Tag: Keratoconus advice

Keratoconus: Pushing Past the [K] Word

Keratoconus has revered a very heavy reputation. And in the grand skim of things Keratoconus is a very serious condition. However thanks to new technologies and Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute there is hope for patients that suffer with Keratoconus. Every year treatments are improving and showing more and more positive results.

Currently there are a couple of procedures that can improve your vision, stop regression, and some reports say they have reversed damage of Keratoconus. This is a great weight lifted from the shoulders of those suffering from Keratoconus.

Over the past decade more and more procedures are being developed in improving the quality of life for those suffering from Keratoconus. So push past the [K] word and find your treatment option today.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Keratoconus: Understanding Your Diagnosis & What it Means for You

While the diagnosis of Keratoconus can be unsettling for anybody you should first know the facts before thinking of going blind. Although corneal transplants are not high on our list of things to do, they were an effective way to save the sight of suffers of Keratoconus.

New Advancements in Technologies have improved results for many who face this degenerative condition each day. However before we can even look at treatment options it is important that you understand the diagnosis and what it means for you.

Diagnosing Keratoconus:

Keratoconus is a change in the shape of the cornea. Keratoconus causes the cornea to become cone shape distorting the vision of the sufferer.

In its mild forms Keratoconus is treated with corrective lenses or Hard contact lens. Diagnosis of Keratoconus is determined through corneal mapping also known as a Topography mapping.

In the early stages of Keratoconus symptoms are minimal and are usually detected through regular eye exams & patient history. Generally Keratoconus starts in one eye and later moving to both. Patient family history of Keratoconus is usually detected in a new diagnosis.

Symptoms of Keratoconus:

Double vision

Squinting to see

Frequent changes in prescriptions

Irritation

Photopobia [sensitivity to light]

Ghost images

Although Keratoconus is a serious condition there is hope for sufferers today. New technologies are providing many treatment options and positive improvement in the quality of life for all those that sufferer.

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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Progressive Keratoconus: 4 Tips to Improve Your Everyday Life

Our journey through life is often a bumpy one. Many of us have trouble coping with stress and the riggers life brings without throwing Progressive Keratoconus in the mix. However finding new ways to cope with your disease can help reduce extra problems along the way. Below are a few tips to assist you in making life a little easier:

Tip 1: Educate yourself:

Your doctor can do a lot for you but when you take the initiative to find out about your illness you can ask important questions, feel more comfortable with what they are telling you, learn whys you can help yourself.

Tip 2: Find a good doctor:

It is just as important to find a eye doctor you are comfortable with as it is to find a general physician. Make sure that the doctor you choose is comfortable with you asking questions, they are concerned about you, and that they have proper time for you. If you notice it is hard to schedule an appointment, or they take more than 24 hours getting back to you than you should find another doctor.

Tip 3: Reduce the amount of times you rub your eyes:

Progressive Keratoconus can be increased by excessive eye rubbing. To ensure you don’t create anymore damage speak with your doctor about dry eye, allergies, and other conditions that can cause itchy and irritated eyes. They may be able to prescribe drops or medications to help you combat these problems.

Tip 5: Find a good contact lens fitter:

Find a contact lens fitter that sees Keratoconus on a regular basis i.e. weekly or even better daily. It is important that they offer a full range of contact lens options, soft toric contacts, hybrid contacts, piggy back lenses, Rose-K, Dyna-Z intralimbal, and Mini-sclera are some of those options that should be available.

Most of all pamper yourself. Don’t worry about all the things that are wrong or what may happen 5 years from now find out how you can treat your condition now. There are many treatments out now that can greatly improve even reverse the damage of keratoconus. Focus on your treatment, taking care of yourself, and your education. You are your best tool.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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What Caused Your Keratoconus?

Genetics

The frequency of keratoconus in first degree relatives having the disease is much higher than the general population. Keratoconus can also be associated with other systemic syndromes such as Down’s syndrome.

The good news is that keratoconus is often not passed to children. If you have or may have children in the future, it’s only a 6% likelihood that any of your children will inherit keratoconus.

It makes sense to have your children have a baseline corneal topography between ages of 8-10 years old and have a topography every year. The subsequent topography maps can be compared to the first one to catch keratoconus early if it will be occurring. Early keratoconus can easily be “nipped in the bud” with a C3-R® treatment before it gets worse.

Quote:

“It seems that both environment and genetics play a role in Keratoconus”

-Says Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD.

Free Radicals

All corneas, like any tissues in the body, create harmful byproducts (free radicals) of cell metabolism (metabolism is a fancy word for the activities of the cell required for it to live and do it’s thing). These byproducts are similar to a car’s exhaust that results from the car being driven. Normal corneas, like any other body tissue, have a defense system in place to neutralize the free radicals so they don’t damage the collagen.

The collagen is the equivalent of steel beams that support a building. Damage to those beams causes the building to tilt, just like damage to the collagen causes the cornea to bulge. Think of those free radicals as attacking your collagen fibers in the cornea, trying to thin it and weaken it.

The problem with keratoconus is that anti-free radical system in the cornea (called anti-oxidants) are not properly working, so the free radicals are allowed to overwhelm and wreak havoc on the collagen fibers. They bombard the cornea like mortar fire blasting into a brick wall. The free radicals damage the cornea, thin it, and ultimately allow it to bulge and steepen out. This is how your vision got worse from keratoconus.

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For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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True Testimonials: Seeing Through the Haze~ Meet Catherine Bally

Catherine has struggled for many years with the deterioration of her vision. As most Keratoconus patients do she has had a number of different corrective eye wear including Hard contacts which are many times difficult to handle creating irritation to the eyes, pain and discomfort – to having soft contacts that still don’t provide her with adequate vision.

Catherine started wearing the Hard contacts as a teen has suffered still with the problems of vision disturbances. Her Keratoconus had created a haze over things she saw making it difficult to see clear enough to make turns and walk down and up stairways while walking. Sometimes getting help with walking from her teenage children.

Catherine has gone to several ophthalmologists over the years. Receiving the same answer “We don’t know how to improve your vision.” Some requested she get a cornea transplant that even see considered but doctors were hesitant to perform. Recently Catherine did a search on treatments for Keratoconus and found Dr. Boxer Wachler.

She discovered that there were treatments that could help her with her severe nearsightedness and progressive Keratoconus. She immediately had an evaluation. Dr. Boxer Wachler performed 3 Treatments on Catherine’s eyes giving her remarkable results. In just 24 hours she stated:

Quote:

“For the first time in my life ever I can see things Clear”

Catherine is walking down the stairs without fear of falling, bending corners, and has the freedom of living a normal life again. Although see still wears glasses Catherine is very grateful for the procedures she received and to Dr. Boxer Wachler who gave her what see always dreamed…vision.

The procedures performed on Catherine where Intacs, C3-R®, and CK. These procedures can stop the progression of Keratoconus and help reverse the damage of Keratoconus on the eyes. Catherine had severe damage to her eyes so she still will need corrective lenses but her vision has improved drastically. The procedure affects each patient differently depending on the severity of the Keratoconus.

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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True Testimonials: Anxiety Free Vision Correction~ Meeting Dorothy McDonald

Many of us deal with anxiety when it comes to our eyes. The patients at Boxer Wachler Vision Institute are no exception. The key is all in how they are treated. There is a big difference in with treatment of patients at Boxer Wachler Vision Institute and other vision centers.

Meet Dorothy McDonald a registered nurse who has had to use reading glasses for the better part of her life. She is an avid reader of her local newspaper as stated she was tired of reading it with her glasses and was ready for a change.

Deciding to get vision corrective surgery is not a decision to take lightly. However she decided it was time. Dorothy decided to have CK followed by C3-R in both eyes despite her concerns and anxiety. She shares that she enjoyed the presence of staff in the room with her and listening to their voices.

She had an “Anxiety Free” experience with the CK. However during her C3-R procedures Dorothy did experience some anxiety and the staff aided her by holding her hand, talking her through the procedure and with some medication to help her through.

Dorothy stated in an interview 24 hours after the procedure-

Quote:

“I woke up this morning to read the newspaper for the first time in 5 years without my glasses.”

While her procedures went well Dorothy tells anyone who is tired of wearing glasses to read to try the procedure. She says it is painless and a wonderful decision! For many of us we fight with the decision to have procedures done; especially if they are new. However the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute offers a caring and expert staff that go above and beyond to meet your needs-Just ask Dorothy!

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Mapping Your Eyes: Topography & Keratoconus

One of the best ways to evaluate the cornea is through the use of Corneal Topography. There are various signs in the mapping that show the doctors signs of keratoconus and other progressive eye conditions. The topography can show irregular and steepening of the shape of the cornea. The normal cornea also has a 90 degree axes perpendicular in the cornea. In the normal cornea during corneal topographies there is a smooth and flat surface.

If the topography shows irregularities or steepening this is a sign that there are problems. Any irregularities in the cornea such as steepening and/or irregular shaping of the axies show signs of irregular astigmatisms. Raising questions for diagnosis of Keratoconus. When doctors check for Keratoconus in the Lasik evaluation they look for “ Inferior Steepening.” Corneal Astigmatism appears in the shape of a football compared to a normal cornea that is round and smooth.

Additionally Keratoconus is confused with Pellucid Marginal Degeneration or PMD. PMD was first discovered by an Ophthalmologist in 1957 named Dr. Schalaeppi. Pellucid Marginal Degeneration is a break down of the cornea creating a lobster claw pattern. PMD is also known as the peripheral form of keratoconus. While the disease is in the same family and similar there are some differentiating factors. When viewing in a corneal topography the PMD appears as a steepening from the outer margin of the cornea heading inwards and appearing to pinch the center.

Signs of Pellucid Marginal Degeneration:

No pain reported [compared to keratoconus]

Visual distortions

No vascularization of cornea

No scarring

Lobster Claw formation
In the end the best form of testing for Keratoconus is to have a baseline corneal topography, and regular testing annually. The treatments of keratoconus are advancing and progression of this disease can be treated successfully. Catching the condition early can give you a better result. Checking with your ophthalmologist and getting regular checkups is a must.

For more information about Pellucid Marginal Degeneration visit the American Academy of Opthamology

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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Describing Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a non-inflammatory degenerative eye disease. Keratoconus causes damage to the collagen fibers in the cornea causing them to grow weak. When it reaches a weak enough point in the fiber it bulges up like that of a hernia. Keratoconus causes irregular astigmatism, steeping of the cornea, and vision loss in the cornea. This significantly affects the patient’s daily life. Giving them grief when driving, reading and often completing day to day activities.

Vision loss can be mild to severe in one or both eyes. Keratoconus is diagnosed in 54.5 people out of every 100,000 in the general population. However the concentration of diagnosed patients being evaluated for Lasik is much higher, because people with keratoconus often seek Lasik to correct their poor vision. Lasik surgery is not an efficient treatment for those with Keratoconus due to its underlying risks for complications and high incidences of causing a rapid progression of the condition necessitating more surgery even possibly the need for a cornea transplant.

Many vision correction surgeons use corneal topography to map the eyes before treatment. This gives them a better view of the corneas of each patient. They use the mapping of both eyes to compare the changes and differences. The patients must be mapped in both eyes because is useful to detect and stage keratoconus this way. Over 90% of patients with keratoconus are affected in both eyes and over 6% are affected in one eye only. Keratoconus often strikes patients in one eye first and spreads to the other. However by the time the patient is diagnosed often the Keratoconus have affected both eyes.

If patients are not properly diagnosed before Lasik they can develop Lasik-induced Keratoconus or Keratoectasia. There are many symptoms of Keratoconus and proper evaluation of eyes regularly is best to catch Keratoconus or other vision problems early.

Below is a list of symptoms of keratoconus:

Glare and/or light sensitivity

Frequent prescription changes

progressive nearsightedness

irregular astigmatism

High amounts of Astigmatism

inferior steeping on corneal color mapping (topography)-red spots on mapping

It is wise to check with your eye doctor if you feel you have more serious case. Additionally finding someone who is familiar with early signs of Keratoconus is also wise as some doctors may not be familiar with them. Taking care of your eyes and vision is always a wise decision. Educating yourself can help you rule out issues in the future. Always consult your eye doctor if there are changes in your vision.

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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“Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained” Seeing Through the Eyes of Kenny Atkins

The stories of those with Keratoconus are many. Each journey of the patients is important to us all. It shapes what we know and makes us who we become. Learning each story takes time but can be done one patient at a time. The story of Kenny Atkins is one of frustration, struggle, and venture as he was a big addition to new procedures in Keratoconus. Something many of us know and suffer.

Kenny Atkins was the first patient in the United States to have the Intac procedure done on a someone with Keratoconus. This decision is not one made lightly and many of us struggle with this decision after many procedures have been done. The courage of Kenny Atkins to be the first should be remembered by us all.

This post is dedicated to him-

Kenny Atkins was a Ocean Lifeguard who struggled with his vision.

“At school I found it harder to focus on textbooks. I thought it was just the chlorine from the pool. I had my eyes checked and I was diagnosed with Astigmatism in my eye.” said Kenny.

Kenny goes on to describe the complications he had while lifeguarding.

“By late afternoon I would see double images of objects far away”. The frustration he endured using traditional vision correction contact lenses and prescription sunglasses made it difficult for Kenny to continue to do his job properly.

In 1999 Kenny heard of the new procedure of Intacs for patients with Keratoconus by Dr. Boxer Wachler and despite the fact that it had not been tested on a patient with Keratoconus Kenny felt it was worth it.

After the successful procedure Kenny started showing improvement in his eye right away and only a week afterwards he had almost equal vision in both eyes.

“It has now been eight years since I had Intacs and I still do not wear corrective lenses, I am able to pick objects out of the glare on the horizon and street signs before I need to turn.”

Kenny Atkins has opened the gate way for many other sufferers of Keratoconus. He is one of great courage and a model for us all. Kenny says:

“I can now appreciate the saying- Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained”

For more information about keratoconus visit the American Keratoconus Association

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True Testimonials: Meeting Steve Zier

Steve Zier was diagnosed with mild Keratoconus. In many states doctors feel it is difficult to work on patients with Keratoconus some don’t try, others do with complications. In Steve’s case it was difficult to locate a doctor that would attempt it due to his condition.

“None of the other surgeons would touch me with a 10 foot pole” He said sounding a bit frustrated.

Searching the Internet as so many of us do Steve happened upon Dr. Boxer Wachler and decided to give him a try.

Steve was pleased with the incredible service that the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute had to offer.

“The service was great from the receptionist to the doctors” he said.

Steve Zier had a PRK treatment and C3-R directly afterwards. His total procedure time was less than one hour. Steve reports that he was a little sore afterwards but didn’t need any pain relievers. Additionally his vision was a bit blurry but cleared up within a week. Now he it is four weeks later and he is amazed at the results. Steve had 20/200 vision in the right eye- after treatment 20/20

Results:

Right eye- Before procedure 20/200

Right eye- After Procedure 20/20

Left eye-Before Procedure 20/60

Left eye- After Procedure 20/40

Steve says he only needs a soft contact in one eye now to help him see. His Keratoconus is currently stable and his new quality of vision is great “It was worth every penny!” he says.

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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