Keratoconus is a rare condition where the cornea forms in a cone shape. Normal corneas are symmetrically rounded. In people with Keratoconus, the cornea protrudes out in one or more bulges or “cones.” These bulges distort vision and makes the eye more sensitive to glare. So what is Keratoconus? It’s a cone-shaped eye.
The direct cause of Keratoconus isn’t known. Although it’s suspected to be genetic. But Keratoconus generally isn’t present at birth — it develops later, often in your teens. The first sign of Keratoconus is blurred vision, which can be cured with standard corrective lenses. However, as it develops and the corneas continue to change, vision may become less treatable with normal lenses.
If you have Keratoconus, you may start seeing multiple “ghosted” images, your eyes will be more sensitive to glare, and you may also feel eyestrain after working for a while. Other than strain, there is generally no pain connected to the condition. Once the corneas become more cone-shaped and asymetrical, normal corrective lenses cannot resolve the ghosting and multiple images that result.
That’s why finding a good Keratoconus doctor is so important.
The diagnosis of Keratoconus is difficult even when it is suspected by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. Standard eye chart observations and vision tests are not enough. A keratoconus specialist can measure the curvature of the cornea with a device called a Keratometer, but these are not designed to detect Keratoconus, and the deformation of the cornea may exceed the instrument’s ability to measure.
Once your doctor suspects that Keratoconus may be a possibility, then often the best diagnostic method is direct observation. Advanced cases can be easily identified by the experienced eye of a Keratoconus doctor, and in about half of cases there is also a ring of yellowish or greenish color–called a Fleischer ring–that can be seen in the cornea.
But irregularities in the structure of the eye, both related to and unrelated to Keratoconus, can still make diagnosis tricky. This is where the experience of the doctor in evaluating the results of all these tests can make a huge difference in the identification of this rare condition.
Once your Keratoconus is diagnosed, a modern technique known as computerized corneal mapping can be used to detect Keratoconus. Videokeratoscopes have allowed eye doctors to measure corneal curvature and radius, but the scopes’ ability to map the cornea in detail, or even to map the entire cornea, has been limited. A rare piece of technology called the Eaglet Eye Surface Profiler, which is a centerpiece of the California Keratoconus Center, has the ability to measure over 350,000 points on the eye. Its measurements cover 100% of the cornea, plus a large portion of the sclera, the white portion of the eye.
A keratoconus specialist like Dr. Leonard has the ability to use the Eaglet and its measurements to create “the perfect contact lens for you,” resulting in better vision, better comfort, and fewer visits to fit and refit imperfect lenses.
Does your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist suspect you have Keratoconus? Then finding a qualified Keratoconus specialist is the next step. Because Keratoconus requires specialized care, you should find the most qualified Keratoconus doctor available.
That’s when patients with Keratoconus in the Los Angeles area and all over California call the California Keratoconus Center. The Director of the center, Dr. Leonard is a Keratoconus doctor who not only treats Keratoconus, but is actually a Keratoconus patient himself…so he knows what you are going through, and how to give you the best Keratoconus treatment available.
Looking for more Keratoconus Resources? Here you go!