Keratoconus is a common eye disorder in which outer lens or cornea starts to thin progressively. Normally, cornea is round in shape, like a ball. This eye condition adversely affects the healthy cornea causing a cone-shaped bulge to develop. It weakens the light-sensitive retina & results in blurred vision. According to current statistics, one in every 2000 people is affected by this eye disease world-wide.
Major Keratoconus Symptoms
Keratoconus symptoms may vary as the disease progresses. Major signs & symptoms of Keratoconus are described as follows.
- Poor night vision
- Distorted eyesight
- Excessive strain on eyes
- Ghost-like images – the appearance of multiple images while looking at one object
- Double vision in one eye
- Light sensitivity
- Evidently worse vision in one eye
Patients should promptly consult an optometrist or ophthalmologist if they experience any changes in eyesight.
What Causes Keratoconus?
It is difficult to say what causes Keratoconus exactly. Various medical researchers have found out that several genetic conditions, pre-existing health diseases, chronic eye rubbing & allergies may increase the chances of Keratoconus. Healthcare experts around the world state that antioxidants levels are also important to maintain a good eye condition. If antioxidant level falls down, it may result in bulging of cornea. This eye-disorder usually appears in people aged between 10 & 25. Routine eye-check-ups must be done in order to avoid Keratoconus.
Treatment Options for Keratoconus
Keratoconus treatment depends on patient’s eye condition & progression of eye problems. Surgeons may recommend soft-contact lenses & eye-glasses to patients in initial stages. But as cornea begins to thin, contact lenses or glasses may not be able to provide a precise solution. Surgeons may suggest surgical options in such instances. Most effective surgical options for keratoconus include the following.
Surgeons implant small semi-circular plastic inserts in the patient’s cornea to improve its structure & enhance vision. These inserts are capable of restoring regular front face of eye. This surgery is helpful in minimizing the progression of keratoconus.
Topography-Guided Conductive keratoplasty
This surgical procedure involves the use of radio waves for reshaping cornea. This procedure is known to be highly effective in treating irregularities & defects of corneal surface.
Corneal Transplant Surgery
Also referred to as, penetrating keratoplasty, corneal transplant surgery is a clinical procedure which involves replacing central portion of cornea with a donor tissue. Usually, a corneal transplant is performed when all other treatments fail to improve patient’s vision. It may take up to one year for complete recovery following the surgery. Doctors may provide customized lens to patients until they recover fully.
Success ratio of corneal transplant surgery is quite high but patients may have to face certain complications like graft rejection, poor vision & severe eye infection after surgery. It is vital for a patient to choose well-qualified & experienced eye-specialist for better outcomes. Corneal transplant surgery cost is high in western nations like Australia, UK or US. International patients seeking cost-effective & high quality corneal transplant surgery can opt for medical tourism in India.
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