Keratoconus: what it is and how to cure it

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a degeneration of the cornea (first lens of the eye) that thins, curves and deforms. This disease induces an important alteration of vision due to the irregular astigmatism it causes. It usually begins at an early age, in adolescence, and can develop up to 30-35 years of age; usually, in patients over 40 years of age, it does not progress and remains stable.

Why does keratoconus occur?

The origin of this pathology is multifactorial. In some cases there is a genetic predisposition and, in others, it appears without any relation to heredity. The most important risk factor that favors the appearance of keratoconus is ocular rubbing. Every child or adolescent should be taught to stop rubbing his or her eyes frequently and forcefully. If itching is very frequent, it is recommended to see an ophthalmologist to find out and try to treat the cause. There are also cases in which keratoconus is related to general pathologies such as atopic dermatitis, Marfan syndrome or Down syndrome, among others.

How does keratoconus affect vision?

There are different stages of severity, from asymptomatic to a sudden loss of vision. The most common is a progressive decrease in visual acuity over time that progresses in relation to the deformation of the cornea. It is usually due to the consequence of increased corneal astigmatism, which is why this test is recommended.

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What is the treatment for keratoconus?

Depending on the severity of the condition, there are different treatment options for this eye disease:

– Glasses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses for initial or stationary cases.

– Collagen cross-linking with ultraviolet rays or cross-linking to slow the progression of the pathology.

– Implantation of intracorneal rings to try to modify the shape of the cornea and reduce astigmatism.

– In very advanced cases, the only solution is corneal transplantation, which can be lamenar, which consists of selectively transplanting the affected corneal layers (DALK) or complete (penetrating keratoplasty).

In the ClĂ­nica OftalmolĂłgica GarcĂ­a de Oteyza we have a team specialized in the treatment of keratoconus in its different stages and severities. To request a visit you can contact us by phone: (+34)931513570.