Keratoconus (ker-uh-toe-KOH-nus) occurs when your cornea — the clear, dome-shaped front surface of your eye — thins and gradually bulges outward into a cone shape.
Keratoconus is a progressive disease. According to the staff at Inland Eye Institute in Rancho Cucamonga, it can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s.
LASIK is not a solution for this progressive disease due to several factors, including the thinning of the cornea and the shape of the cone. There are, however, effective solutions available for this disease. In addition to custom toric lenses, gas permeable lenses and other lenses, Keratoconus can often be best treated with:
- KeraSoft lenses (Bausch + Lomb). These high-water silicone hydrogel lenses can correct up to 20 diopters (D) of nearsightedness or farsightedness and up to -12 D of astigmatism.
- NovaKone lenses (Alden Optical). These medium-water hydrogel lenses can correct up to 30 D of nearsightedness or farsightedness and up to -10 D of astigmatism.
- Corneal inserts received FDA approval for treating keratoconus in August 2004. The tiny plastic inserts are placed just under the eye’s surface in the periphery of the cornea and help re-shape the cornea for clearer vision.
- A procedure call corneal crosslinking, which strengthens corneal tissue to halt bulging of the eye’s surface.
- Corneal transplants are sometimes the best solution for people with this disease.