HEALTH

Re:Vision Explain Keratoconus

Tuesday 23 June 2020, 3:14PM
By Beckie Wright
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Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape. This cone shape deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted vision. Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person's teens or early 20s. 

As the cornea becomes more irregular in shape, it causes progressive near-sightedness and irregular astigmatism to develop, creating additional problems with distorted and blurred vision. Glare and light sensitivity also may occur. Also, keratoconic patients experience changes in their prescription every time they visit their eye doctor. 

‍The causes of keratoconus remain a mystery, and research suggests the weakening of the corneal tissue that leads to keratoconus may be due to an imbalance of enzymes within the cornea. This imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage from compounds called free radicals, causing it to weaken and bulge forward. 

Risk factors for oxidative damage and weakening of the cornea include a genetic predisposition, explaining why keratoconus often affects more than one member of the same family. 

For ‍some people with keratoconus, a revolutionary treatment called corneal collagen cross-linking can be hugely effective in stopping keratoconus in its tracks. Corneal cross-linking works by strengthening  the chemical bonds in your eyes that hold your cornea in place, to stop it from becoming distorted by keratoconus. Other options for more advanced cases of keratoconus include implantable collamer lenses, corneal rings and corneal transplantation. 

‍‍In a corneal cross-linking procedure, Re:Vision’s eye surgeons use a combination of riboflavin (vitamin B12) eye drops and ultraviolet light to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of keratoconus. It’s a straightforward and safe procedure that you only need to have once to make a difference. 

‍‍There’s no way to predict how keratoconus will progress, but your vision is unlikely to deteriorate forever, and you’re also unlikely to go blind from keratoconus. Hay fever, eczema and allergies have been associated with keratoconus, as they often lead to rubbing of the eyes which in turn can accelerate the disease. 

However, everyone is different so it’s best to go in to speak to Re:Vision’s world class eye surgeons to find out which keratoconus treatment is right for you, and for more information on cataracts treatment, corneal transplants and lens replacement surgery please go to https://www.revision.nz/ .