Treatment for Keratoconus
Management strategies for keratoconus include:
- Contact lenses
Contact lenses are an effective visual aid for many patients with keratoconus. In the early stages of the disease blurred, or distorted vision can be corrected with spectacles and soft contact lenses. Progressive keratoconus may be managed with rigid gas permeable contact lenses. If you cannot tolerate hard contact lenses, your doctor or optometrist may prescribe piggyback lenses (hard lens on top of a soft one) or hybrid lenses (rigid centre with outer soft ring). Advanced keratoconus and irregular changes in the cornea can in some cases be corrected with scleral contact lenses that rest on the white part of your eye (unlike other lenses) and cover the cornea without coming in contact with it.
Corneal collagen cross linking
Corneal collagen cross linking is a treatment option for progressive keratoconus. It involves applying vitamin B2 drops to the cornea and exposing it to ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. This therapy stiffens the cornea and aims to prevent further bulging or warping (ectasia) of the cornea.
For severe keratoconus unsuitable for other options corneal transplantation maybe considered. Corneal transplants can be full or partial lamellar thickness. A corneal transplant can treat scarring or excessive thinning of the cornea. Lamellar transplant involves replacing only a section of the cornea’s tissue with a donor graft tissue instead of the whole cornea. Recovery takes about one year, but lifelong care of the transplant is required. To maximises vision after a corneal transplant spectacles and contact lenses are frequently required.