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Shedding Light on Keratoconus: Understanding Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Keratoconus is a condition that affects the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, causing it to progressively thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. In this post, we will delve into the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options for keratoconus, aiming to increase awareness and provide valuable information for those affected by this condition.

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a degenerative eye disorder that typically begins during the teenage years and slowly progresses over time. While the exact cause of keratoconus is still under investigation, it is believed to be influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. 

Recognizing the Symptoms: One of the initial signs of keratoconus is often blurred or distorted vision, which cannot be adequately corrected by glasses or contact lenses. Other symptoms may include increased sensitivity to light, frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions, and experiencing ghosting or halos around lights. It's crucial to promptly consult an eye care professional if any of these symptoms arise, as early detection and intervention can help manage the progression of keratoconus.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options:

A comprehensive eye examination is crucial for diagnosing keratoconus. At your visit, Dr. Fuerst will perform various tests, including corneal mapping, to assess the shape, thickness, and curvature of your cornea. This will help determine the severity of the condition and guide the treatment plan.

While there is currently no known cure for keratoconus, several treatment options can help improve vision and slow down its progression. These options may include:

  1. Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses: Initially, glasses or soft contact lenses may be recommended to correct mild vision problems. As the condition progresses, specially designed rigid gas-permeable (RGP) contact lenses or scleral lenses may provide better visual clarity and improved comfort.
  2. Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL): This minimally invasive procedure involves applying a combination of riboflavin eye drops and ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus.
  3. Intacs Inserts: In some cases, tiny plastic inserts, known as Intacs, are placed within the cornea to reshape it, improving vision and reducing the cone-like bulge.
  4. Corneal Transplantation: For severe cases of keratoconus where other treatment options are not effective, a corneal transplant may be considered. This surgical procedure involves replacing the damaged cornea with a healthy donor cornea.

We offer all available treatment options for keratoconus at Fuerst Eye Center.

Living with Keratoconus:

Coping with keratoconus can be challenging, but with the right support and management, individuals can lead fulfilling, normal lives. Regular follow-ups with your eye care specialist are crucial to monitor the progression of the condition and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. Additionally, seeking support from support groups and connecting with others who have keratoconus can provide emotional support and valuable insights. A valuable website to learn more about the disease and connect with support groups is

In conclusion, keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that requires early diagnosis and appropriate management. If you or a loved one experience symptoms such as blurry vision or frequent prescription changes, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our cornea specialists. Our dedicated team at Fuerst Eye Center is here to provide comprehensive care, personalized treatment options, and ongoing support throughout your keratoconus journey. Remember, early detection and intervention are key to effectively managing this condition and preserving your vision.

Nicole Fuerst

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