Our eye doctors at the Las Vegas office of Shannon Chandler, O.D. and Lesa Davis, O.D. specialize in the treatment and diagnosis of all types of eye diseases, including keratoconus. Keratoconus is an eye disease that is characterized by thinning of the cornea; this can result in an irregular shape of the cornea, and astigmatism, typically in both eyes. Symptoms include blurry vision, rapid and significant vision changes, and the inability to see well, even with spectacle correction. The exact cause is unknown, but some theorize that hereditary traits may be a factor.
Between 50 – 200 out of every 100,000 people are afflicted by this disease. It is associated with symptoms such as atopic disease, connective tissue disorders and chronic rubbing of the eyes. Constantly rubbing irritated eyes can accelerate the progression of keratoconus. Allergies may irritate the eye, causing a potential link between the eyes and this disease. Eye-rubbing should, therefore, be kept to a minimum. Allergies should also be controlled, if necessary, in order to stop progression. Eye drops to control allergies and itching can be prescribed. Our eye specialists in Las Vegas treat keratoconus by first attempting to correct the patient’s vision with eyeglasses. If the resulting astigmatism has progressed to the point where vision cannot be corrected with spectacles, rigid gas permeable, or RGP, lenses may be prescribed.
RGP lenses mask the irregular cornea, and act as a new refractive eye surface; this new surface mimics a healthy cornea not afflicted by astigmatism and keratoconus. Achieving a good fit of the RGP lenses may be challenging, and can be affected by the degree of keratoconus progression. Only a trained optometrist can – and should – properly fit the lenses. Properly fitting the lenses can reduce scarring that can happen over time as the cornea thins. Scarring must be prevented in order to minimize the necessity for a corneal transplant, should the condition progress.
There is also new technology recently approved by the FDA: Corneal collagen cross-linking is a technology that strengthens the bonds of the cornea. This will prevent further thinning, by using UV light and a photosensitizer. The goal of this procedure is to halt any further progression of the disease. The professional staff in our office can answer any questions you may have regarding keratoconus, and the options for treating it. Call us today to schedule an appointment to get all of the information you need regarding keratoconus, or any other eye conditions.