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All You Need to Know About Keratoconus

Keratoconus impacts vision and greatly affects one’s quality of life. Keratoconus occurs when the cornea, the clear dome shaped surface of the eye, gradually bulges into a cone shape.  At Atlanta keratoconus there are skilled ophthalmologists who offer a variety of treatments that reduce or stop the progression of corneal eye problems.

What is keratoconus?

Usually, the cornea, the windshield or the outer lens of the eye, is dome-shaped, like a ball. The structure is not strong enough to hold its round shape. This is known as keratoconus. Small fibers of protein in the eye known as collagen help keep your cornea in good shape. When the fibers get weak, they don’t hold their shape.

Your cornea becomes more cone-like. It happens if there are less protective antioxidants in the cornea. Its cells excrete unwanted harmful products like a car puts out exhaust. The antioxidants eliminate them and protect collagen fibers. If the levels are low, collagen gets weak and the cornea bulges.

What causes it?

  • Family history: If there is a family member with this condition, you have a better chance of having it yourself. If you get it, have your children’s eyes checked for symptoms around the age of ten.
  • Age: It normally starts when you are a teenager. It can also appear earlier in childhood and not until you reach your 30’s. It’s not common in older people.
  • Certain disorders: Research has shown that there is a connection between keratoconus and other conditions like osteogenesis imperfecta, Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Inflammation. Inflammation from asthma, allergies, or atopic eye disease breaks down cornea tissues.
  • Eye rubbing: Rubbing your eyes hard can break the cornea. It makes the cornea keratoconus develop faster if you have it already.

What are the symptoms?

Keratoconus changes your vision in several ways:

As the cornea alters shape to a cone, the smooth surface gets wavy. This is known as irregular astigmatism.

When the front expands, the vision is clear, making it nearsighted. An optician can spot the signs during a test. You should always remember to mention symptoms like bright lights with halos around them, triple ghost images, double vision when viewing with one eye, and blurry vision that makes it difficult to drive.

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How is it treated?

You will definitely start with new glasses. If your case is not severe, new eyeglasses will clear things up. If they don’t help the doctor suggests contact lenses.

Cornea collagen crosslinking is a treatment method that can stop the condition from worsening. The doctor will implant rings known as inact beneath the cornea’s surface to straighten the cone surface to improve vision and flatten cone shape. If other treatments do not give a clear and good vision, the last option is a cornea transplant. This is a safe operation, and its success is over 90% of cases. The doctor removes the center of the cornea, replaces it with the donor’s, and fixes the new one into place. You may require lenses afterward.

Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center, provide good care for those seeking answers about diseases and conditions of the eyes, including keratoconus. They are also trained in managing cornea diseases in children with keratoconus. Book an appointment for more consultation.