What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a condition where the cornea (the clear window on the front of the eye) becomes very steep and cone shaped. The irregular shape causes visual distortions that often cannot be corrected with traditional glasses and contact lenses. Specialty contact lenses such as scleral and SynergEyes contact lenses are often needed.

What causes Keratoconus?

Keratoconus often associated with eye-rubbing. Doctors do not know for sure why people have keratoconus. In some cases, it appears to be genetic (passed down in families). About 1 out of 10 people with keratoconus have a parent who has it too. Keratonconus is also associated with eye allergies, excessive eye rubbing, and
connective tissue disorders like Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

Does Keratoconus likely get worse over time?

Yes, keratoconus will often progress over time. A procedure called corneal cross-linking can slow the progression of keratoconus.

Why can’t I see well with my glasses and soft contact lenses?

With keratoconus, the cornea (clear window on the front of the eye) has an irregular shape which distorts the light rays as they pass through. In order to see clearly, a rigid lens must be placed on the cornea to create a smooth symmetric shape. Traditional rigid (RGP) lenses are sometimes effective but are often uncomfortable. Scleral contact lenses and SynergEyes lenses are often a better option.

What is corneal cross-linking?

Cross-linking is an outpatient procedure, which means you go home the same day of the surgery. Here’s what to expect:

While lying down, you will be given drops to numb your eyes.

Your ophthalmologist first removes the thin, outer layer of the cornea (epithelium). This allows the medication to reach deeper into the cornea. You should not feel any pain due to the numbing drops. Vitamin B (riboflavin) eye drop medicine is applied to the cornea for about 30 minutes.

Next, a special device shines a focused beam of UV light rays at your cornea for close to 30 minutes. The light activates the riboflavin in the cornea. This helps form new bonds between the collagen fibers in your cornea.

Finally, a bandage contact lens is placed over the eye(s). This helps the cornea heal. The bandage lens is left in
place for about a week.

What is corneal transplant?

A cornea transplant (keratoplasty) is a surgical procedure to replace part of your cornea with corneal tissue from a donor. Your cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped surface of your eye. It’s where light enters your eye and is a large part of your eye’s ability to see clearly.

A cornea transplant can restore vision, reduce pain, and improve the appearance of a damaged or diseased cornea.

Most cornea transplant procedures are successful. But cornea transplant carries a small risk of complications,such as rejection of the donor cornea.

After corneal transplant surgery, it is likely that scleral or rigid (RGP) contact lenses will be required for optimal