Keratoconus? You’re not alone.

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Have you been diagnosed with the
corneal disease, Keratoconus? If you
have, you’re not alone. According to the
Cornea Research Foundation of America,
100 to 200 people out of every 100,000
develop this disease. Keratoconus gradually
transforms the cornea from a natural
round shape to a funneled cone shape
and can also cause it to thin. Progression
of this disease, which may last from 10 to
20 years, often lead to symptoms such
as blurred vision, sensitivity to light, difficulty
with night vision, and headaches
due to straining of the eyes. LASIK and
PRK are not recommended for those who
have this disease because of the risk of injury
from the thin cornea. In severe cases,
scarring of the corneal tissue has been
reported.
Keratoconus dramatically affects the
cornea. This is the clear protective outer
layer of your eye. It is not only responsible
for protecting your eyes from foreign objects
such as dirt, dust, and bacteria, it is
also responsible for the precision of your
vision. The cornea refracts the light entering
your eye and depending on its degree
of curvature, determines how well you
can focus on objects up close or farther
away. As keratoconus progresses, the
cornea can transform into a cone shape
which can limit your field of view causing
blurred vision, irritation, sensitivity
to light and in some cases halo’s around
light sources. In many cases , these effects
of keratoconus happen in both eyes and
each can be affected differently.
Recent studies have shown many factors
that attribute to the progression of keratoconus.
One of the main determinants
of keratoconus is thought to be heredity.
According to the National Eye Institute,
7% of people who have keratoconus have
a family history of the disease. Agitation
of the eye through rubbing from allergies,
scratching, chronic use of hard contacts,
and injuries to the eye are also factors
that determine the possibility of developing
this disease. Keratoconus can also be
linked to those who have other eye diseases
such as, retinitis pigmentosa, retinopathy
of prematurity, and vernal keratoconjunctivitis.
Systemic diseases, those
that affect the bodies organs and tissues
such as Down syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos
syndrome, are also are believed to be
factor in acquiring keratoconus.
Treatment for keratoconus is limited.
Patients who have the corneal disease
are usually prescribed certain glasses
and soft or gas permeable contact lenses
that provide as little irritation as possible
while giving the patient the best possible
view they can have. If the rounding and
thinning of the cornea becomes too extreme
and glasses and contacts become
uncomfortable, many times a corneal
transplant is recommended. According
to the Eye Bank Association of American
2008 Statistical report, each year there
are 40,000 corneal transplants performed
in America. When considering a corneal
transplant or any type of ocular surgery,
always research, educate, and find the
most experienced corneal surgeon to
minimize the possibilities of complications
from the surgery. The TMS-4 Corneal
Topographer at Bucci Laser Vision offers
a 3D examination of the cornea, contact
lens fitting, and keratoconus screening.
Dr. Frank A. Bucci J.r., MD is a fellowship trained corneal specialist. If you have been diagnosed with
keratoconus or have symptoms that resemble this corneal disease, please call 1-877-DR-BUCCI
(1-877-372-8224) for an evaluation at one of our locations nearest to you.
“Your Second Chance to See Life for the First Time…”

 

-Courtesy of Andrea Trower Senior Style Magazine

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