It is a degenerative non-inflammatory disease of the cornea the causes it to gradually thin and bulge into cone-like shape. Since the cornea is the main focusing lens of the eye, any distortions in it lead to a distorted image projected onto the retina.
As the disease progresses the cone becomes more pronounced causing vision to become more blurred and distorted. Because of the cornea is irregular shape, patients with keratoconus are usually very near sighted and have a high degree of astigmatism that is not correctable with glasses.
The early symptoms of keratoconus could be continuous change in refraction i.e. need to change glasses so often. Some patients experience visual disturbance such as seeing double, halos, glare, ghosting, or indistinct edge of objects. Nighttime driving in particular would become more difficult with progression of the disease.
Before 2000, nothing could be offered to halt keratoconus progression. However, nowadays collagen cross-linking has become a standard treatment to stop keratoconus progression. Its safety and effectiveness is proven by many major studies. The indication of its use is expanding to involve patients with thin corneas, children, and patients who are not suitable for long session treatment.
At the Eye Clinic London (ECL) we know that the key to successful treatment is to deliver bespoke treatment based on each individual case. Hence, every case is assessed thoroughly and various investigations will be recommended to you. Following that, we will discuss with you the best options that suit your eyes.
The latest studies support that some other modalities of treatment can contribute to slow or stop keratoconus progression. We have various options depending on your case. These include (not conclusive) customized contact lenses, corneal rings / implants (intracorneal rings / segments or corneal inlays), intraocular lens implantation, and various types of corneal transplantation.
We hardly perform full thickness corneal grafts to keratoconus patients unless there is damage to the lining (endothelium) of the cornea. Selective cases might benefit form Laser/ photo therapeutic keratoplasty (PTK), or topography guided laser refractive surgery. We are one of very few centres in the world to perform a combination of various treatments.
The principle is to give you a completetreatment package of approved safe therapies where we strengthen your cornea and stabilize your keratoconus but at the same time correcting your vision.