Being diagnosed with keratoconus, or having a loved one diagnosed with this condition, can be jarring and frightening. Like any eye condition, keratoconus can be serious if not treated properly. With today's medical advancements many people with keratoconus live normal lives with little day-to-day impact. The eyecare experts at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology will go over some of the most common questions our patients ask when facing a keratoconus diagnosis.
Will I Go Blind?
The short answer is no – not completely blind. At worst keratoconus leads to low vision rather than complete blindness. However, with an early diagnosis and carefully monitored treatment, your vision may be corrected to a point where you can live a completely normal life.
Will My Eyesight Get Worse?
Keratoconus is a progressive disease that causes your eyesight to deteriorate over time. It's impossible to predict how quickly your condition will progress. With treatment and care, vision deterioration can be limited and even halted.
Is Keratoconus Genetic?
In many cases, yes. Keratoconus is believed to be passed along genetically, and there's a one in ten chance the condition will be inherited if a blood relative has it. If a parent or sibling has keratoconus, you'll want to be especially diligent at screening for keratoconus. Early diagnosis is critical in minimizing the effect that keratoconus has on your life.
How is Keratoconus Treated?
There are several treatment options for keratoconus, and the right one for you depends on the severity of your case. If caught early before vision has deteriorated much, contacts may be enough to correct the condition and prevent or slow additional deterioration.
Special soft contact lenses sometimes work for mild cases of keratoconus, but once the condition becomes more advanced we suggest Rigid Gas Permeable lenses. These smaller, hard lenses the type most commonly used for advanced cases of keratoconus. As contact lens technology has progressed, a greater variety of treatment options have entered the market. Our eye doctor will walk you through available treatments and determine what will work best for you.
Corneal crosslinking is a relatively new procedure that offers relief to those with more severe cases of keratoconus. It is considered an effective alternative to corneal transplant, which is the traditional surgical treatment for keratoconus. Corneal transplant is still a last resort for the most severe keratoconus cases. These surgical technologies present real, long-term solutions for people whose lives are several impacted by low vision due to keratoconus. Talk to our ophthalmologist if you think surgery may be right for you.
Visit Chapel Hill Ophthalmology for Guidance Regarding a Keratoconus Diagnosis
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with keratoconus, you'll be in good hands at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology. Our doctors are experienced in this unique diagnosis and can answer your questions and help you work through any concerns. For more information on Keratoconus or to schedule an appointment, call us at (919) 944-8061.