What is keratoconus and what is the keratoconus treatment?

SAMER HAMADA DESCRIBES KERATOCONUS AND THE TREATMENTS FOR KERATOCONUS

Keratoconus is not an uncommon condition. This is the disease that’s affecting the front part of the eye, which is the cornea. The cornea is delicate with a spherical shape, almost a dome-like shape.

With keratoconus, the cornea becomes unstable.

The cornea starts to become thin and protrudes forward, almost like a cone shape. That’s why it is called keratoconus–cornea like a cone.

The cornea is like a lens in a camera. If the shape of the lens is distorted, then you expect the vision to be affected. Therefore, patients with keratoconus will suffer from reduced vision. Keratoconus usually is a progressive condition and affects both eyes. Usually, one eye is more advanced or more affected than the other eye. As this is progressive and affects young ages, it’s crucial to stop disease progression.

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One of the modalities to slow or stop keratoconus progress is corneal cross-linking. Corneal cross-linking is exposing the cornea to UV light to change the structure, so the cornea becomes tougher and resists –this will help put the condition under control. This is a very effective treatment. It’s recommended by NICE as a safe and effective treatment for patients with unstable corneas like keratoconus or even those develop ectasia after laser vision correction.

We treat a lot of patients with keratoconus.

The results usually depend on how advanced the disease is, so the success rate is very high in moderate –we could say a 95% success rate.

The cases where the cornea is very distorted, like advanced keratoconus, the success percentage would fall to around 80 or 85%. Still, if the treatment doesn’t work, you can redo it, repeat the cross-linking the cornea, and usually, the cornea is stable.

If the cornea is very distorted, then the other option would be to have cornea transplantation. You can think of corneal cross-linking as a way to defer or hopefully delay the need for cornea transplantation. Sometimes if the condition is very advanced and the cornea is very distorted, or you cannot proceed with the cross-linking, then cornea transplantation is an option.

About the expert

Mr Samer Hamada | Consultant Ophthalmologist and Corneal Surgeon

MD, MSc, DO (hons), FRCSEd, FRCOphth I am Samer Hamada, founder and consultant ophthalmic surgeon with over 20 years’ experience in ophthalmology. I am a world-renowned specialist in cornea, cataract and refractive surgery. I’m not only a leading surgeon but also the only dual fellowship trained in corneal diseases in children from reputable institutions in the UK. At Eye Clinic London I work closely with other consultant ophthalmologists, optometrists and orthoptists to achieve the best outcomes for our patients. Our main aim is to make sure our patients get the safest and best treatments available to them. We put your safety before anything else so you can rest assured that if you choose us you will be in the best and safest hands.

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