What is the keratoconus?
Keratoconus is a relatively rare corneal disease, where the shape of the cornea gradually loses its round shape and becomes more conical. Later on the cornea also becomes thinner and corneal scars can also occur.
Keratoconus eye on the slit lamp. On the left photo we can recognise the corneal thinning while on the right one the corneal scarring.
The symptoms of keratoconus
The patients with keratoconus just feel that they have a blurry (or a double) vision. They visit the ophthalmologist in a high frequency and they take all the time new spectacles ( usually the myopia and the astigmatism increase), which themselves do not satisfy them totally and not for a long time, as the keratoconus still progresses.
The role of the corneal topography
The diagnosis of the keratoconus is usually very delayed and the reason is, that keratoconus on the beginning does not make any clinical changes, that could be seen during the typical eye examinaton on the slit lamp. This big problem has been solved nowadays thanks to a new examination, called corneal topography. The corneal topographer makes some special measurements of the cornea, analyses them and provides us the diagnosis on very early stages.
Keratoconus on the topography report.
The treatment of the keratoconus
The keratoconus patients can take spectacles or special contact lenses, in order to see better. However, if the disease is progressive (according to the findings on the corneal topography), then the right therapy is the cross linking. In detail, special riboflavin drops are applicated and then UV light is used over the eye, which strengthens the collagen fibers in the cornea. This procedure can stop the progression of the keratoconus or even improve the vision a bit. On the very late stages of keratoconus a corneal transplantation is the treatment of choice.
Eye after a corneal transplantation