A Guide to Keratoconus from our Coral Gables Ophthalmologist
The eye consists of several components that not only have to work properly but must be shaped properly. In some cases, a person will experience an abnormally shaped cornea, which causes issues with a person's vision. At the Laser Center of Coral Gables, serving Coral Gables, FL and the surrounding Miami region, our LASIK surgeon uses laser eye surgery to correct issues like keratoconus and other similar conditions.
What is Keratoconus?
Keratoconus affects the thin layer that coats the eye known as the cornea. This thin layer acts as a shield and supports the eyeball, giving it its structure. If you have this eye condition, you have an irregularly shaped cornea that causes this portion of the eye to bulge outward, resulting in the eye becoming shaped like a cone.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
In most cases, the symptoms of keratoconus start when you're in your late teens or early 20s. Usually, the symptoms will continue to progress over the course of 10 to 20 years and then slow down. Keratoconus causes blurry, distorted or clouded vision. You may notice sensitivity to bright lights and glare. Oftentimes, those who have keratoconus have difficulty driving and frequent changes in their glasses or contact prescription. Generally, the symptoms of keratoconus change as the condition worsens, though the changes may occur suddenly.
Causes of Keratoconus
The cause of keratoconus isn't currently known, but it appears that certain risk factors increase your risk of developing the condition such as a family history of the condition. It does appear that rubbing your eyes vigorously increases your risk and so do problems like retinitis pigimentosa, asthma, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Down syndrome and hay fever. If you have low levels of antioxidants, it increases your risk for developing keratoconus. The antioxidants protect the collagen fibers in the eye, and when these fibers become damaged, the cornea will bulge.
Treatment for Keratoconus
Although specialized contacts are available for those with this condition, LASIK surgery has the potential to correct the shape of the eye and possibly eliminate one's need for corrective lenses. This particular LASIK surgery, known as Advanced Topographic Guided Laser Treatment, consists of our ophthalmology surgeon removing the peak of the corneal tissue.
Another minimally invasive surgical option is Ferrara Ring, which improves visual acuity while reducing the prevalence of astigmatism. A Ferrara Ring is an invisible insert placed in the sides of the cornea that reshape the cornea, so it allows light to focus on the retina. We also do Intacs, which are similar in nature.
Contact Us Today
If you're experiencing vision difficulties as a result of keratoconus, the Laser Center of Coral Gables, serving Coral Gables, FL and the surrounding Miami region, can provide you with a noninvasive, surgical treatment from an expert LASIK surgeon in order to reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eyewear. Contact us today at (305) 461-0003 to schedule your consultation.