When seeking treatment for Keratoconus it is very important to see an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist who is experienced & specialist in curing Keratoconus.
As contact lenses are often the best form of vision correction in Keratoconus, it is essential to see an Optometrist who specialises in contact lens fittings.
Most people with Keratoconus, are under the impression that the only form of treatment available is corneal transplantation. There are many cure options available and only in certain cases is transplantation required. In fact up to 95% of keratoconus can be managed very well with glasses and or specialty contact lenses.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lens fitted to an eye with Keratoconus
The first thing of the Keratoconus treatment is typically to correct the irregular cornea with Spectacles or soft contact lenses , however the enormous majority of patients need rigid gas permeable contact lenses for sufficient vision improvement. Contact lenses play an important part as Keratoconus treatment. Contact lenses are usually not slow down the rate of progression of the cone, they will provide you a great vision, which is not possible in other ways. The best contact lenses has to be the one that fits on your eyes, corrects& improve your vision and comfortable to wear.
Treatment options for Keratoconus include:
- Spectacles: In the early stages of Keratoconus disease, spectacles are generally successful in correcting the mild nearsightedness and astigmatism, on the other hand as the situation advances the cornea becomes highly irregular and the vision is no longer effectively corrected with glasses. Early stage of keratoconus, spectacles can be a reasonable option and in advanced keratoconus, spectacles may be recommended as a backup to contact lenses. Your Keratoconus specialist will test your eyes for glasses and show you the level of vision they will provide.
- Soft Contact Lenses: Custom Soft Contact lenses play an important part in treating keratoconus. Manufacturers of contact lens have recently introduced this custom soft contact lenses which is specially designed to cure mild-to-moderate Keratoconus. Soft Contact lenses are made on the detailed measurements of the person’s keratoconic eye(s) and try to make it more comfortable than gas permeable lenses and hybrid contact lenses. The reason of soft lenses making for keratoconus vision treatment has changed dramatically in the past few years. Soft lens designs merge the latest technologies in silicone hydrogel equipment and multifaceted mathematics to ensure comfortable wear and outstanding vision. Custom soft contact lenses can be a good option as Keratoconus cure for those patients who cannot bear with wearing RGP lenses full-time.
- Rigid gas permeable contact lenses: The progress of special RGP contact lens designs has increased the usage of RGP Keratoconus lenses over the years. This kind of contact lenses is known as the most successful option for Keratoconus treatment when it fitted properly with great care. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses can be the most effective treatment of Keratoconus, which can improve your vision significantly when eye glasses & contact lenses are no longer effective. Rigid gas permeable lenses are supported by the natural tears in the eye & work by inserting a liquid lens between the cornea and the lens that efficiently neutralises the irregular front surface of the eye to improve vision. However, RGP contact lenses cannot be worn by everyone. Many patients will experience unacceptable discomfort. On the other hand, these rigid contact lenses are the only way to cure vision adequately for some patients who has low production of tears.
- Hybrid contact lenses (SynergeyesTM): Hybrid Contact lenses have been designed especially for Keratoconus treatment in recent years. These hybrid contact lenses are thicker than regular soft conact lenses so that they can keep a stiff shape. Another substitute is combination of rigid or soft lenses like either a piggyback fitting with an RGP lens fitted on top of a soft lens, or a hybrid design which has an RGP centre with a soft surround. Currently, hybrid lenses are made with high-Dk materials and integrate designs that permit practitioners to establish appropriate fit of these lenses and get excellent results in eyes regular astigmatism and also in irregular or indistinct corneas
- Mini-scleral contact lenses: Mini-scleral lenses will cover over the entire corneal exterior and rest on the frontal sclera. Mini-scleral lenses are developed in the 19th century. These lenses are bigger than corneal lenses which is up to 23-25mm in diameter. Mini-scleral lenses are made of gas permeable materials. By using these kind of lenses you can enjoy sharper vision, easier handling, greater durability & less risk of complication
- Re-prescribing glasses, soft contact lenses or rigid gas permeable contact lenses after Intacs.
- If corneal transplantation is finally required its success rate is greater than 95% when undertaken by an expert corneal surgeon. 40% of people having corneal transplants will require contact lenses again and the vast remaining number will require some form of spectacles.
- Intacs with Riboflavin cross-linking: The simply invasive Corneal cross-linking (CXL) process engages applying riboflavin liquid which is actually vitamin B2 to the surface of the eye, pursued by treatment with a controlled application of ultraviolet light, to eliminate corneal ectasia. A special riboflavin formulation (Ricrolin TE) has been developed in Europe, which helps riboflavin go through the corneal epithelium more easily to facilitate epithelium-on CXL.
The Corneal cross-linking process takes 60 to 90 minutes in most cases. There are two basic types of corneal cross-linking which are:
- Epithelium-off CXL. For this type of cross-linking procedure, your Keratoconus specialist will put you in a reclining position and remove the epithelial layer from your cornea to allow the liquid riboflavin to more easily penetrate the corneal tissue.
- Epithelium-on CXL. This cross-linking procedure also known as transepithelial CXL. For this type of cross-linking procedure, your Keratoconus specialist will put you in a reclining position and riboflavin drops are started. The Keratoconus specialist will evaluate your eye to ensure that the cornea has sufficient riboflavin present after enough time has passed.
Unfortunately the reality is that many people with Keratoconus struggle to function in every-day life due to inappropriate treatment options or advice.