Keratoconus is a disorder of the cornea (the outer transparent layer of the eye), in which the cornea is gradually thinner, and instead of a round shape, will have a conical shape.
Keratoconus affects about 1 in 2000 people in the Netherlands, usually in both eyes, and develops generally in the teens or puberty. Because of the change (abnormal) form of the cornea, it isn’t good to correct the vision with glasses. Contacts compensate these altered shape of the cornea and correct optically better, thereby improving vision.
It is important to detect keratoconus in an early stage. This may be done by using corneal topography in order to diagnose. The surface of the cornea is then mapped. The progression of keratoconus may be limited by wearing hard contact lenses.
Treatment of keratoconus
Initially, in advanced keratoconus customized medical contact lenses are a solution. These special lenses are made to measure for optimal correction of the vision.
Additionally, there are surgical solutions, such as so-called ring segments which are placed in the cornea to flatten the center of the cornea, or a cornea transplant (which is a last resort).
Also corneal cross-linking may stabilize the progression of keratoconus.