choice to correct vision. If the disease is progressive, contact lenses must be fitted after stabilization. If the patient cannot use contact lenses, corneal ring segment implantation, topography-guided laser or intraocular contact lenses are alternative treatments.
Disease progression: CCL (Corneal Cross-Linking) and corneal ring segment implantation are used to stop the progression. These treatments do not improve vision, but hinder the progression of the disease.