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What to Know About Keratoconus from a Sandy Springs, GA Optometrist

          Patient suffering from Keratoconus

The cornea is the thin layer that coats the eye. This clear shield protects the eyeball and gives it structure. Those who suffer from keratoconus have an issue with the cornea that can affect how well they see. At Eye 1st Vision Center, serving Sandy Springs, GA, and the surrounding area, we provide treatment for the condition.  

Definition of Keratoconus

Keratoconus classifies as a vision disorder that affects the front part of the eye, known as the cornea. If you have keratoconus, your cornea thins and becomes irregularly shaped, causing the cornea to bulge outward. The cornea causes the eye to shape like a cone since it isn't strong enough to keep its round shape. 

Symptoms of Keratoconus 

This eye disorder causes blurry, clouded or distorted vision. Sensitivity to glare or bright lights is possible, which interferes with driving at night. Those who have this condition oftentimes require frequent changes in their prescription. The symptoms change as the disease progresses. Sometimes, the changes occur suddenly. 

Typically, keratoconus symptoms begin when you're in your late teens or early 20s. In its early stages, the condition causes distorted vision and a sensitivity to light and glare. Keratoconus symptoms tend to progress for 10 to 20 years. At this point, these symptoms tend to slow. In some cases, the disease doesn't progress the same in each eye. You could possibly have a significant decrease in vision. It's possible for the swelling to cause small cracks to develop, which could take weeks or months to heal. 

Causes of Keratoconus

Currently, the cause of keratoconus isn't known. Certain risk factors put you more at risk for the condition such as a family history of the condition. Rubbing your eyes vigorously contributes and so does having other eye problems such as retinitis pigmentosa, hay fever, asthma, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome or Down syndrome. A low level of antioxidants contributes to the condition. The antioxidants protect the cornea, and when there's an inadequate amount of them, the free radicals are able to damage the collagen fibers. When the fibers become damaged, the cornea will bulge.  

Keratoconus Treatment

Keratoconus treatment for mild to moderate cases consists of contacts or glasses to correct the vision problems. In a majority of cases, the cornea stabilizes over the years. However, for conditions that continue to progress, surgery may be required. If you should happen to develop a tiny cut as a result of the condition, our optometrist will prescribe specialized eye drops to ease the discomfort. 

Schedule an Appointment with Eye 1st Vision Center for Keratoconus Treatment

If you have any symptoms of keratoconus, you should contact Eye 1st Vision Center, serving Sandy Springs, GA and the surrounding area, for an appointment by calling 404-252-1702 today. Early detection can help stabilize the cornea and prevent the need for surgery.