The Ins and Outs of Keratoconus

Distorted vision, glare and halos that won’t go away, worsening nearsightedness and astigmatism which corrective glasses just can’t help with — these are all signs of keratoconus. You may not have heard about this condition; it’s thought to only affect one in 2000 people, although milder cases can easily be missed. If you’re worried that you may have keratoconus, Dr. Robert Davis, our eye doctor in Oak Lawn and resident keratoconus specialist can help. In the meantime, here’s a little more about keratoconus and how it is treated.

The science of keratoconus

Keratoconus causes distorted vision as it alters the shape of your cornea at the front of your eye. Normally smooth and sphere-shaped, keratoconus causes the cornea to bulge outwards and become cone-shaped. In its early stages, you may find that you have to change your glasses prescription more frequently as you become increasingly nearsighted and develop astigmatism. Eventually, corrective glasses will stop working and that’s when you need special keratoconus treatment. Of course, before you can get that treatment you need a keratoconus diagnosis.

Getting a keratoconus diagnosis

At Davis Eyecare Associates, we use a special technique called corneal topography to map the shape of your cornea. This is a non-invasive and painless process. Often the shape changes associated with keratoconus begin around puberty as a result of the cornea becoming thinner. However, for some, keratoconus occurs in adulthood and is the result of trauma to the eyes or wearing ill-fitting rigid contact lenses. Whatever your age, once we know you’ve got keratoconus we can consider your treatment options. 

Keratoconus contact lenses

Only in advanced cases of keratoconus or instances where there is a lot of corneal scarring is surgery needed. For most cases of keratoconus, special contact lenses are all it takes to restore functional vision. Keratoconus contact lenses work by providing a clear lens that acts as a smooth, sphere-shaped surface through which light can pass. This corrects the visual distortions caused by keratoconus. While in the past there weren’t many choices of contact lenses for keratoconus patients, today at Davis Eyecare Associates we can offer a range of options including rigid gas permeable contact lenses, special design soft lenses, hybrid synergeyes and scleral lenses. 

The next step

If you’re concerned that you may have this condition, our keratoconus specialist Dr. Robert Davis can help you find out for certain and talk you through all of your options. We understand that the cost of treatment may also be on your mind. As a vision insurance provider, finding out exactly what your insurance covers is something we can easily do for you. Once you know what your insurance will cover, we can help you make the right choice for your circumstances and your vision. Get in touch with Davis Eyecare Associates today to have all your questions about keratoconus answered!