The word keratoconus comes from the Greek words ‘kerato’ for cornea, and ‘konus’ meaning cone. It describes one of the common features of this condition - cone-shaped or bulging eyes.
Keratoconus affects about one in 2,000 people, to varying degrees, and usually shows up between the ages of 10 and 25. It causes a progressive thinning and weakening of the cornea - the clear front ‘window’ of the eye - leading to blurred or distorted vision.
The causes of keratoconus remain a mystery, although it’s thought to be hereditary. So as with most things in life, you can blame your parents. Fortunately, the treatments for keratoconus are far from mysterious, and can often be as simple as glasses or contact lenses.
For some people with keratoconus, a revolutionary treatment called corneal collagen cross-linking can be hugely effective in stopping keratoconus in its tracks. Other options for more advanced cases of keratoconus include implantable collamer lenses, corneal rings and corneal transplantation.
Keratoconus affects each patient differently, and there are a number of treatments that can help depending on the severity of your condition. For some people, prescription glasses or special fitted contact lenses may be all that’s required to help restore your vision and quality of life.
In recent years, a revolutionary keratoconus treatment called corneal collagen cross-linking has proved very effective in stopping the natural progression of keratoconus. Corneal cross-linking works by strengthening the chemical bonds in your eyes that hold your cornea in place, to stop it from becoming distorted by keratoconus.
In a corneal cross-linking procedure, our eye surgeons use a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B12) eye drops and ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus. It’s a straightforward and safe procedure that you only need to have once to make a difference.
Other treatments include implantable collamer lenses, corneal rings and corneal transplantation. Everyone is different though, so it’s best to come and speak with our world class eye surgeons to find out which keratoconus treatment is right for you.
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