Keratoconus Treatment at Eye Specialists of Louisiana

A birds eye view of an eye doctor checking the vision of a woman in an optometry office.Each year, keratoconus, an ocular disease that alters the shape of the cornea, affects 1 in every 2,000 Americans. It is most often diagnosed in teens and young adults but is sometimes found in children. 

At Eye Specialists of Louisiana, our team of compassionate eye care professionals is experienced at treating simple to complex eye conditions, such as keratoconus.

If you’re noticing changes in your vision or the appearance of your eyes, we encourage you to get your eyes checked now; early detection plays a critical role in helping you effectively treat eye conditions. 

Let’s dive deeper into understanding keratoconus. 

What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition characterized by warping of the normally smooth dome-like shape of the cornea. This particular eye issue causes the cornea to thin and bulge into an irregular cone-like shape which results in vision changes ranging anywhere from mild blur to severe vision loss and even pain.

Keratoconus most often begins during puberty and progresses into the mid-30s. Unfortunately, progress is not fluid for everyone, and there is no way to predict how fast or slow the condition will progress for each individual. 

Keratoconus typically affects both eyes, although one more than the other. 

Symptoms

Although progression can be quite drastic, most patients don’t realize they have the disease in the earliest stages. The most common first symptom of keratoconus is typically slightly blurred vision.

Other symptoms include:

  • Heightened sensitivity to light or glare
  • A frequent change in eyeglass or contact lens prescription
  • Distorted vision (both near and far)
  • Clouding vision
  • A sudden, noticeable change in overall vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Headaches accompanied by eye pain

Causes

The exact cause of keratoconus is still unknown and poorly understood. However, according to John Hopkins Medicine, it is widely believed that the predisposition to develop this eye condition is present at birth. 

Risk Factors

Various risk factors may increase your risk of developing or extending the progression of keratoconus, including:

  • Genetics and a family history of the disease
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Chronic inflammation of the eyes or eyelids
  • Age, as it is most prevalent in teens
  • Race, especially those of Asian-descent 
  • Atopy
  • Those with Down Syndrome

Diagnosis

To diagnose keratoconus, an eye examination is required, along with an extensive review of a patient’s medical history. In addition to that, there may be various other tests performed to confirm diagnosis further, including:

  • Corneal topography
  • Slit-lamp exam
  • Pachymetry 

Keratoconus Treatment

Because this type of eye disease progresses with time, there are various treatment methods to consider based on the stage of progression. 

In the earliest stage, glasses are used to help with correcting vision impairment and astigmatism. 

As the disease progresses, glasses are no longer sufficient enough to treat the disease. For most, hard contact lenses are recommended. Another option for intermediate progression includes corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL), where a vitamin B solution is applied to the collagen to encourage new collagen growth. This helps to slow the progression and may help improve vision. 

Other treatment options for more advanced forms of keratoconus include:

  • Intracorneal ring segments
  • Corneal transplant 

State-of-the-art Diagnosis and Treatment Near Me

Regular eye exams are the best way to stay on top of your eye health at any age. At ESLA, we proudly serve the Baton Rouge area for their eye health needs. So whether you’re living with keratoconus or another eye disease, our compassionate team is here to help you find your path to clearer vision today. 

To learn more or schedule an eye exam or appointment with us, simply call 225-396-3132 now.