Keratoconus

Lake Orion Vision

Optometrists located in Lake Orion, MI

Keratoconus is a rare condition that occurs in about one of every 2,000 people. When left untreated, keratoconus can scar your cornea and significantly reduce your vision. At Lake Orion Vision, the team of optometrists provides diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus using specialty contact lenses. To schedule an appointment at the practice in Orion, Michigan, call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.

Keratoconus Q & A

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye disorder that causes your cornea –– the clear, dome-shaped surface at the front of your eye –– to thin and bulge outward into a cone shape. If you have a cone-shaped cornea, it blurs your vision and increases your sensitivity to light and glare. 

Early on, keratoconus usually responds to corrective appliances like eyeglasses and soft contact lenses. However, as the condition progresses, specialty gas permeable contacts may be necessary. If you have a severe case of keratoconus, you might also need a cornea transplant.

What are the symptoms of keratoconus?

Keratoconus presents few symptoms early on. As the condition gets worse, telltale signs include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light and glare
  • The need to change eyeglasses or contact prescriptions frequently

If you have keratoconus, you might also notice that your vision becomes dim or cloudy.

Who is at risk of keratoconus?

Keratoconus affects people of all genders and races, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Being between the ages of 10-25
  • Having a family history of keratoconus
  • Rubbing your eyes vigorously
  • Having a genetic abnormality that affects the retinas 

Several other conditions may increase your risk of keratoconus as well, including Down syndrome, asthma, and hay fever.

How is keratoconus treated?

To diagnose keratoconus, the team at Lake Orion Vision conducts a comprehensive eye exam, reviews your medical history, and asks about your symptoms and family history. Afterward, your provider conducts a refraction test and keratometry.

Refraction test

During a refraction test, your provider has you look through a device that contains a series of lenses (phoropter). Your provider cycles through the lenses while you look at a letter chart, determining which set of lenses improves your vision the most.

Keratometry

During keratometry, your provider shines a bright light at your cornea. The light refracts off your cornea, helping your provider determine its basic shape.

How is keratoconus treated?

Treatment of keratoconus depends on its severity and how quickly it’s progressing. The goal of treatment is to slow down the disease, ease uncomfortable symptoms, and improve your vision.

If you have a mild or moderate case of keratoconus, your provider might recommend specialty contact lenses. Gas permeable lenses, in particular, are hard and help maintain the dome-like shape of your cornea. You might also benefit from hybrid lenses, scleral lenses, or piggyback lenses.

If your keratoconus is severe, your Lake Orion Vision provider might recommend corneal cross-linking. Corneal cross-linking uses special eye drops to stiffen the cornea and prevent further shape changes. This can prevent the need for a cornea transplant in the future.

To explore your treatment options for keratoconus, schedule an appointment at Lake Orion Vision today. Call the office and speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online.