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Home » Ophthalmology » Cornea Surgery » Keratoconus

Keratoconus in Houston, TX

Your vision is one of your most highly relied upon senses. Daily tasks are dependent on you being able to see clearly. The presence of keratoconus can distort your vision and make the simplest task seem like an obstacle to accomplish. If left untreated, keratoconus can worsen and result in severe visual impairment. At Eye Excellence, located in Houston and serving Missouri City and the surrounding areas of Texas, board-certified ophthalmologist Mary T. Green, M.D., Ph. D, F.A.C.S., diagnoses and treats keratoconus.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition where the cornea becomes thin and misshapen. A healthy cornea is round and dome-shaped and is responsible for filtering and focusing light that enters the eye, thus creating clear vision. When the cornea steadily thins and causes a cone-like bulge, light is deflected as it enters the eye, which in turn causes distorted vision.

Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and can make simple activities, such as reading, driving and watching television difficult. Early signs of keratoconus include double vision, ghost images (where you may see triple images) and blurry vision.

Keratoconus can be diagnosed using a slit lamp evaluation or by examining the cornea through corneal topography.

Symptoms of Keratoconus

In early stages, a patient’s symptoms may be no different from those of other myopic patients. Unfortunately, as the disease progresses, vision deteriorates to the point of blindness. Some patients develop sensitivity to light (photophobia), eye strain and itching of the eyes. Another symptom of keratoconus is the perception of multiple “ghost images,” which may cause wavering copies of images to be seen.

Cause of Keratoconus

Keratoconus is caused when the collagen in the eye becomes weak and can no longer hold the round, dome-like shape of the cornea. It is a slow and gradual moving disease that may progress for years. There is no known cause for the thinning of collagen but studies have suggested that genetics, pre-existing medical conditions, and excessive rubbing can be culprits. Research has also found an association between the development of keratoconus and overexposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.

Keratoconus Treatment

For mild cases of keratoconus, eyeglasses or contact lenses are prescribed to help make vision clear. If the condition progresses and the cornea becomes increasingly misshapen, custom contact lenses, such as gas permeable scleral lenses are created specifically for the patient and used to mask the cone-shaped cornea and smooth out the surface.

For more severe cases, surgical procedures including corneal collagen crosslinking and cornea transplants are performed. Crosslinking is treatment using riboflavin and UV-A light which can strengthen corneal tissues. INTACS® are thin plastic, semi-circular implant rings, which are inserted under the surface of the cornea to help reduce the irregular shape. A cornea transplant is usually used as a last resort for treatment. During this procedure, the center of the cornea is removed and replaced with a donor cornea. Some form of contact lenses is still usually needed following a transplant.

are inserted under the surface of the cornea to help reduce the irregular shape. A cornea transplant is usually used as a last resort for treatment. During this procedure, the center of the cornea is removed and replaced with a donor cornea. Some form of contact lenses is still usually needed following a transplant.

are inserted under the surface of the cornea to help reduce the irregular shape. A cornea transplant is usually used as a last resort for treatment. During this procedure, the center of the cornea is removed and replaced with a donor cornea. Some form of contact lenses is still usually needed following a transplant.

are inserted under the surface of the cornea to help reduce the irregular shape. A cornea transplant is usually used as a last resort for treatment. During this procedure, the center of the cornea is removed and replaced with a donor cornea. Some form of contact lenses is still usually needed following a transplant.

Being able to see clearly is vital for daily productivity. Blurred vision, light sensitivity, and eye strain can make life challenging. It is vital that eye diseases and conditions, such as keratoconus, be diagnosed early so treatment can begin to prevent further damage. Our team of experts can help reduce your vision impairment and slow down disease progression. If you live in Houston, Missouri City or the surrounding areas of Texas, contact us today to learn more.