WHEN TOO THIN IS A PROBLEM: KERATOCONUS IN THE EYE By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist serving Cedarburg, Grafton and other Ozaukee County Communities in Wisconsin
Don't think you can ever be too thin? Think again when it comes to the cornea, the clear front part of your eye. Keratoconus (ker’ a toe koe nus) is a condition that causes a thinning of the cornea. This allows the cornea to push out in a ‘cone’ shape. As a result, vision is distorted. Keratoconus generally affects both eyes, although it usually develops first in one eye. The symptoms of blurred vision normally start between the ages of 16 to 25 years-old. Patients may report that their eyes itch, that they often rub their eyes, or complain of eye strain. They may "squint" in order to improve their vision, experience light sensitivity, see halos around lights or even double images.
To correct the vision problems caused by keratoconus in its early stages, soft contact lenses or even eyeglasses may be successful. If the condition progresses, rigid gas permeable contact lenses may be needed to provide the best possible vision by smoothing the front of the eye. An eye doctor uses several instruments to identify those patients with keratoconus. The newest instrumentation for this purpose is a corneal topographer. This device provides a computerized map of the cornea, much like a topographic hiking map, and can be used to definitively diagnose keratoconus. Patients with severe keratoconus, may not see adequately even with gas permeable contact lenses. They then may benefit from a corneal transplant which replaces their cornea with healthy donor tissue.
Call us to schedule an eye exam that includes screening for keratoconus. We use the latest diagnostic methods to examine the internal and external parts of the eyes, screen for vision diseases, and provide a complete range of eye surgeries.
Dr. Mark German is an optometrist with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin (easily accessible from Cedarburg, Grafton and other Ozaukee County communities). For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.