Keratoconus

Corneal Associates of New Jersey offers the latest in Keratoconus diagnose and treatment options. Keratoconus literally means “cone-shaped cornea.” Pronounced (KEHR-ah-toh-KOH-nus), it is an uncommon eye condition where the normally round, oval-like cornea becomes thin and develops a cone-like bulge.
  • See TV Star and Dr. Perl Patient Bill Schindler’s Keratoconus Story HERE
Keratoconus Treatment at Corneal Associates of New JerseyThe cornea is the clear, front part of the eye, a very crucial part that has a lot to do with how you actually see. As light enters the eye, the shape of the cornea direct the light rays so that they land in a particular fashion on the nerves in the back of the eye, called the “retina”. If the light rays are directed correctly, you can see clearly. When the cornea is affected by keratoconus, it actually expands outward and becomes extremely steep and almost pointed, thus changing dramatically the direction of light entering the eye. Images become blurry and distorted. Keratoconus can make many activities difficult, such as skiing, driving, typing on a computer, watching television. Some basic activities just become overwhelmingly difficult for a keratoconus patient.

Symptoms Of Keratoconus (Symptoms May Vary)

Keratoconus is routinely problematic in both eyes, however; symptoms in each eye may differ. It is a myth that keratoconus only affects older people or seniors with vision problems. The disease can affect persons of all ages but typically starts to develop by the mid – late teen years. The rate of progression varies. It will often progress slowly for 10 to 20 years and then suddenly stop.

As the condition progresses, the most common symptoms include:

  • Distortion of vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Glare
  • Slight irritation
  • Mild blurring of vision

Keratoconus Treatment

Treatment will often depend on the severity of the condition. During early stages, vision can be corrected with eyeglasses. As the condition progresses, rigid contacts may need to be worn so that light entering the eye is refracted evenly and vision is not distorted. You should refrain from rubbing your eyes, as this can aggravate the thin corneal tissue and make symptoms worse.

Collagen Cross-Linking (CXL)

Corneal collagen cross-linking, or CXL, is a technique designed to treat Keratoconus. Collagen is a protein that strengthens the cornea by forming cross-links. CXL involves using custom-made riboflavin drops to saturate the cornea. This increases the occurrence of collagen cross-linking in the cornea, thus leading to a stronger cornea. It is not a cure; rather, the goal is to stop the disease from progressing in order to prevent further vision deterioration and reduce the chance of needing a corneal transplant.
Learn more about CXL by clicking HERE

Intacs

Intacs are tiny corneal implants that are FDA approved for the treatment of keratoconus or for patients that are experiencing issues with contact lenses or are contact lens intolerant. For patients with advanced keratoconus, Intacs could be the best solution to stabilize the cornea and to improve vision. Intacs are thin prescription inserts that change the curvature of the cornea to allow light rays to focus properly. With Intacs, there is no cutting or permanent tissue removal involved, and Intacs the procedure is modifiable and reversible. Patients who are contact lens intolerant because of keratoconus may have great success with Intacs surgery.
Learn more about Intacs by clicking HERE

Keratoconus And LASIK Laser Eye Surgery

Due to the irregular shape of corneas, LASIK or other laser vision correction is often ruled out. The Orbscan diagnostic device can determine the steepness of your cornea through a simple eye test and a topographic map of your eye can be measured. Recent advancements may make you a candidate for a different type of refractive surgery. If you are a patient that has developed keratoconus and you would like to experience the same lifestyle benefits that LASIK has brought millions of people, please make sure to discuss this desire with Dr. Perl. Dr. Perl currently uses the Phakic Lens Implants for patients with high to moderate levels of myopia.

If you are an existing keratoconus patient and require the professional consultation of a cornea specialist please feel free to contact our practice. Corneal Associates of New Jersey is dedicated to understanding the cornea and diseases of the cornea.