If you have been diagnosed with Keratoconus, the first question you might ask is whether or not there is a cure for Keratoconus, a life long eye disease that affects around 1 in 2,000 people. While there is no cure for Keratoconus yet, there are ways that it can be successfully managed and treated.
Great Vision and Comfort with Keratoconus
One treatment for mild to moderate Keratoconus is scleral contact lenses. These lenses are made of rigid, gas permeable materials that are slightly larger than traditional contacts. They get their name from the fact that the contacts sit on the white part of the eye, called the sclera. By resting on the sclera, these contacts are able to arch over any corneal distortions so that people with Keratoconus can have clear, comfortable vision.
INTACS are another treatment to reduce the effects of Keratoconus. These are a tiny, micro-thin, clear inserts that are placed inside the cornea which cause it to flatten. The flattening of the cornea helps to reduce optical distortions. The procedure involves making a tiny incision in the cornea and inserting the disk. It is quick and the disk is removable so any changes that need to be made in the future are simple and easy. The best part is they are made from a biocompatible material so your body’s natural defenses won’t reject them.
Slowing the Progression of Keratoconus
Corneal cross-linking (CXL) is a non-invasive procedure that helps to strengthen the cornea. While it is not a cure for Keratoconus, CXL works by stabilizing a thinning or irregularly shaped cornea. CXL uses a process called photopolymerization. Photopolymerization uses riboflavin, also called vitamin B2, applied to the cornea and then activated with UVA light in order to create stronger chemical bonds and links between the collagen fibrils. This process helps the cornea return to a more even shape by making it stiffer and stronger.
While CXL can’t return your cornea to its normal thickness, it can stabilize the cornea so it does not continue to distort or thin. Unfortunately, it is possible that your Keratoconus will continue to worsen because this procedure is a way to stabilize your Keratoconus and is not a cure for Keratoconus.
Corneal Transplants for Keratoconus
The most severe cases of Keratoconus may require a corneal transplant which is called a keratoplasty. If the cornea has become too hazy or scarred and misshapen, it may be necessary to replace it. A corneal transplant uses donated corneal tissue to replace a damaged or diseased cornea. While this may at first seem like a cure for Keratoconus, in a small number of people the Keratoconus reemerges years or even decades later. This happens because diseased cells still remain on the outer edges of the cornea and over time may migrate back to the transplanted cornea.
No Cure for Keratoconus
So, while there is no cure for Keratoconus, there are a lot of ways to help manage and treat this eye disease. Relief from blurry, distorted vision, itchy eyes, ghosting, streaking, light sensitivity, headaches, and all the other symptoms of Keratoconus is absolutely possible. Whatever your situation, Dr. Barry Leonard will find a solution that works for you.
Dr. Leonard has what many other well-meaning optometrists don’t: an in-depth understanding of Keratoconus, cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, and – maybe most important of all – personal experience of having Keratoconus himself. He was diagnosed in the 1980’s, and has lived with the disease for over 30 years.
Don’t wait and let your Keratoconus get worse. Call 818-891-6711 now to schedule your appointment, or schedule an appointment online, day or night. His office is conveniently located northwest of downtown Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley.