The cornea is imperative to our vision. This thin, transparent dome covers the front of our eyes to protect them. It is also responsible for refracting the light that enters our eyes, focusing it onto the retina where it is transmitted to the brain, which then tells us what we can see. If there are problems with the cornea, it can significantly affect our vision. One corneal problem that is fairly common is known as keratoconus. Fortunately, our professional eye care team has extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of keratoconus, meaning that we can offer you the help that you need to see clearly again.
Exactly what treatment you will be offered for keratoconus will depend on the severity of the condition. Some of the treatments that our team may recommend may include the following:
Soft Contact Lenses. Normally used in the earliest stages of keratoconus, bespoke-created soft contact lenses are used to help reshape the cornea and correct vision. These are available in a wide range of fitting parameters and are normally larger in diameter than regular lenses. This helps to provide greater stability to the cornea.
Gas-Permeable Contact Lenses. Similar to soft lenses, these contact lenses are made from a gas permeable material which enables plenty of oxygen to circulate beneath the eye, keeping it healthy and moist. Gas permeable lenses make contact on either side of the natural cornea, vaulting over the top and providing a perfectly contoured dome through which the light entering the eye can be refracted.
Scleral And Semi-Scleral Lenses. Another form of contact lens, scleral and semi-scleral lenses are much larger in diameter than standard contacts. Their edges rest on the white part of the eye, known as the sclera. As you might expect, semi-scleral lenses are a little smaller in size. However, like gas-permeable lenses, both vault over the bulging cornea. This ensures that they are comfortable to wear since they don’t place pressure onto the bulge. However, they both offer greater stability than gas-permeable lenses because their larger diameter means that they don’t move around when you blink and move your eyes.
Keratoplasty. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that may be recommended if contact lenses aren’t giving you sufficient relief from your symptoms. This procedure uses a hand-held device that delivers high energy radio waves with the goal of reshaping the cornea so that the bulge is reduced. The treatment is planned using topography – an advanced technological system that takes images of your cornea and turns them into a map of the surface, telling our team what areas need to be targeted by the keratoplasty treatment.
Corneal Transplant. If your keratoconus has advanced and other treatment options are no longer working for you, you may be advised to have a corneal transplant. As its name suggests, this involves removing the existing cornea and replacing it with an artificial lens. Recovery from a corneal transplant can take a number of months, with many patients still reliant on prescriptive eyewear after.
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