Keratoconus

  • Treatment

    Contact lenses are the main treatment for most patients with keratoconus. Severe cases may require corneal transplantation as a last resort.

    The following newer technologies may delay or prevent the need for corneal transplantation:

    • Using high-frequency radio energy or corneal implants called intracorneal ring segments, the shape of the cornea can be changed so that vision with contact lenses is improved.
    • An experimental treatment called corneal cross-linking, which will soon be available, causes the cornea to become hard and stops the condition from getting worse. The cornea can then be reshaped with laser vision correction.

    Support Groups


    Expectations (prognosis)

    In most cases vision can be corrected with rigid gas-permeable contact lenses.

    If corneal transplantation is needed, results are usually good. The recovery period can be long, and patients often still need contact lenses.


    Complications

    There is a risk of rejection after corneal transplantation, but the risk is much lower than with other organ transplants.

    Patients with even borderline keratoconus should not have laser vision correction. Corneal topography is done before laser vision correction to rule out people with this condition.


    Calling your health care provider

    Young persons whose vision cannot be corrected to 20/20 with glasses should be evaluated by an eye doctor experienced with keratoconus.


Images

Cornea