Millions of people across the globe report a range of eye diseases every year. While some of these diseases are common, others are relatively rare. One of the less common vision-related conditions is keratoconus, a progressive disease that is characterized by the thinning of the cornea. Normally round in shape, the cornea of a person suffering from this disease starts bulging into a cone-like shape. This leads to the deflection of light as it enters the eye and travels to the retina, causing distortion in vision.
Keratoconus is common in young people aged in their twenties and can occur rapidly or over several years. Primarily, it is a progressive condition and needs to be taken seriously to prevent irreversible damage to the vision. The best approach would be to have a timely diagnosis and treatment for the condition. Awareness matters too as it can save your vision in the long run. Here are some facts that you should know about the condition. (See also: What Are The Causes, Diet Tips And Home Remedies For Keratoconus?)
It can affect your vision in more than one way
Surprisingly, keratoconus is a disease that can have a multi-factorial impact on the vision. The irregularity of the cornea’s shape can cause progressive near-sightedness in addition to the blurring of vision. The patient may also experience glare and light sensitivity. The adverse condition may cause abrupt clouding and weakening of the vision, with the back of the cornea rupturing and filling up with fluid. Moreover, there can be repeated changes in eyeglass prescription every time a patient visits the eye specialist.
It does not cause blindness
Since the disease is progressive in nature, people usually end up believing that they will go blind one day. But this is a myth that needs to be debunked. The fact is that it though keratoconus does lead to a gradual degradation of eyesight, blindness is a remote possibility. In fact, the disease can be addressed if you get timely advice and treatment from an expert.
There are several treatment options
When it comes to keratoconus treatment, there are several options for the patient. In the initial stages, the specialist will probably prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses of different types. However, as the vision deteriorates over time, you may need to explore more advanced treatment options such as corneal cross-linking, custom-made contact lenses and corneal transplantation. The line of treatment is usually decided on the basis of the progression of disease in individual cases.
The disease is usually attributed to genetics
Even though the exact cause of keratoconus is yet to be identified, it apparently runs in families. Often, it begins during the teenage years or twenties though some patients may come across it at a later age as well. Latest research studies suggest that the condition may be attributed to the enzyme imbalance within the cornea that exposes it to oxidative damage by free radicals. Besides heredity, the condition may also be triggered by the biological changes during puberty and pregnancy.
Patients should avoid rubbing their eyes
Allergies and itchy eyes are common symptoms of keratoconus. Though patients feel like rubbing their eyes, they should avoid it because this habit can actually aggravate the disease and hasten its progression. This happens because rubbing traumatizes the cornea and can cause its thinning and distortion. So patients who are predisposed to the disease should absolutely avoid rubbing their eyes.
Surgery may be necessary in some cases
While glasses and contact lenses may work for some patients, surgery is absolutely mandatory for others. The specialist will recommend it if the patient has corneal scarring and/or extreme thinning of the cornea. Patients who are unable to wear any type of lenses and those suffering from poor vision despite wearing them also have to opt for surgical procedures. Besides the corneal transplant, the other surgical opt is corneal inserts.
Now that you know the disease better, you can have a proper diagnosis and treatment strategy in place. The best approach would be to seek advice and treatment from a skilled eye specialist, who possesses proficiency and experience in treating this condition. Only an expert can assess the severity of the condition and suggest the best treatment option in your case. Timely and appropriate treatment can make all the difference in the results.
About The Author:
This article has been contributed by Imala Green, who is a passionate blogger associated as a freelancer and working for different firms. She loves penning her thoughts while promoting businesses to target audience.