What are the 10 different treatments available for keratoconus?

There are various different treatment options for keratoconus. 

  1. Corneal crosslinking - Among the treatment options is corneal crosslinking. Basically, it stiffens and strengthens certain areas of your cornea using collagen fibres and UV light in an attempt to slow down the progression of your keratoconus. So, this isn't going to improve your vision. However, the goal is to slow down the progression of keratoconus by strengthening your cornea in some areas so that it will not continue to get thinner.
  2. ICRS (Intracorneal Ring Segments) -Intracorneal ring segments are another treatment option. With this, you can reduce the amount of nearsightedness and astigmatism you have. Plastic rings will be inserted into your cornea. As a result, your cornea won't be protruding as much and the cone of your keratoconic eye can be smoothed out, thereby reducing the symptoms and side effects associated with keratoconus.
  3. Standard eyeglasses - Most of the time, standard glasses do not provide the best quality of vision for you if you have keratoconus, especially if you have more of the moderate to severe stages of keratoconus, since the problem lies with the irregular surface of the cornea, and glasses are not placed directly on the cornea, so they do not provide as clear vision as other options.
  4. Toric soft lenses - Soft toric contacts can be worn comfortably by patients with moderate keratoconus until the condition worsens.
  5. Hard lenses - These types are less comfortable than the former, but provide good durability and are effective in improving eyesight.
  6. Rigid gas permeable lenses - These spectacular hard contact lenses can dramatically improve vision for patients with keratoconus. A rigid gas permeable lens is a hard contact lens that's placed on the cornea, and it creates a surface which allows light to pass through. As a result, the keratoconic eye is not affected by distortions.
  7. Piggyback lenses - Piggyback lenses are also available where the goal is to increase comfort when you wear them. In this case, a soft lens will first be placed on your eye, and then a hard lens will be placed on top, because sometimes rigid gas permeable lenses can be uncomfortable for you. So this is an alternative option to increase comfort.
  8. Scleral lenses - Scleral lenses are considered the best option if you have keratoconus. They are also customizable hard contact lenses, but they are larger and land and sit on the white part of your eye. The scleral lens vaults over the cone of keratoconic eyes so that it does not directly touch the cornea. With this lens, you can get rid of any distortions caused by the irregular cornea, since it creates a new front surface for light to enter.
  9. Corneal Transplant - You may need a corneal transplant if you have really severe keratoconus. In the case of corneal transplants, there are always some side effects to be aware of.
  10. Keratoplasty - It is a surgery that uses radio waves to reshape the cornea.


What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease affecting your cornea, which is the front part of your eye. It causes your cornea to get progressively thinner over time, resulting in your cornea to protrude outward, and it bulges out like a cone shape resulting in an irregular corneal surface. The cornea normally has a round and smooth surface, but with keratoconus, the front surface of your eye is irregularly shaped, resulting in irregular astigmatism and corneal scarring.

What symptoms can keratoconus cause?

Keratoconus can result in symptoms such as

  • Blurry vision
  • Distortions in your vision. 
  • Shadows around letters and objects
  • Eye redness and swelling
  • It is also possible to experience eye pain with severe cases of keratoconus. There are certain areas on your cornea that can become so thin that they can rupture, causing you pain. 

If you notice any of these symptoms or experience sudden changes in your vision and find it difficult for you to perform your daily activities, please schedule an eye exam with your eye doctor.

What are the causes of keratoconus?

Although the exact mechanism of action of keratoconus is unknown, we do know that a genetic component plays a role in it. Additionally, keratoconus can occur due to enzymatic breakdown of collagen structures within the cornea, leading to thinning of the cornea.

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