Keratoconus Treatments & Eye Surgery
Keratoconus is a unique and fairly uncommon eye condition. Though there is evidence that the disease has genetic origins, the root cause of keratoconus has yet to be discovered. If not treated, keratoconus, can cause severe damage to your sight. It tends to affects both eyes, though it typically progresses at different rates.
The good news is that, while keratoconus eye surgery used to be the only treatment for the condition, new and promising options have emerged.
What is keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes a weakening of the structure-creating proteins of the cornea. As the cornea grows weaker, the normal outward pressure from within the eye then causes the cornea to bulge into a cone-like shape.
The onset of keratoconus typically begins during a patient’s teen years and slowly worsens until it stabilizes in their 30s or 40s. Researchers believe that approximately three million people worldwide have keratoconus. It affects males and females of all races.
Fortunately, keratoconus eye surgery is no longer the first line of treatment. Today, keratoconus is now first treated with rigid contact lenses that contour the bulging cornea and improve vision.
As the disease progresses, custom contact lenses or glasses may be required. There are many kinds of contact lenses and eyeglasses used in the treatment for keratoconus. Your doctor should recommend which contacts or glasses you need by assessing the progression and particularities of your keratoconus.
However, contacts and glasses aren’t the only keratoconus treatment option besides surgery. A successful new procedure called corneal cross-linking now also provides hope to patients wishing to restore their eyesight.
Newly popular corneal collagen cross-linking(CXL) is a procedure that helps strengthen the corneal tissue, which in turn stops further corneal bulging. There are two types of CXL available: theepithelium-on method and the epithelium-off method.
In the epithelium-off method, you doctor removes the epithelium, allowing Vitamin B (riboflavin) to enter the eye. The eye is then stimulated with UV light to help treat the keratoconus.
The epithelium-on method leaves the epithelium intact while the riboflavin is stimulated by the UV light. Although this method takes more time, it is less prone to infection and discomfort than the epithelium-off method. Some believe it also restores vision faster.
Both methods are much less invasive than keratoconus eye surgery.
Keratoconus eye surgery
While it is now uncommon, some patients may still need keratoconus eye surgery. If this is the case for you, don’t worry. Your doctor will be able guide you through the process of Penetrating Keratoplasty (PK).
Trusted keratoconus treatment
At the Eye Center of Texas, we offer the safest, most advanced eye disease surgical techniques and technology. Home of some of the top eye surgeons in the Houston, we use our experience to help you understand everything from the specifics of your eye procedure to insurance processing and payment options.
Contact us today at 713-797-1010 or request an appointment online for one of the best eye disease treatment centers that Houston has to offer.