Keratoconus: Treatment Options
Keratoconus is a degenerative eye disease that will continue to get worse until it is corrected. Although mild cases of keratoconus can be corrected with glasses or lenses, once the eye disease has progressed to a more severe case, other treatment options are needed.
Corneal transplants are one way to correct keratoconus. During this procedure, an eye surgeon will replace the severely damaged and eroded cornea. There are different types of corneal transplants in which different and smaller sections are replaced. Regardless, this is an invasive procedure and there are many complications associated with it. There can be a lengthy recovery time before vision is restored, and there are care responsibilities that last a lifetime.
Another treatment option for people suffering with keratoconus is C3-R treatment. This treatment is much safer than corneal transplants since it is not an invasive surgery. The goal of this procedure is to strengthen the existing cornea and restore its shape with a combination of UV light and special eye drops. The recovery time for this is almost instantaneous and no hospitalization is needed. The cornea is usually strengthened within a few weeks.
Conductive keratoplasity for astigmatism can also be used to help correct the symptoms of keratoconus. This treatment plan usually needs to be done in combination with either intacs or C3-R. Intacs are similar to contacts, but they are inserted in the cornea to help strengthen the lining. Although this is considered a surgery, it is less invasive than corneal transplants since the original cornea is still intact. The surgery simply requires a small incision in which to insert the intacs.
All of these treatment options are designed to help reduce the symptoms of keratoconus or to cure the eye of the disease. Each of the procedures has different risks and benefits, and a health care provider specializing in this disease can better explain the options.