4 things you need to know about keratoconus

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an ocular pathology that consists of a thinning and ectasia deformity of the cornea, resulting in distortion of images and decreased visual acuity.

What causes keratoconus?

It is a degenerative pathology of unknown cause, but with a strong hereditary component. Also small persistent traumas that damage the structure of the cornea are related to this pathology, for example, rubbing the eyes continuously.

What is the diagnosis?

Keratoconus is diagnosed by an ophthalmologic examination and a test called corneal topography.

What are the treatment options?

Depending on the stage of the disease, one or another type of treatment is recommended. The following are the main ones:

  • For mild cases of keratoconus, the use of an astigmatism-correcting spectacle is recommended to achieve good visual acuity. In most cases, rigid contact lenses will be necessary to correct irregular astigmatism.
  • For more severe cases, it may be necessary to resort to surgical treatments, such as intrastromal rings, to regularize the cornea and correct the astigmatism.
  • Crosslinking technique. This is a recently developed technique that strengthens the weakened cornea. It consists of instilling a riboflavin eye drop and then applying UVA radiation. This method is indicated in cases of keratoconus progression, as it slows down its progression.
  • Cases in which vision is reduced. When this point is reached, the only solution is keratoplasty or corneal transplantation. Currently, transplantation can be performed by selectively replacing the affected layers of the cornea while preserving healthy tissue.