Keratoconus Foxboro Milford Norton Massachusetts

Keratoconus is an eye condition in which the shape of the cornea becomes distorted.

The cornea is a clear structure that covers the front of the eye and allows light to enter the eye. In a healthy eye, the cornea curves like a dome. In an eye with keratoconus, the center of the cornea slowly thins and bulges so that it sags and has a cone shape.

What causes keratoconus?

The exact cause of keratoconus is not known, although a number of scientific theories point to a combination of factors including genetics, environmental and cellular causes.

What are the symptoms?

Keratoconus tends to affect younger people and the symptoms sometimes start in the early teen years and progresses most rapidly for the next 10 to 20 years. Often, eyeglass prescriptions must be changed frequently as the disease progresses.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Halo’s and ghosting, especially at night
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches and general eye pain
  • Eye irritation and excessive rubbing of the eye

How is it diagnosed?

Keratoconus can usually be diagnosed with a slit-lamp examination as well measurement of the corneal curvature. Your optometrist will look for signs such as corneal thinning, stress lines, and scarring at the apex of the corneal cone. Keratoconus, especially in the early stages, can be difficult to diagnose and its symptoms could be associated with other eye problems. Simply recognizing symptoms does not by itself diagnose the condition.

What is the treatment for keratoconus?

The primary treatment options for keratoconus are contact lenses and surgery. In the very early stages of keratoconus, vision problems can be corrected with prescription glasses or contact lenses. As keratoconus progresses, special rigid gas permeable contact lenses may be necessary. Advanced keratoconus may require surgery.

Contact Lens Options

To address the visual distortion created by keratoconus, rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are often used in treatment. These lenses are ideal for a number of reasons:

  • RGP lenses can be customized to the unique shape of the eye, better correcting the myopia and astigmatism associated with keratoconus.
  • The permeable surface of RGP lenses allows oxygen to reach the cornea.
  • RGP lenses are easy to insert, remove and clean.

Other forms of contact lens treatment are also available to treat keratoconus, including: custom soft contact lenses, hybrid contact lenses,”piggyback” lenses and large scleral lenses.

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Dr. Elliott has the experience and equipment necessary to diagnose and often treat your Keratoconus. For more information, please schedule an appointment.
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