Meet Our Keratoconus Specialist in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Our Doctor Can Diagnosis and Treat Keratoconus
Your cornea is the transparent, outer lens of your eye and, when healthy, it typically has a smooth dome shape. Keratoconus is a degenerative disorder affecting the cornea, in which the collagen fibers in the cornea start to weaken and as a result, the cornea can no longer maintain its shape.
Meet with our Keratoconus Specialist in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to define your eye's condition and ways for treatment.
As the cornea continues to get weaker and weaker, it starts to take on more of a cone-like shape. Our professional optometric team at our eye care clinic is knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat keratoconus.
Keratoconus is rare, with an estimated one person out of every 2,000 having the condition. It generally appears in the teenage years and can progress slowly or rapidly.
Keratoconus also runs in families, so if you or your children are at risk, it’s advised to contact us for a thorough eye exam.
Patients with keratoconus often experience symptoms like blurry and distorted vision, lots of glare and light sensitivity, and their vision is not typically correctable with just regular glasses or contacts.
Causes of Keratoconus
Your cornea is held in place by very small collagen fibers. When they are weakened and too fragile, they aren’t able to preserve the round shape of your cornea.
A reduction in the protective antioxidants of your cornea, which act to destroy damaging by-products made naturally by corneal cells, is what causes keratoconus.
Those with a family history of keratoconus are more likely to develop it, as well as those with atopic disease, such as severe allergies and eczema. Some types of eye injuries may increase your chance of being diagnosed with keratoconus as well.
Specific ocular diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa, vernal keratoconjunctivitis and retinopathy of prematurity, as well as some systemic conditions (Down syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Leber's congenital amaurosis and osteogenesis imperfecta) are also associated with this corneal abnormality.
There's also increased risk for patients who frequently rub their eyes, particularly when they do so with their knuckles. Studies show that it's more likely for these patients to develop corneal ectasia or keratoconus.
Many studies also show that men are more likely to have keratoconus than women, and that African American, Latino and Hispanic populations are at slightly higher risk.
Our Keratoconus Specialist in Lancaster, Pennsylvania has years of experience identifying the various levels of keratoconus and other corneal conditions.
Symptoms of Keratoconus
When the shape of your cornea begins to bulge, it alters your eyesight in two different ways. As the cone shape forms, your normally smooth corneal surface becomes wavy, called irregular astigmatism. Additionally, as your cornea expands, vision becomes increasingly nearsighted. Focusing becomes impossible without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Usually, the problems begin in one eye and develop later in the other eye too.
Typically, patient’s eyeglass prescription will change often as the vision becomes worse and contact lenses will be difficult to wear due to discomfort and improper fit.
When keratoconus become more severe (which usually takes a long time however on occasion can happen rather quickly), the cornea can begin to swell and form scar tissue. This scar tissue can result in even further visual distortion and blurred vision.
Altogether, these changes can create the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Streaking of lights
- Halos around bright lights at night; glare
- Sudden change of vision in only one eye
- Objects appear distorted, both near and distant
- Double vision from just one eye
- Triple ghost images
How We Diagnose Keratoconus
Our eye doctors will inspect carefully for the signs of keratoconus during your comprehensive eye exam. It’s critical to inform us of any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing. To diagnose the condition, we’ll measure the shape of your cornea. Computerized Corneal Topography is used for this procedure, which takes a picture of your cornea and analyzes it instantly.