Keratoconus FAQs

A healthy cornea is clear and domed-shaped. Keratoconus occurs when the dome-shaped cornea thins and slowly bulges out into a cone shape. Fortunately, this condition can be treated by our doctors at Chapel Hill Ophthalmology in Chapel Hill, NC.


Who Is At Risk For Keratoconus?

Several factors can increase your chances of developing this condition, including:

  • A family history of keratoconus
  • Vigorous rubbing of the eye
  • Certain medical conditions like asthma, hay fever, retinitis pigmentosa, Down syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome

What Are the Symptoms of Keratoconus?

As keratoconus progresses, the symptoms may change. You may experience the following symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Distorted vision
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Difficulty driving at night
  • Sudden worsening of the vision
  • Sudden cloudy vision
  • Needing frequent changes in your prescription
  • In the advanced stages, corneal scarring can occur

How Does An Eye Doctor Diagnose Keratoconus?

Keratoconus can be detected during an annual eye exam. If your eye doctor suspects that you have the condition, there are a few tests that can be used to confirm the diagnosis. This includes:

  • Eye Refraction: This test evaluates your eyes for problems of vision.
  • Slit-lamp Examination: This exam involves a beam of light and a low-powered microscope. It gives your eye doctor a chance to get a good look at the shape of your cornea.
  • Keratometry: This test measures your cornea to determine the basic shape.
  • Computerized Corneal Mapping: This test records pictures of the cornea to create a detailed map of it, which helps track the progression of the condition. It can also measure the thickness of the cornea.

How Is Keratoconus Treated?

Our optometrist can prescribe a stronger prescription to treat mild to moderate keratoconus. This includes:

  • Gas-Permeable Lenses: These lenses are rigid, which will hold your eye's natural round shape.
  • Piggyback Lenses: If you cannot get used to gas-permeable lenses, piggyback lenses act as a cushion to the hard lens.
  • Hybrid Lenses: Hybrid lenses are another alternative if you cannot get used to gas-permeable lenses. The inner part of the lens is rigid, and the outer edge is soft.
  • Scleral Lenses: These contacts are a good option since they vault over the cornea and rest on the white of the eye.

As the disease progresses, you may need a cornea transplant, Intacs, or collagen cross-linking to help improve your vision.

Chapel Hill Ophthalmology Is the Best Place to Go For Keratoconus Treatment

If you are experiencing the symptoms of keratoconus, schedule an appointment with Chapel Hill Ophthalmology at 919-942-8701. We can help you find the right treatment option for your needs.



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