Keratoconus Treatment

Keratoconus is a disease that decreases visual acuity by causing corneal distortion. The front part of the eye (ie. the cornea) thins out and creates a cone like shape instead of the normal bell curved shape.

When light passes through the eye it will go through the cornea first. With a normally shaped cornea the light is focused onto the retina in the back of the eye which creates a clear image. With keratoconus the light is scattered when it bounces off of the cone which creates a blur on the retina and a blurry image.

The only way to treat this condition without surgery is with rigid gas permeable contact lenses. With glasses you still have a blurry image because the light is still scattered when it passes through the cone. With a soft contact lens the lens drapes over the cone which still is an irregular shape so we still have blurred vision. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses sit on top of the cornea and create a normal surface for light to go through. With the irregular corneal shape it is difficult to fit these contact lenses without having the lenses pop out with regular blinking or having them suck onto the corneal surface causing some serious complications.

Recently new, scleral contact lenses have been used to treat keratoconus. These gas permeable lenses are larger than soft contact lenses causing them to sit on the white part of the eye called the sclera instead of the cornea. This makes for a much more comfortable contact that doesn't pop out when you blink. Ask us about scleral lenses!

Dr. Arnold has been treating keratoconus with contact lenses for over 20 years. It is a time intensive process, but the outcome is a comfortable contact lens with vastly improved vision. For young people diagnosed with keratoconus there is a new surgical procedure called INTACS. It helps to slow and/or stop the progression of the keratoconus.