Can I have LASIK if I have keratoconus?
No, keratoconus is a contraindication for LASIK. There is a risk that removing corneal tissue during LASIK or other forms of laser eye surgery may make an already-degenerating cornea more unstable.
Can keratoconus cause blindness?
Keratoconus normally does not cause complete blindness. However, if left untreated, vision can significantly deteriorate to the point that it becomes difficult to read, drive or perform other daily tasks.
Can keratoconus cause dry eye?
Keratoconus may lead to dry eye symptoms. When the cornea is irregularly shaped, the tear film may not be able to spread evenly over the ocular surface, and the eyes can become dry, itchy or irritated. Wearing contact lenses for keratoconus can also increase the likelihood of developing dry eye symptoms.
If one of my parents has keratoconus, am I at a higher risk?
Doctors are still learning about why keratoconus develops and the factors that make someone more likely to get the disease.
It seems that keratoconus may run in some families. If one of your parents or siblings has keratoconus, you are at a greater risk for getting it.
Also, if you have atopy or chronic hay fever or eczema, you are at an increased risk of developing keratoconus.
What will my vision look like if I get keratoconus?
The abnormal shape of the cornea can lead to significantly distorted vision (similar to what you would see if you looked in a carnival funhouse mirror). You may develop nearsightedness or see double or triple “ghost” images, glare or streaks when looking at bright lights.
In most cases of keratoconus, both eyes are affected — however, each eye may be affected in different ways.
Can keratoconus make it hard to see when driving at night?
Yes. The effects of keratoconus can cause you to see starbursts, glare or halos around bright lights. At night, these visual aberrations may make it nearly impossible to see your dashboard, the road, road signs and oncoming headlights.
Will keratoconus go away on its own?
No. Although the severity of the disease varies by patient, keratoconus is a chronic, degenerative condition that will not improve without treatment.
If you have recently been diagnosed with keratoconus, our doctors encourage you to promptly schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment options.
How is corneal crosslinking performed?
Corneal crosslinking is an outpatient procedure that takes about one hour to complete. First, riboflavin (vitamin B12) drops are administered to the eyes. Then, the eyes are exposed to ultraviolet light. This creates a chemical reaction that strengthens the collagen fibers in the cornea, thereby improving the cornea’s stability.
The procedure has a high success rate. Undergoing corneal crosslinking can stop the progression of vision loss to keratoconus and prevent the need for more invasive treatment (e.g., corneal transplant surgery).
If glasses no longer provide suitable vision correction after corneal crosslinking, our team can explore other options, such as implantable contact lenses or specialty contact lenses.