Blog - Keratoconus Specialist

Understanding Your Diagnosis of Keratoconus

New Technologies in the treatments of Keratoconus are changing what it means to get the diagnosis. As with all conditions you can get nervous when you hear it, but long gone are the older harsher treatments of Keratoconus and loss of vision is typically now a thing of the past. With the new treatments of Keratoconus they have been able to slow and even stop some progressions of the condition without getting a corneal transplant.

Now this doesn’t mean to stop visiting the doctor, or not to set up any treatment plans. It simply means that the treatment options that are available to you now are more effective and less invasive than before. This means treatment options reduces the risk of needing a corneal transplant in the end. If the condition goes without treatment it can cause significant loss of vision, so finding a doctor that is experienced in Keratoconus is important. This will help preserve your quality of vision and your life.

Does this mean you can get the cure? No this simply means there is hope that you can have a better quality of vision despite what those websites, articles, doctors, or anyone else say. The truth is the key to a better quality of vision is early detection, monitoring, and treatment assessment. Know what it is you are truly up against before you go head on into the pack. After all it is your vision and your responsibility to ensure it lasts.

For more information visit AllAboutVision.com.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Seeing the Signs & Symptoms of Keratoconus

A family history of Keratoconus maybe a scary one. Knowing what that means and watching it unravel in a family member may have put a troubling tingle in your bones. However the truth is the treatments for Keratoconus have come a long way over the years. And the treatment of corneal transplants isn’t as for sure as it used to be. There are several new treatments for Keratoconus that are making great strides in improving the quality of vision for those who suffer from Keratoconus and 90% of the time loss of vision is not an inevitability.

The key now to saving the sufferers sight is simply early detection. There are several eye surgeons that can help you with early detection. But knowing the signs and reporting them to your eye care professionals is the first step you can do on your own. Below are some of the signs of Keratoconus:

Blurred vision

Frequent Prescription changes

Sensitivity to light

Poor night vision

Headaches

Straining of the eyes

Sudden Cloudiness in your vision

If you have any of the above symptoms it is important that you report them to your current eye care provider. They can provide you with a diagnosis if necessary. Also finding an eye care specialist you are comfortable with and has experience should be your next step in planning your treatment plan for your visual future.

More helpful information is available at the American Academy of Opthamology.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Living With Keratoconus: Dealing With Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is a very common symptom of Keratoconus. Often learning to deal with the symptoms can be more of a challenge than accepting the condition itself. However there are ways to manage the symptoms on a day to day basis. Blurred vision can be frustrating to handle especially if it is a new symptom for you.

There are several treatments for Keratoconus but many struggle with handling the progression until they can get to the doctor or start their treatments. Below you will find 3 helpful tips to assist you with dealing with the blurred vision of Keratoconus.

3 Tips to Relieve Blurred Vision:

Getting Rest: While this may sound a bit strange, resting your eyes a little more each day can help relieve some of the strain they are feeling. This can give you a fresh view, and may keep some of the blurred vision to a minimum.

Avoid eye Strain: If you are having difficultly seeing, don’t strain your eyes to see. Simply rest and only use your vision when needed. Resting your eyes can help you gain strength for when your vision is truly needed.

Avoid starring at Computer Screens & TV’s: While this also sounds impossible, it is a great way to avoid more discomfort with your eyes. Starring for hours at a computer screen or television set can also put strain on your eyes. Avoid sitting for hours in front of a computer or television screen.

More helpful information is available on Wikipedia.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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3 Major Tips You Should Know When Diagnosed With Keratoconus & Diabetes

Protecting Your Vision One Step at a Time

Diabetes alone is a hard condition to live with but when you have a diagnosis of Keratoconus as well we often struggle even harder to avoid blindness, or additional loss of vision. Fortunately there have been several advancements in the treatment of Keratoconus to help you deal with the condition, and relieve the strain to facing two progressive diseases.

Taking care of your vision is an important step to prevent complications for diabetics. Ensuring that you are seeing your eye care doctor is an important part of eye care health but there are many other things you can do to take care of your eyes when you are dealing with diabetes. Below are few add tips to help you along the way to help with vision care and treatment of both Diabetes & Keratoconus.

Below are 3 Tips for Dealing with Keratoconus & Diabetes:

Finding the Right Doctor: Its not just about finding a doctor, it’s all about finding the right doctor. The truth is Keratoconus is a treatable condition. There have been major advancements in the treatment of Keratoconus over the past 5 years. Some treatments offer not only slowing the progression, but they have even been known to stop the progression in patients. Seeing the right doctor can mean the difference between continued progression of the condition itself or slowing/or stopping it all together. Finding an experienced doctor should be your first step.

Research: Even though we are not doctors we should still take a vested interest in our own health. Learning as much as we can about our conditions and how to manage them will give us a positive attitude when it comes to our treatment. Understanding all we can about our conditions can help us understand the treatment part of our recovery. Just as learning more about the insulin you take and why you take it can help you understand the things you maybe doing that need to be changed to improve your treatment of type 2 Diabetes. This way you can assist in your own treatments & help improve your health.

In addition being prepared to aid in your own treatment should be your first step. Understanding that medicine is something that we all have come to rely on full force, participating in your own path to good health will help you become more aware of your condition, symptoms, and treatment management. Researching your Keratoconus & Diabetes can help you improve your quality of vision as well.

Ensuring You are Tested: Another important part of your treatment are the examinations & testing. While most doctors are on top of things you must remember they are human too so it is also up to you to know when and what tests you need performed to ensure that things are being done properly. Most doctors encourage questions and reminders from their patients. If you are not comfortable asking you should find a doctor you are comfortable with. This is extremely important to your treatment plan. If you haven’t done a treatment plan with your doctor it is important that you start one. After all it is your health, and staying on top of things will improve your quality of life as well as your quality of vision.

The doctors are a very important part of your treatment but so are you! Ensuring that you assist in your own treatment plan will improve your chances of a successful recovery. If you want more information on treatment options for Keratoconus visit: WebMD.com

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Living with Keratoconus: Facing Diabetes & Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a difficult condition to live with. Losing your eye sight can be disruptive and scarey to say the least. But when you already have diabetes it can give you more difficulty, and add great emotional stress to your already complicated health issues. So how do you live with both Keratoconus & Diabetes? Quite simply put, one day at a time!

Diabetes is caused by an over abundance of sugar left in the blood stream after we eat. And while generally our bodies are supposed to naturally clear out the amounts of sugar in the bloodstream on their own there are several things that can keep this from happening properly causing diabetes. The increase amount of sugar in the blood can slowly eat away at the tissue or organs throughout the body, and since our blood travels through all of these organs and areas of the body everything can be effected.

When the sugar levels are elevated in the bloodstream the blood vessels in the eyes, and various parts of the eye can be damaged. This can cause vision problems, glaucoma, and cataracts. If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes and Keratoconus not only can you have diabetic induced vision problems from damage to the blood vessels of the eyes, but the Keratoconus can cause the irregular shape of the cornea. While it is important to get your sugar levels under tight control to prevent further damage to your vision, it is equally important to visit your eye doctor at least 2 times a year for evaluation.

Reporting all vision changes to your eye care professional immediately is also important when dealing with diabetes. If you are diagnosed with Keratoconus remember that there are several options for treatment. Remember that each patient is unique in their situation and what will work best for them. Talking to your eye care professional about what will work best for you will give you an idea of your best options for treatment of Keratoconus. Know that you are not alone and there is hope for treatment of Keratoconus.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Steve Holcomb: A Vision of Inspiration for Keratoconus Sufferers

Bobsled driver, Steve Holcomb, had a recent fight with Keratoconus – his story is one that is still radiating throughout the world. His story is one that sheds hope and light on patients with Keratoconus, as well as those not yet diagnosed. Steve Holcomb’s dreams of gaining a Gold Medal were almost brought to a screeching halt due to his severe and progressing condition, Keratoconus.

Keratoconus is a progressive condition that gradually takes away the sight of the patient. But unfortunately Steve learned this fact the hard way. His love for the bob sled was almost stopped by this frustrating and painful condition.

His care for his team mates prompted him to make the hardest decision he ever had to make, the decision to retire from the sport he loved so much. His team mates were saddened by this decisions and refused to give up on him.

In one last effort to restore his sight, Steve’s team doctor researched treatments for keratoconus and decided to send him to Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler. Steve learned about a new treatment that maybe able to restore his vision. With a bit of hope and in the hands of Dr. Brian, Steve received the C3-R ® or Collagen Cross-linking with Riboflavin a non-invasive procedure that strengthens and stabilizes the cornea.

The procedure only takes about 30 minutes and is done in the doctors office. The procedure involves placing drops of Riboflavin on the cornea and using a UV light to activate the medication. The drops help strengthen and stabilize the effects of Keratoconus.

About 3 months following Dr. Boxer-Wachler implanted the Visian ICL which corrected his Myopia. The success of the procedures prompted Steve to come out of retirement and go forward to win a Gold Medal for the US which hadn’t been done for 62 years! True teamwork and the help of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute aided in an event that will forever be in the history of America for years to come.

The C3-R ® procedure is now named for Steven titled “Holcomb C3-R ®” another first for the history of medicine for a procedure to be named after a Gold Medalist.  True inspiration for all who suffer from this debilitating condition.

More helpful information is at AllAboutVision.com

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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The Effects of Keratoconus

A diagnosis of Keratoconus can not only effect the person with the condition physically but it can effect them on an emotional level as well. Keratoconus often leads to progressive loss of vision. Slowly over time patients no long obtain functional vision in glasses and as the disease progresses the often lose the ability to wear contacts. Many patients feel they have gone blind. While the disease is generally progressive to the sight, it to can also have a crippling emotional impact effect as the patient starts to lose their sight. If the vision deteriorates too much a patient might have to undergo a cornea transplant.

Doctors have been working on treatments to fix the effects of Keratoconus for years, and new treatments have brought hope to those who are fighting the condition. These new treatments have helped thousands avoid the intensive cornea transplant and restored vision and hope for many.

Keratoconus creates a thinning in the cornea and over time can cause discomfort and loss of vision. While it takes time to create a complete loss of sight, the emotional and physical problems along the way are horrendous for those who are suffering. There have been other treatments for Keratoconus but were often painful and caused discomfort. However new advances offered to patients cause much less discomfort and less healing time.  

When looking for treatments for Keratoconus however you must remember a few small things. Below you will find a couple of reminders that will serve you well when searching for the right doctor and treatments for Keratoconus.

Review all Treatment Options: While most doctors will give you an upfront choice of their one or two most relevant treatments don’t be afraid to ask them for ALL your options. This would include both new and old. Also ask them to explain the pro’s and con’s of each treatment.

Find a Doctor that Fits You: The truth is when it comes to your eye care, it is important that you doctor will discuss the treatment options to you in a way that you can understand it. There are few doctors out that will take the extra time their patients need to understand their condition, so don’t give up until you find the doctor who will take time to help you understand all your options.

Visit their clinic: Don’t be afraid to visit their clinic and see for yourself how they operate. Ask questions, talk to the staff, and find a place you are comfortable. This is your sight and it is up to you to take the time out and learn what is available and what works best for you.

There are great advancements to treatments in Keratoconus, a diagnosis today doesn’t mean the same as it did yesterday. There is hope for patients with Keratoconus, and your sight can be restored with the right treatment and doctor behind you.

Learn more at the American Academy of Opthamology.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Diagnosis of Keratoconus

Identifying moderate or advanced keratoconus is fairly easy. However, diagnosing keratoconus in its early stages is more difficult, requiring a thorough case history, a search for visual and refractive clues and the use of diagnostic equipment. Often, keratoconus patients have had several spectacle prescriptions in a short period, and none has provided satisfactory vision correction.

Keratoconus can result in extremely complex and variable topographical maps, most typically showing areas of inferior steepening. The cone can assume various shapes and sizes, and the apex can be at various locations in relation to the central cornea.

Classification

Keratoconus can be classified by cone shape, central keratometric reading, or progression. The simplest classification systems are based on keratometric reading or shape:

Based on severity of curvature

· Mild <48 D in both meridians

· Moderate 45-53 D in both meridians

· Advanced >53 D in both meridians

· Severe >55 D in both meridians

Based on shape of cone

· Small diameter (5 mm.); round shape; easiest to fit with contact lenses

· Large oval diameter (>5 mm.); often displaced inferiorly; more difficult to fit with lenses

· Largest diameter (>6 mm.); 75% of cornea affected; most difficult to fit with lenses

For more information visit Wikipedia.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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         ©2019 BOXER WACHLER VISION INSTITUTE OF BEVERLY HILLS. 465 N. Roxbury Drive, Suite 902, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.                          Call: 310.594.5210  Or   Text: 424.666.8454  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. email: info@boxerwachler.com.

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Historic Gold Medal for Someone Once going Blind

Three years ago,I shook hands with Steven Holcomb who was forced to retire as the top U.S. bobsled driver due to becoming legally blind from a degenerative eye disease known as Keratoconus where the cornea (outer lens) herniates out. Today, February 27,2010 in Vancouver, Steven walked away with a Gold medal, the first for the U.S. in bobsled in 62 years (last time that happened was when Harry Truman was president!) An incredible, miracle comeback of all comebacks.

Learn more about Steve’s story in this article on EyeWorld.com

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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         ©2019 BOXER WACHLER VISION INSTITUTE OF BEVERLY HILLS. 465 N. Roxbury Drive, Suite 902, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.                          Call: 310.594.5210  Or   Text: 424.666.8454  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. email: info@boxerwachler.com.

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Feeling Alright About Improving Vision

It has been an immensely rewarding to have been a part of the Olympic experience.  I am so happy to have helped an individual with as much talent and honor as Steve.   It is amazing to think that only a year ago, he was legally blind and facing an early retirement from his bobsled career.  Luckily, after undergoing the C3-R procedure his vision is clearer than ever, and he’s ready to win Olympic gold!

Only two more days until Steve will take the track towards Olympic Gold on February 25th.  Tonight I am packing my bags to head up to Vancouver on Wednesday.

To hear more about Steve’s story visit read an article on EyeWorld.com

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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         ©2019 BOXER WACHLER VISION INSTITUTE OF BEVERLY HILLS. 465 N. Roxbury Drive, Suite 902, Beverly Hills, CA 90210.                          Call: 310.594.5210  Or   Text: 424.666.8454  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. email: info@boxerwachler.com.

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