Keratoconus Treatment in Delhi
The cornea is the clear surface at the front of the eyeball. It refracts the light entering the eye onto the lens, which then focuses it onto the retina. Keratoconus is a condition in which the shape of the cornea, which is usually round, gets distorted and becomes thin to develop a cone-shaped bulge, resulting in decreased or distorted vision.
Keratoconus does not cause total blindness, however, without treatment it can lead to significant vision impairment. It is a progressive eye disease, usually affecting both eyes. The degree of progression in each eye is often unequal, and it isn’t unusual for the condition to be significantly more advanced in one eye.
At Hitech eye centre, with advanced treatments and best cornea specialists in India, most patients with keratoconus are able to lead normal lives.
In extreme cases there often is no remedy but a complete transplant of the cornea with a lengthy surgical procedure.
Keratoconus is often discovered during adolescence. In late stage it can usually be diagnosed with slit-lamp examination of the cornea. But in initial stages it can be very easily missed and can be diagnosed with more accurate test is called corneal topography, which creates a map of the curve of the cornea.
When keratoconus is advanced, the cornea will be thinner at the point of the cone. This can be measured with a painless test called pachymetry. By methods such as Orbscan / Pentacam or Sirius machines.
Because the cornea is irregular and cone shaped, glasses do not adequately correct the vision in patients with keratoconus since they cannot conform to the shape of the eye. Patients with keratoconus see best with rigid contact lenses since these lenses provide a clear surface in front of the cornea allowing the light rays to be projected clearly to the retina. These patients are treated with rigid contact lenses. , But these rigid contact lenses may not be well tolerated by most of the patients.
There is however some excellent new surgical options for patients with keratoconus who cannot tolerate these lenses, these options are discussed under treatments for keratoconus, Corneal Cross linking or CXL or even C3R. Many patients are initially unaware they have keratoconus and see their eye doctor because of increasing spectacle blur or progressive changes in their prescription. Classically my present in change in cylindrical power or axis in the prescription glasses.
In many instances even a good refraction yields poor vision. Keratoconus is most often diagnosed by a cornea specialist who my see typical findings when examining the patient at the slit-lamp. In early forms of the disease there may be no obvious finding on slit-lamp evaluation and the diagnosis is made by computerized videokeratography only. (I.e. Sirius, Pentacam, Orbscan etc.)
Keratoconus typically commences at puberty and progresses to the mid thirties at which time progression slows and often stops. Between age 12 and 35 it can arrest or progress at any time and there is now way to predict how fast it will progress or if it will progress at all. In general young patients with advanced disease are more likely to progress to the point where they may ultimately require some form of surgical intervention.
Causes and Symptoms
The exact cause of Keratoconus is unknown. However, it is believed to be an inherited condition. It has also been found that poorly fitted contact lenses and excessive rubbing of the eye may contribute to the cause.
The initial symptom of Keratoconus is an irregular shaped cornea, where it appears to ‘bulge’ forward from the eye socket. This may not be visible at first but has a tendency to develop over time. Vision is usually affected once the cornea starts to change shape. Blurring, light sensitivity and seeing ghost-like images can occur.
Often the cause of keratoconus is unknown. Some studies have found that keratoconus runs in families, and that it happens more often in people with certain medical problems, including certain allergic conditions. Some think that chronic eye rubbing can cause keratoconus. But most often, there is no eye injury or disease that could explain why the eye starts to change.
Keratoconus usually begins in the teenage years, but it can also start in childhood or up to about age 40. The changes in the shape of the cornea usually occur slowly over several years. May take several years to result into a full blown disease.
Someone with keratoconus will notice that eye sight slowly becomes distorted. The change can stop at any time, or it can continue for several years. In most people who have keratoconus, both eyes are eventually affected, although not always to the same extent.
Keratoconus may occur in one eye only initially but most commonly affects both eyes with one eye being more severely affected than the other. Both males and females are equally affected and there is no ethnic predilection though in some parts of the world such as Afghanistan.
Can Keratoconus Damage Vision?
The rate of progression varies. Keratoconus will often progress slowly for 10 to 20 years and then suddenly may stop. As the condition progresses, the most common symptoms include:
- Increased blurring and distortion of your vision
- Increased nearsightedness or astigmatism
- Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
- Inability to wear contact lenses
Occasionally, keratoconus can advance rapidly, causing the cornea to become scarred. Scar tissue on the cornea causes the cornea to lose its smoothness and clarity. As a result, even more distortion and blurring of vision can occur.
The changes to the cornea can make it impossible for the eye to focus without spectacles or contact lenses In fact, a corneal transplant may be necessary to regain vision if the condition is severe.
Keratoconus can be dangerous if laser vision correction surgery –LASIK or PRK– is performed on the eye.
Anyone with even a small amount of keratoconus or suspicion of having early KERATOCONUS should not have laser vision correction surgery.
What is the Keratoconus treatment?
At Hitech eye centre, one of the best cornea hospitals in India, there are various treatments for Keratoconus available including spectacles, glasses, contact lenses, corneal implants and corneal transplants. Glasses in the early stages of Keratoconus are usually successful in correcting the myopia and astigmatism however, as the condition advances the cornea becomes highly irregular and vision can no longer be corrected with glasses. Similarly, contact lenses do not slow down the rate of progression of the conical cornea, but they do give good vision during that period.
For Keratoconus, corneal transplants have a very high success rate following transplantation. To find out more on corneal transplant procedures and the best Keratoconus treatment in Delhi, Contact Us.
What is C3R or corneal cross linking (CXL)?
Another treatment option for keratoconus is collagen cross-linking (C3R). Collagen cross-linking is a new treatment that uses a Special frequency of UV rays after using special dye in form of eye drops to promote “cross-linking” or strengthening of the collagen fibbers that make up the cornea. This treatment improves and strength of the corneal tissue by increasing the cross linking of the Fibres in the corneal tissue and leads to increased strength and by stiffening up the cornea, this treatment may also flatten cornea, preventing further protrusion. And hence is reported to control progression of this disease in most of the cases, Sharp Sight Centres have been performing this procedure of corneal cross linking for our patients of Keratoconus for over 2 years now with excellent results.
Corneal cross linking works similar principle for the sake of understanding that of applying starch to cotton clothes and upon drying and Ironing the cotton fabric becomes stiff and strengthened.
When good vision is no longer possible with any other treatment of corneal transplant may be recommended. This surgery is only necessary in about 10 percent to 20 percent of patients with keratoconus. In a corneal transplant, your Eye Surgeon removes the diseased cornea from your eye and replaces it with a healthy donor cornea. A transplanted cornea heals slowly. It can take up to a year or more to recover good vision after corneal transplantation.
But Keratoconus is best caught and treated early before more damage can occur in the cornea While a corneal transplant will relieve the symptoms of keratoconus, it may not provide you with flawless vision; however, of all conditions requiring corneal transplants, keratoconus has the best prognosis for clear vision. If you have been diagnosed with early or late keratoconus or suspect that you may have keratoconus.
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Cornea Specialist in Delhi