Under normal conditions, people have round corneas, but misshapen corneas are the primary reason people experience refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Another condition affecting the cornea is keratoconus. Keratoconus is a disease in which the cornea thins and bulges in a cone shape. The disease’s onset generally occurs in the teens or 20s and can lead to permanent vision loss when left untreated. If you have vision needs and want an optometrist near you, contact Butler Eye Care, serving the Lebanon, MO, area.


Causes and Symptoms of Keratoconus

Eye doctors do not know the cause of keratoconus but believe it has a genetic basis. We also do not have a cure, though most people with keratoconus are successfully treated and can lead lives with limited restrictions.

Keratoconus is among the diseases identified by regular eye exams because its symptoms overlap with other common eye conditions. Light sensitivity and halos around lights are keratoconus symptoms shared with other eye conditions, while symptoms that are primarily associated with keratoconus include:

    • Poor vision in one eye (keratoconus can affect both eyes as well).
    • Double vision when looking with one eye

The overlapping symptoms reinforce the need for regular vision exams, so conditions like keratoconus are identified and treated early.

Diagnosing Keratoconus

Keratoconus is diagnosed during eye exams, which may include visual acuity testing using an eye chart or phoropter (a large binocular-like device). Several techniques are also used to map the shape of the eye, checking for a bulging cornea and its progress.

Keratoconus Treatment

Keratoconus does not always worsen or do so predictably, so your doctor will initially use the least invasive treatments available. These may include eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct astigmatism and nearsightedness resulting from keratoconus.

Some patients need a one-time corneal collagen cross-linking procedure as the disease progresses. This procedure involves applying vitamin B drops and ultraviolet light to the cornea to encourage collagen bonds to form. In further stages, corneal ring implants can flatten the cornea’s surface so you can wear contacts. Finally, corneal transplant surgery may be needed, with normal vision requiring up to one year to return.

Contact Butler Eye Care

If you need keratoconus treatment or are looking for an eye doctor near you in the Lebanon, MO, area, contact Butler Eye Care. Call our office today at (417) 991-3200 or use our appointment request form to make an appointment.

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