Keratoconus Specialists at True Eye Experts
Keratoconus is an eye condition caused by the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped front part of your eye) thinning out and bulging into a cone shape. This diagnosis, which can cause mild to severe vision symptoms such as blurry vision and sensitivity to light, may make you anxious because it isn’t as well-known as common disorders such as nearsightedness or astigmatism.
Many people search “keratoconus specialist near me” following a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of this eye condition to find a keratoconus specialist to manage the condition.
Read through our guide to understand the symptoms and treatment options, and contact us at True Eye Experts to schedule an appointment.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Keratoconus?
As your cornea swells and becomes more cone-shaped, it will cause small “cracks” in the cornea’s surface that can be uncomfortable and even painful. You may also notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Blurry vision and low night vision
- Sensitivity to light and visual distortion, such as “halos” or rings around lights
- Eye swelling
- Headaches with visual symptoms (distortion, light sensitivity, or eye pain)
- A cone-shaped or bulging cornea
Unlike vision disorders usually associated with aging (such as glaucoma and cataracts), keratoconus typically begins in late adolescence or early adulthood. For many people, this condition is more severe in the beginning — but every patient is unique. Regular visits to an eye care specialist are essential to ensure your eyes are as healthy as possible.
What Causes Keratoconus?
Researchers are unsure of the exact cause of keratoconus, but they believe genetics play a part in its development. There are a few commonalities in many people with keratoconus:
- Any abnormality that affects collagen production or causes low collagen production in your body
- A family history of Down syndrome or other systemic (body-wide) diseases such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
- Eye inflammation, irritation, or rubbing of the eyes due to allergies
While not every person with allergies or eye irritation will develop keratoconus, these are links scientists have found to the condition.
How Is Keratoconus Treated?
Though the origins of keratoconus are not well-understood, there are several targeted treatments and keratoconus specialists who dedicate their careers to helping patients overcome symptoms of this condition. Depending on the severity of your case, your doctor may discuss one of the following options with you.
Vision Correction With Glasses or Contacts
Keratoconus causes several visual distortions, so treatment usually begins by assessing how well you are currently seeing. If you’re in the early stages of keratoconus, your doctor may recommend glasses to help correct your vision, while more advanced cases may require specialty contacts. It’s important to discuss any vision issues, and especially any vision changes since your last visit, with your eye doctor.
Corneal Cross-Linking Treatments
If your symptoms have advanced beyond the mild stages, your corneas may benefit from a specialized collagen treatment. During the treatment (which is noninvasive), your keratoconus specialist will apply a targeted solution containing vitamin B (riboflavin) to your cornea.
Combined with an ultraviolet light treatment, this solution helps your eye to form additional collagen.
Cross-linking isn’t a cure for keratoconus but is a promising new, FDA-approved treatment.
If your case of keratoconus is relatively advanced, your eye doctor may refer you to a keratoconus specialist who specializes in surgery.
Intacs are implanted contacts available to certain keratoconus patients with advanced disease who can no longer wear (or no longer benefit from) standard contact lenses. They help flatten out the dome-shaped swelling of keratoconus and help you see better. Overall, this is a simple procedure.
A corneal transplant may be available if nothing else has helped your case of keratoconus. Like in other transplant surgeries, you will receive donor tissue to replace the tissue in your body (in this case, your cornea) that no longer functions as it should. You may experience minor visual complications for a few months after this type of transplant, and you will likely still need vision correction, such as glasses or contacts.
Schedule an Appointment with True Eye Experts For Keratoconus
No need to continue searching for a keratoconus specialist near you who can diagnose and treat your troubling vision issues – True Eye Experts provides compassionate, experienced care that will get you the treatment you need.
Frequently Asked Questions about Keratoconus
What Vision Problems Do People With Keratoconus Have?
Keratoconus causes several visual symptoms that include sensitivity to light and blurry vision. There isn’t one key tipoff that you’re struggling with keratoconus. If you’re having these symptoms and keep returning to the eye doctor for a new prescription, this is a signal there may be something significant happening to your eyes.
You may struggle with blurriness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism (visual distortion caused by an abnormal shape of the eye) if you have keratoconus. Never ignore a new symptom or hope it will go away if you leave it untreated. It’s always a good idea to schedule an exam with a keratoconus specialist if you have any concerns.
Can People With Keratoconus Wear Contacts Safely?
Yes, they can. In fact, contact lenses and glasses are first-line treatments for this disorder.
Glasses may be the best option for the early (milder) stages of this condition, while later treatment may require you to consider a harder contact lens. It’s crucial to see a doctor who understands this condition so that they may make the best recommendations for your individual symptoms and disease activity level.
If I Have Keratoconus, Will My Children Develop It?
Despite its supposed genetic links, it’s unlikely that your children will develop keratoconus even if one of their parents has it, as there isn’t just one gene responsible for this condition. Genetic testing is available, but it’s important to remember that it cannot predict whether someone will develop this disease.