Keratoconus is a vision disorder that occurs when the normally round cornea (the front part of the eye) becomes thin and irregular (cone) shaped. This abnormal shape prevents the light entering the eye from being focused correctly on the retina and causes distortion of vision.
In its earliest stages, keratoconus causes slight blurring and distortion of vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. These symptoms usually appear in the late teens or early 20s. Keratoconus may progress for 10-20 years and then slow in its progression. Each eye may be affected differently. As keratoconus progresses, the cornea bulges more, and vision may become more distorted.
In mild to moderate cases of keratoconus, corneal crosslinking can be performed in order to decrease the progression of the disease. Eyeglasses or soft contact lenses may be used to correct the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism that is caused by the early stages of keratoconus. As the disorder progresses and the cornea continues to thin and change shape, rigid gas-permeable contact lenses can be prescribed to correct vision adequately. In most cases, this is adequate. The contact lenses must be carefully fitted, and frequent checkups and lens changes may be needed to achieve and maintain good vision. An alternative surgical option to correct for mild to moderate keratoconus is INTACS. In a few cases, a corneal transplant is necessary. After both INTACS or corneal transplant, eyeglasses or contact lenses are still needed to correct vision. Dr. Melanie Frogozo is a Residency and Fellowship trained in cornea and contact lenses and performs evaluations for specialty contact lenses to correct for keratoconus as well as evaluations for corneal crosslinking, INTACS, and corneal transplantation. Please call 210-403-9050 to make your appointment today or visit The Contact Lens Institute of San Antonio for more information.