Keratoconus Treatment from our Optometrist in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, and Lighthouse Point
A progressive eye disorder affecting the cornea, keratoconus usually develops during young adulthood, causing thinning and bulging of the cornea that eventually interferes with vision. When the cornea starts bulging outward, incoming light is not deflected normally to the retina at the back of the eye.
The retina is responsible for sending visual signals to the optic nerve and onto the brain. If the retina does not receive light messages correctly, visual distortions occur that are characteristic of keratoconus. To diagnose this corneal abnormality, your optometrist here at Eye Site Vision Center will perform an eye exam and one or more specialized tests to determine if bulging and thinning of exists.
Signs of Keratoconus
Keratoconus is painless and rarely causes physical irritation to the eye. One of the first signs of possible keratoconus is nearsightedness, blurry vision, and astigmatism. As keratoconus progresses, sensitivity to light and glare increases, making it more difficult to see at night, especially when driving in traffic. Frequent changes to eyeglass prescriptions may also also indicate progressive keratoconus.
Risk Factors for Keratoconus
Research suggests keratoconus may have a strong genetic component. Overexposure to sunlight, wearing contact lenses that do not fit correctly, excessively rubbing your eyes and suffering chronic dry eye or other irritation could increase the risk of keratoconus. However, anyone can develop keratoconus even if they have no family members with keratoconus or present no risk factors associated with keratoconus.
Treatment for Keratoconus
If your optometrist diagnoses you with mild keratoconus, soft contact lenses or eyeglasses can help correct visual distortions caused by corneal thinning and slight bulging. As keratoconus progresses and corrective lenses no longer provide vision improvement, your optometrist may recommend one or more of the following:
- Corneal cross-linking--may decrease the need for a corneal transplant by using a combination of ultraviolet light and eye drops to strengthen corneal tissues.
- Gas permeable contact lenses--these specialized lenses cover the cornea firmly but gently to replace its bulging shape with a smoother, more uniform surface. This allows light to land directly on the retina to improve vision.
- Piggyback contact lenses--for some people, gas permeable contacts may be uncomfortable to wear. Optometrists can provide piggybacking contact lenses made with two different kinds of contacts, such as contact lenses made with silicone hydrogel fitted with gas permeable lenses.
- Hybrid contact lenses--combining oxygen-permeable materials with a periphery of soft contact lens materials allows that center of the lens to vault more comfortably over a bulging cornea.
Make an Appointment with our Optometrist in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, or Lighthouse Point
Beginning treatment as early as possible is essential to delaying progression of keratoconus. To schedule an eye exam with your optometrist at Eye Site Vision Center, please contact us today. Only a comprehensive eye exam can detect the development of keratoconus.
To contact our optometrist in Boca Raton, call 561-479-1411.
To contact our optometrist in Coral Springs, call 954-344-3937.
To contact our optometrist in Lighthouse Point, call 954-943-3779.