Wearing glasses is the most common solution for eye care. However, in the case of keratoconus, the distorted vision can no longer be treated with this alternative. This condition can affect one eye only and usually appears in both eyes during the teenage years or in the early twenties. In view of the early onset of this condition, each person must be careful and carry out a systematic clinical examination of the eyes.
The origin of this disease, its signs and symptoms
The conical deformation is translated by the weakening of the corneal tissue, following an imbalance of the enzymes at the level of this organ of the sight, and mainly within this front part of the sclera. This situation makes the cornea much more sensitive to oxidative damage from free radicals, which weakens it and causes it to swell. This disease can also be genetic in origin, or can occur due to over exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The onset of this problem can also result from excessive rubbing and chronic eye irritation, or from wearing ill-fitting contact lenses.
An irregularly shaped cornea promotes the development of irregular astigmatism and nearsightedness, and thus becomes a source of blurred and distorted vision for an individual. On the other hand, the deformation of the curvature is recognized with a high sensitivity to light and glare.
Optometric prescriptions that change with each eye consultation are also a sign of this disease.
Care to treat this corneal deformity
Given the delicate nature of vision and the consequences of this disease, immediate treatment is recommended. At the beginning of its formation, this disease can be treated by wearing glasses or soft contact lenses. However, as the disease progresses, the damage accumulates and the cornea becomes thin and irregular. In this case, these devices are no longer an effective solution to correct vision adequately.
Corneal cross-linking is a procedure that strengthens the corneal tissue with or without epithelium to reduce the swelling of the eye surface associated with this disease. This alternative significantly reduces the need for a corneal transplant, while preventing complications from treatment or vision correction surgery.
Soft contact lenses are intended for the correction of the disease. By opting for custom-made devices, the patient has the opportunity to have a more comfortable view. A customized fit ensures optimized stability of a keratoconus eye.
Gas permeable contact lenses are another solution for the treatment of this disease. They cap the cornea while replacing the irregular shape with a smooth, uniform refractive surface to improve vision. Although made of a rigid material, these lenses offer optimal comfort for the patient’s eyes, as they allow oxygen to pass through the lenses. In addition, they have a longer life span than other devices. This vision correction equipment models the affected cornea, but with a compatibility fully adapted to its disease. Thanks to the three-dimensional topography, a faithful reproduction of the geometry is possible for custom-made, stable and corrective lenses. The mechanical restraint effect can slow down or even neutralize the progression of corneal deformities.
Hybrid contact lenses have also proven to be corrective for this conical deformity. They promote sharpness, which offers more comfort than soft lenses.
Prosthetic lenses are proving to be a useful ocular prosthesis for patients with advanced disease. This model acts as a prosthetic shell. It is custom-made, using advanced imaging technology, so that the lens fits the unique irregularities of the suffering eyes. Whenever possible, the use and fitting of this device should be performed by a specialist with the proper equipment and proven expertise.
The benefits of adapted lenses
By opting for adapted lenses, the patient offers himself a new opportunity to regain good visual acuity. The choice may be between soft or rigid lenses, depending on the progress of the disease. In any case, in flexible material such as silicone or rigid material such as fluorosilcoacrylate, it is enough to prioritize the appropriate device according to the stage of progression of the disease.
Another innovative alternative
In so far as it is necessary to find suitable devices, scleral lenses are also an innovation dedicated to the correction of vision disorders and pathologies, such as this deformation of the curvature. These are contact lenses with a large diameter, which pass over the cornea without touching it. These lenses cover the white part of the eye or the sclera which engulfs the cornea. These devices are custom-made and combine the optical quality and physiological tolerance of rigid lenses in terms of comfort. At the same time, they offer the stability of soft lenses and provide good vision. These lenses have been designed to create a protective layer of tears between the eyes and the lenses, a multi-functional liquid, that provides continuous hydration for daily use.