Keratoconus Explained by Our Optometrist in San Antonio
Usually, the cornea has a dome shape, but when the front pushes outward, it becomes cone-like in shape. This condition typically appears in teenagers or 20-somethings, and symptoms progressively worsen over the next decade or two. Luckily, with early intervention from us at Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio, keratoconus (KC) can be treated successfully.
Who is Affected by Keratoconus?
Several things cause this condition, but for some, it may be impossible to prevent. Genetics accounts for 10 percent of cases. Other sufferers developed it from chronic eye irritation, UV exposure or ill-fitting contact lenses. While you cannot prevent KC caused by genetics, you can protect your eyes from UV rays with sunglasses, get properly fitting contact lenses, and avoid rubbing your eyes. Sometimes, though, even doing everything you can to take care of your eyes is not enough, and you may develop the symptoms of KC.
What are the Symptoms of KC?
As a progressive condition, KC often begins with mild symptoms that include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, eye swelling and straight lines appearing bent. Over time, the condition worsens as the cornea increases its conical shape. Signs of worsening KC include blurriness gets worse, contacts no longer fit and prescriptions need more frequent updates. Your eye doctor can spot the changes in your vision and in the shape of your eye that indicates KC development and you can get the treatment you need.
How Do Eye Doctors Diagnose and Treat KC?
Most cases of KC are found during regular eye exams. Therefore, it's important to schedule an annual exam, especially in your teens and 20s, when this condition most often appears. In the initial stages, you can get fitted with contact lenses that slow the vision changes this condition causes. Early intervention can correct vision changes caused by the condition before your blurred eyesight affects your life. Even in later stages, with so many treatment options available, you don't have to live with KC's effects on your eyesight. For more serious cases, our eye doctor may suggest corneal collagen cross-linking. This procedure uses eye drops and a UV light to strengthen the cornea and prevent it from bulging further. Corneal inserts called Intacs force the cornea to flatten but require surgery for placement. A corneal transplant is the most extreme treatment option and only used as a last resort.
Contact Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio to Schedule an Appointment Today
You only have one set of eyes to last your entire lifetime. Let us help you take care of them. If you need a regular eye exam or are concerned about KC, call us today at (210) 403-9050 for an appointment at Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio.