Keratoconus

Normal Eye vs KeratoconusKeratoconus Diagnosis and Treatment at Richardson Eye Associates

Keratoconus is an odd-sounding name for an odd problem that afflicts the corneas of many individuals. If your corneas have taken on an unusual cone-like bulge, you may be struggling with significant vision impairment. Fortunately, help is at hand here at Richardson Eye Associates. Our Richardson TX optometry team can diagnose the condition and provide helpful corrective options, including specialized contact lenses, to help you optimize your eyesight.

The Problem of the Conical Cornea

A typical cornea assumes a smooth, even spherical curvature. This shape allows incoming light to be refracted in just such a way that it can be easily focused by the lens to land directly on the back of the eye, at the retina -- a chain of events that makes clear vision possible. Unfortunately, a conical cornea acts more like a funhouse mirror, altering the refraction of light and producing blurriness instead of clarity.

In keratoconus, structural weaknesses in the corneal tissues cause them to lose their ideal shape, bulging outward in a cone-like configuration. This can cause severe or rapidly-worsening myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Sometimes the corneal tissue can actually split, making your vision even worse until the damage manages to heal itself. Keratoconus usually (but not always) shows up in young adult and worsens over a couple of decades' time before finally slowing.

Why do you have keratoconus? No one is certain why certain people have thin or weak corneal tissue. It's believed that risk factors include constant eye rubbing or other eye irritation, oxidative damage, or genetics. Underlying enzyme imbalances may corneal tissues less robust and more prone to keratoconus. 

Exams and Corrective Options From Your Richardson Optometrist

Keratoconus can easily be detected through a comprehensive eye and vision exam. Your Richardson optometrist at Richardson Eye Associates can perform refractive testing and measure your corneal curvature to see whether you have the telltale corneal deformations.

Mild to moderate keratoconus can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. If your keratoconus is sufficiently advanced to make normal contact lenses ineffective, we can fit you with scleral contacts. These rigid lenses maintain a smooth, spherical shape of their own instead of matching your (irregular) corneal contours. They actually sit on the white of the eye, vaulting right over your corneas to provide consistent vision correction. For severe keratoconus, we may refer you to specialists who can provide corneal cross-linking or corneal inserts called Intacs.

Talk to Either Richardson Eye Doctor at Our Clinic

Ether Richardson eye doctor at our clinic can help you overcome the limitations of keratoconus. Call 972-231-3439 today to schedule an appointment!

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