Cornea is the outer layer of our eyes that protects our natural lens and give us a clear vision by determining the refraction of the light.
It is a progressive disorder that the round-shape cornea gets thinner and bulges out into the shape of a cone. Then this cone-shaped cornea causes distorted vision and irregular astigmatism. It normally affects both eyes
CAUSES OF KERATOCONUS
- It occurs especially in teens.
- Genetic predisposition (ıf any member of the family has it)
- Rubbing the eye steadily due to allergic conjunktivitis.
- Central contact of the contact lenses.
- A habit of sleeping face down with some pressure to the eye for a long time.
A developed keratoconus can be diagnosed very easily in a normal eye exam. But it can only be diagnosed in more complex examinations if it is at early stage. So it might not be observed in a normal eye exam. In addition to them, If glass prescriptions change quite often, If visual acuity is less than 10/10 despite glass use, In case of genetic predisposition in the family Further examination techniques are required.
The way of treatment in this disease firstly depends on your eye specialist who has been evaluating the progress. The success of the treatment depends on the experience and excellency of your eye doctor, stage of keratoconus, developed technology beside the quality of the equipments and products used in your treatment.
They could be used at early stages beside every stage of the treatment. They only give a better vision but may not stop the progression of keratoconus. In case of progression, the vision may not be corrected due to irregular astigmatism which can require new glass prescriptions that causes the patients discomfort.
People who do not want to wear glasses or benefit from them, can wear soft contact lenses at early stage of keratoconus. At late stages, semi-rigid and gas permeable contact lenses could be used. Although the purpose of contact lenses is to give a better vision, they might not be tolerated by your eye. Not only do they help stop the progression of keratoconus, but also they might cause some irritation on the cornea due to the lack of lubrication between the cornea and the lenses.
It is appied to the people whose cornea thickness are found to be suitable for this operation. This operation is performed with topical anesthetic drop in operation room. Two tiny crescent-shaped pieces are inserted into the center of the cornea during this operation. The purpose of this operation is to correct the misshapen cornea as much as possible. Rings are tolerated by the eye perfectly. Although it is a very beneficial treatment, it still may not stop the progression of keratoconus. But people have reported that they have much better vision after this treatment.
It is very reliable method which is applied to the patients with progressing keratoconus. The thickness of the cornea is very important in this process. After numbing the eye with topical anesthetic drops, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is dropped on the cornea under UVA lights for about 5 minutes. This process strengthens collagen tissue of the cornea and may ease or stop the progression. Patiens can go back to their normal life just a few weeks after the operation.
CORNEAL TRANSPLANTATION – KERATOPLASTY
Only 20 % of the keratoconus patients may need a keratoplasty operation. These are the cases in which all other treatments could not stop the progression. In this surgical intervention, a round-shaped tissue which is appx. 7 mm in diameter is removed and changed with a healthy tissue which is derived from a donor. This tiny tissue is replaced with stitches.
Even though the success rate is very high in this method, it can be the last to think in treatment due to the difficulty in finding a healthy tissue from a donor and long recovery period.
- Early diagnosis and periodical exams are vitally important in this disease
- Patients must be followed up by the surgeon after surgery.
- Patients can go back to their normal life just a few days after surgery.
- The first purpose of this surgery is to ease the progression of the disease
- It has been observed great improvement and better quality in patients’ vision.
When cornea gets thinner and become pointed it is called Keratokonus. Cornea has curvy shape and this is bolded by birth and it increase so cornea hangs down. Increasing causes astigmatism. There are four types of level. First level is light, second level is mild, third level is heavy and forth is advance level of keratoconus. First symptom of keratoconus is flu vision. Sensitivity for light, glare, reduce night vision, headache, difficulty of reading, double vision, burn and feeling sting are other symptoms of kerotoconus. It is effect patient’s life quality. Vision could be affected very badly. Keratoconus usually happens both eye but sometimes one of them could be heavier. Rate is almost same for genders. It is usually notice on teen ages.
Doctors can be suspicious about patients who have astigmatism that increase every examination. If patients do not pay attention on that cornea could be dangerously thin. Permeable hard lenses uses on keratoconus because soft lens do not fix shape of cornea. Patients and doctors should be careful and patient for who are using permeable hard lens because usually patients who use this lens do not feel comfortable.
Corneas inside connection can be stronger with ultraviolet A and eye drop form riboflavin. This treatment is using to stop cornea to hang down. Internal corneal rings developed for patients who have keratoconus. Two half circle transparent rings placed inside of the cornea. They do not stop cornea to hang down but they fixed problem with vision temporarily.
Twenty percent of the keratoconus patients go to have corneal transportation operation. Corneal transportation is changing center to 7-9 mm of the cornea with new one. Usually patients go to have corneal transportation when they have late diagnosis for keratoconus. Success of this operation is ninety-five percent but sometimes it may cause serious complication.