Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition which causes the thinning and bulging of the outermost layer of the eye, known as the cornea. Normally round, changes in the cornea's shape can distort vision and lead to nearsightedness, astigmatism, and other refractive issues.
At Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists in Leesburg, FL, we can stop the progression of keratoconus and alleviate uncomfortable and stressful symptoms. Drs. Jeffrey A. Sheridan and Craig D. Fishman deal with many types of corneal disorders and invest in the most technologically advanced treatments available to protect your vision.
The cornea is a clear dome at the front of your eye which focuses light onto the cornea. In patients with keratoconus, the cornea thins and bulges out to create a cone shape. These changes affect how light enters the eye and can blur or distort vision. Other common symptoms include:
- Increased light sensitivity
- Eye redness or swelling
- Increased nearsightedness
- Irregular astigmatism, in which your prescription is different in each eye
Many patients also find their contact lenses no longer fit properly or comfortably.
The exact causes of keratoconus are not fully understood. However, there are indications that genetics play a role in its development, as well as exposure to ultraviolet rays, excessive eye rubbing, or a history of badly fitting contacts.
When to See a Doctor
If you notice changes to your vision, you should always see a specialist right away. While keratoconus typically causes gradual changes, sometimes they are more sudden. Dr. Fishman or Sheridan can diagnose the condition during a routine eye exam. He can measure the curve of your cornea and map the surface of your eye to determine if a corneal disorder is responsible for changes in your vision.
Based off a detailed image of your corneal surface, we can recommend a treatment suited to your needs. Our team treats you as a partner in your care and works to keep you informed at every step of the way.
Your Treatment Options
There are a variety of treatments available for keratoconus. For patients with a mild case, glasses or soft contacts can minimize vision distortion. However, as the disease progresses, more complex treatments may become necessary, such as:
- Corneal cross-linking: With this advanced treatment, a combination of riboflavin drops and UV light strengthens corneal tissue to halt the progression of keratoconus.
- Intacs: These surgically inserted devices flatten the curve of the cornea to improve your vision.
- Gas permeable contact lenses: These hard lenses are placed over the cornea to replace its curved shape with a smooth surface. However, it can take a long time for patients with keratoconus to become accustomed to hard lenses.
In severe cases, Dr. Fishman or Sheridan may recommend a corneal transplant. During this procedure, your doctor removes the diseased parts of your cornea and replaces them with healthy tissue to restore clear, undistorted vision.
See Clearly Again
At Fishman & Sheridan eyeCare Specialists, we understand how scary changes to your vision can be. Our team works with you to find the solution most suited to your needs and combat the effects of keratoconus. For more information about our treatment options, contact our office online or call one of our convenient locations to speak to a member of our team today.