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Protect Your Corneal Health with Keratoconus Treatment

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease which causes the cornea to thin and bulge. Where a normal eye is usually rounded, an eye affected by keratoconus often looks more like a cone. This shape changes how light enters the eye and consequently distorts vision. Most patients first notice the effects during their late teens and early twenties.

At Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie in Erie, PA, we offer a variety of treatment options for keratoconus to reduce symptoms and keep your vision clear. Drs. Howard M. Levin, Vincent M. Imbrogno, and Ravinder Sabherwal are experienced in diagnosing and treating corneal diseases and can find the treatment most suited to your needs.

Side view comparison of normal eye and eye with keratoconus
The most distinctive symptom of keratoconus is the gradual bulging of the cornea into a cone. 

Understanding Keratoconus

For patients with keratoconus, changes in the shape of the cornea prevent the eye from properly focusing light rays, leading to blurry or distorted vision. While the cause of the condition is still not well understood, there is likely a genetic connection: if a member of your family has keratoconus, you are much more likely to develop it yourself.

Symptoms usually start during your the late teens and early twenties, progressing slowly over the next 10 to 20 years. Some of the most noticeable of these include:

  • Mild blurring
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light and glare
  • Eye swelling
  • Distortion of straight lines

In later stages, these concerns typically worsen. Patients also often experience frequent changes to their prescription. Additionally, individuals with advanced keratoconus cannot comfortably wear contacts. However, patients should be aware that it typically takes years to go from early to late stages of keratoconus.

Your Treatment Options

Our doctors can often diagnose keratoconus during a routine eye exam by measuring the curve of your cornea. The treatment they recommend will depend on the specific symptoms and severity of your condition. For example, patients with mild keratoconus can often manage changes to their vision with glasses or soft contact lenses alone.

With help from our team, you can combat the symptoms of keratoconus and protect the health of your eyes.

If your symptoms are more advanced, other options may be more suitable:

  • Gas permeable contact lenses replace the irregular shape of your cornea with a smoother, more rounded refractive surface
  • Custom soft contact lenses are designed to the specific curvature of your eye to correct keratoconus
  • Corneal cross linking uses riboflavin drops and UV light to strengthen the cornea and halt the progression of corneal thinning
  • Intacs is a small curved device that flattens the curve of your cornea

In severe cases, your doctor may recommend a corneal transplant to replace the affected areas of your cornea with healthy tissue. During your consultation, you can sit down with a member of our team to discuss your options and determine the best treatment for you.

Preserve Your Vision

At Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie, we understand how stressful changes to your vision can be. However, with help from our team, you can combat the symptoms of keratoconus and protect your eye health. We are committed to finding the treatment option best-suited to your unique needs and concerns. If you have noticed changes to your vision or have a family history of keratoconus, contact our office online or call (814) 838-9555 to speak to a member of our team today.

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