About 1 in 2,000 people suffer from keratoconus, which typically appears in puberty and progresses into middle age. In LASIK surgery, a laser is used to help reshape the cornea, which is the front part of your eye, to improve your vision. In order to determine whether you are a good candidate for lasik eye surgery, an eye doctor will take into account several different factors.
Prescription: The first and most important thing is to ensure that your prescription isn't progressing. It's important for your prescription to have been stable for at least a year and that there was no change in your prescription either in your glasses or contact lenses.
Corneal thickness: Additionally, we must determine the thickness of your cornea since in LASIK a flap is created on your cornea. In order to perform the surgery, we need to ensure that the cornea is thick enough. For this reason people with Keratoconus are generally not considered a candidate for LASIK.
LASIK may not be right for you if you have various other eye conditions, including keratoconus.
Keratoconus is an eye disease of the cornea that progresses over time. When the cornea gradually thins over time, it protrudes outward and bulges out in a cone shape, resulting in an irregular corneal surface. When it comes to LASIK, people with keratoconus are not considered good candidates. The LASIK procedure will most likely do more harm to a cornea that has already been damaged and weakened. Therefore, LASIK isn't recommended for patients who have keratoconus.
If you have keratoconus, however, you may be a good candidate for corneal crosslinking, which helps to slow the progression of the condition. Additionally, keratoconus patients have a range of other treatment options available to help them correct their vision.
Various specialty hard contact lenses are used to create a new front part of the eye, allowing for your vision to be improved specifically with the specialty hard contact lenses, including rigid gas permeable lenses and scleral lenses. For example many people with Keratoconus have great improvements with Scleral contact lenses, which are specially designed hard contact lenses that vault over the eye resting on the white (sclera) of the eye. This creates a new ocular surface which in many cases dramatically improves vision. In addition, because of its unique design it rests on the white part of our eye which is less sensitive and therefore improves comfort.
Another treatment option for Keratoconus is Intacs, which change the shape of the cornea by flattening the cone caused by keratoconus. Intacs are a brand of intrastromal corneal ring segments (ICRS). They are thin plastic, semi-circular rings inserted into the mid layer of the cornea.