Blurred vision is a common symptom of several conditions. Finding out which condition is causing yours can be equally difficult. The first step is eliminating other simpler conditions before moving to the bigger ones. Your doctor may first check your prescription to see if your prescription has changed then other options can be evaluated.
Keratoconus can cause your vision to worsen over time and if your prescription continues to change it is possible you may have Keratoconus. It is also important to know your family history so you know whether to eliminate that option right away.
If you have symptoms like those listed above speak to your eye care professional right away as Keratoconus can worsen very quickly. For additional questions on Keratoconus please call our office at (310) 860-1900.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that may worsen over time if it is not treated. If you are noticing that your eye prescription is constantly changing, the first step would be visiting your local eye doctor. Frequent changes in prescription may be a sign of Keratoconus and possibly a sign of more serious conditions. If Keratoconus runs in your family, it does not necessarily guarantee that you will get it, but it does put you more at risk. Below are some signs and symptoms of Keratoconus.
Diabetes can wreak havoc on your vision alone. However when you are diagnosed with both diabetes and Keratoconus it can cause many more problems. The truth is that Keratoconus changes the shape of your cornea and diabetes damages the blood vessels throughout your eyes. With so much damage these conditions cause the risk of severe vision loss is possible. Ensuring that you are being monitored and seeing your doctors regularly is extremely important.
When having more than one chronic condition it is important to have proper treatment management. Checking with your doctor regularly about what treatment options are best, and what tests need to be done is important. Visiting your eye doctor every 6 months can help prevent further damage and catch things early.
Below are some signs & Symptoms of Diabetes & Keratoconus:
Knowing your family history is an important step in early detection, and early treatment of Keratoconus. Understanding that knowing how progressed your condition is will help determine how aggressive your treatment needs to be. Finding the symptoms, signs, and your family history can help keep a better quality of vision throughout your life.
Taking care of your vision is not just important to you but it is important to your family as well. Making sure that you are comfortable and can talk with your eye care professional should be at the top of your list when locating the right doctor. Below are a few tips that can help you with developing a sound treatment plan for your Keratoconus and your life.
It is also important that you report all your symptoms, and family history to your eye care professionals. They can help you with the diagnosis of several conditions before they compromise the quality of your vision.
Below are a few reasons to get early treatment for Keratoconus:
Early Detection can improve your chances of treatment
Early Detection can slow the progression of Keratoconus by getting treatment early
Early Detection can save/preserve your vision
Early Detection can give you more treatment options for Keratoconus
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.
Keratoconus is a progressive disease in which the cornea becomes misshaped (cone like shaped) and overtime decreases quality of vision. Though this disease can be disturbing when first explained, there are many treatments to assist in improving your overall vision. In some cases the vision can be restored if the cornea is strengthened and re-shaped.
Understanding that there are several treatments for this disease today can help you have peace of mind.
Keratoconus is often diagnosed in stages. These stages are determined by the progression of the Keratoconus and will also help the eye care professional determine which treatments are best for you. In years past, the treatment options that were initially discussed with glasses or contact lenses and then as the disease progresses doctors would encourage a cornea transplant. Most patients found the option of Keratoconus disturbing.
Today, there are other procedures that can be performed that preserve and improve vision. These treatments are Holcomb C3-R ®, INTACS, or even CK. Some of these procedures can be done in combination with each other to get a better result, improving your vision and providing better comfort in contacts.
Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) is an easy non-invasive treatment. Many describe this treatment as a natural vitamin treatment. A proprietary vitamin solution is instilled in the eyes and then activated by a UV light. The Holcomb C3-R ® only takes about 30 minutes to perform. Over the next 4-6 months the cornea continues to strengthen and stabilize your vision.
INTACS are often used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R® treatment. INTACS are tiny crescent moon-like shaped lenses that are placed in the layer of the cornea to provide support and improve your overall vision. The use of INTACS can improve your vision almost immediately and you can make a full recovery from this procedure within 2-8 weeks.
Frequent Rubbing of Eyes
Frequent changes in prescriptions
Sensitivity to Light
Sudden Change in vision
Glares around lights
Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in Keratoconus Treatments, and other procedures. He developed alternatives to corneal transplants in 1999. Dr. Brian offers a complimentary record review to determine if these procedures might be right for you. Contact his office to reserve your complimentary records review: 310-594-5210
Watch how Jake’s vision was restored and he avoided the need for a cornea transplant:
If you have a family history of Keratoconus you may already be familiar with some of the treatments of the condition. However over the past 10 years there has been great advancements in the treatments used for Keratoconus. So the treatment plans that may have been used in the past for your family members like corneal transplants are rarely needed to treat the condition. In fact 95% or more of patients diagnosed with Keratoconus never need a corneal transplant.
There are several new treatments that have been developed for use in patients with Keratoconus. These treatments often lead to a greater improvement in the quality of vision for the patients for now and in the future. The progression of the condition often slows, or stops with some treatments. Designing a treatment plan is a great first step in your treatments. Below are some of the signs of Keratoconus. If you have any of these signs, and a family history consult your eye care professional.
Below you will find the symptoms of Keratoconus. If you have or had any of the following symptoms it is wise to report them to your eye doctor right away:
Problems with night vision
Sudden clouding of vision
Frequent prescription changes
Blurred or distorted vision
Increased sensitivity to light
Halos around lights at night
Remember that your eyes are your key to the world. And while we can make it without our vision it is important to take care of the eyes you have. Be sure to go to the eye doctor once a year, every 6 months if you have underlining conditions like diabetes type 2, cataracts, Keratoconus, etc. Your vision is important to the quality of your life. So improve your quality of vision by finding the right doctor and keeping up with your yearly checkups.
For those with a family history of Keratoconus you probably already know the severity of the condition; however, if it has been a decade or two you might not be familiar with the newer, more advanced treatment options for Keratoconus.
In the past Keratoconus was mainly treated by using a corneal transplant. Often painful and with long recovery times and complications, they were a necessary but not convenient or desirable procedure. Over the past decades there have been many new treatments developed which cause little to no pain and provide much faster recovery times.
Keratoconus is a progressive condition that causes changes thinning and distortion of the cornea. Over time these changes cause distortions in the vision of the patient. There are several new treatments to strengthen and change the shape and of the cornea before the need for a corneal transplant. The treatment options have been extremely effective and reduced the need for corneal transplants to less than 5%.
Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System
Holcomb C3-R® is a non-invasive procedure that uses a Riboflavin solution activated by an ultraviolet light to strengthen the collagen fibers of the cornea. This helps to reduce glare and halos in the vision, while also stopping the progression of the Keratoconus.
The Holcomb C3-R® is a only a 30 minute treatment, however it continues to strengthen the cornea for up to 3-6 months after the treatment. Another great aspect is that it can also be performed in combination with other treatments to improve your results even further.
INTACS® are tiny crescent shaped inserts that are placed within the cornea to help change the shape of the cornea. INTACS® can also be used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R® to reduce distortions and increase comfort of glasses and contacts.
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
CK is a vision correction treatment that uses heat to change the shape of the cornea and reduce astigmatism. When combined with the Holcomb C3-R® Crosslinking System, the CK treatment can effectively reduce astigmatism for a period of several years. Due to the nature of the cornea in Keratoconus patients the effect of CK can diminish with time. Patients may elect to have future CK to reduce astigmatism, if needed.
Watch Brad, a resident in general surgery, talk about his Keratoconus treatments, click below.
Dealing with Keratoconus is difficult enough, but dry eyes and Keratoconus is a double trouble. For those who have been struggling with chronic dry eyes, LipiFlow® maybe the answer. Most patients have tried the over the counter “Get the Red Out” drops or artificial tears, and while they do relieve the irritation and symptoms of Dry Eye it is usually just a temporary fix. LipiFlow® allows you to have more permanent relief from your Dry Eye condition. Most patients experience relief after the treatment within a week.
The LipiFlow® treatment takes less than 15 minutes and can be performed in the doctor’s office. Disposable activators are placed on the eye lids to warm and gently massage the Meibomian glands on the eyelids. This loosens and releases oils that were clogging the glands, allowing fresh, clean oils to be excreted in the tear layers and protect the eyes.
There are between 30-40 meibum glands located within the eyelids that release certain amounts of oil into the tear fluid to help lubricate the eyes and stop the tears from evaporating. Sometimes these glands get clogged causing Dry Eye. The purpose of the LipiFlow® treatment is to loosen the blockage in the glands and allow them to release the natural flow of oil again.
Determining if you are a Good Candidate for LipiFlow®
The doctor will look for a few things before determining if you’re a good candidate for the treatment. They will look at your medical history, how long you have experienced chronic Dry Eye, how severe your dry eyes have been, and how the dry eye affected your daily activities. They will also have to determine what type you have before suggesting this treatment.They will also check the number of meibum glands are affected or clogged in the eyelids. Before determining if you are a good candidate all these factors must be taken into account. Over 65% of patients with dry eyes simply lack the proper level of oils within their tear fluid.
Benefits of LipiFlow®
Those with chronic Dry Eye understand the benefits of even the slightest relief from chronic dry eyes. Those who have explored most treatments for Dry Eye who still have little relief would most likely benefit from the LipiFlow® treatment. Below are a few additional benefits to consider.
• Little to no pain or discomfort
• Noninvasive procedure
• Quick procedure with quick results
• Unclogs the glands for more natural flow of lipid
• Can drive self to and from appointment – no need for a driver!
Dorys didn’t know what the cause of her excessive tearing was, and it ended up being Dry Eye!
Watch Dorys explain about her story, and how she finally got relief :
For those who are looking to get active this summer , but struggle with Keratoconus on a daily basis, there are several things you can do to protect your vision from getting worse and a few to stay active.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that changes the shape of your cornea from spherical to cone shaped. This change causes many distortions in your vision. Below are a few tips to help you protect your vision and stay active during the summer months.
Vision Tips & Safety:
Always Wear Sunglasses or Eye Protection When Outside:
This is very important to remember not just in the summer months but all year around. The sun has very harmful rays which not only damage the eyes but can make your eye conditions worse if not protected. Research is showing that UV can increase free radicals which can lead to the cornea collagen breaking down further. It is important to wear sunglass eye wear that covers the sides as well as the front, this will ensure the most protection to your eyes.
Limit the Amount of Time Spent in Direct Sunlight:
If you work outside this may not be a feasible option, however if you don’t have to be in direct sunlight taking breaks throughout the day is a wise option. Some sunlight 20-30 minutes a day provides you the required amount of daily vitamin D, some sunlight is essential to staying healthy but remembering “everything in moderation” is always best.
Pay Attention to your eyes:
This seems like a common sense thing, but we often over look our vision until something goes considerable wrong. If you are noticing that you are squinting more or your contacts are becoming more uncomfortable, make an appointment to see your eye care provider sooner rather than later. If you find your desire to participate in activities is declining due to uncertainty with your vision, make an appointment to see your eye doctor.
It is important to educate ourselves and listen to our bodies when it comes to our health. Often we see the signs but we simply wave it off as being tired, dehydrated, or simply getting old when in fact it can be something much more serious. Don’t overlook signs or symptoms that might suggest your Keratoconus is progressing.
Below are a few signs you should never write off when it comes to your vision care:
• Increased blurred vision
• Frequent squinting
• Sudden eye pain
• Increasing discomfort while wearing contacts
• Increased and Frequent eye rubbing
• Sensitivity to Light
• Decreased night vision
If you see any changes in your vision, you should report it to your eye care professional right away to determine whether you need to be seen.
Watch Dr. Brian’s Summer Eye Health Tips Featured on the News to get yourself ready for an eye safe summer:
Has Keratoconus forced you to give up your career? While Keratoconus is a progressive condition there are several treatments that are now available to help preserve and improve your vision.
In the past, Keratoconus was a diagnosis that often meant a painful corneal transplant and a long recovery period. Now there are treatments that provide patients diagnosed with Keratoconus options that can slow, reverse, and even stop the progression of the condition giving you back your vision and your career.
Below are some signs & symptoms:
• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Frequent prescription changes
• Frequent rubbing of the eyes
• Foreign body sensations
• Deceased ability to wear contacts comfortably
• Halos around lights
• Light sensitivity
• Decreased night vision
There are several treatments that can provide you relief right away depending on the severity of your condition.
Intacs® are tiny crescent shaped lens inserts that are placed in the layer of the cornea. Intacs® provide help reshape the cornea and decrease vision distortion. Once in place, Intacs® do not require maintenance. If for any reason you don’t want them in the future, they can be removed.
Typically the procedure takes about 7 minutes and has a recovery time of about 24-48 hours. Patients report the recovery is fairly easy with little to no pain. Most activities can be resumed right away. Intacs® can be combined with other procedures to improve the outcome for Keratoconus treatment, including the Holcomb C3-R ®, and CK.
The Holcomb C3-R ®:
The Holcomb C3-R ® is a revolutionary treatment with over 12 years of proven results to stop the progression of Keratoconus. Just ask Olympic Gold Medalist and Bobsledder Steven Holcomb. He was diagnosed legally blind and almost gave up his career as a driver for the US Men’s Olympic Bobsled team. He decided to have the C3-R ® procedure done. The Holcomb C3-R ® not only preserved his vision, but when combined with the ICL (insertable contact lens) allowed him to continue to compete and he won Olympic Gold in 2010 and Olympic Bronze in 2014.
The Holcomb C3-R ® uses a natural vitamin call Riboflavin which is activated with a UV light during an easy 30 minutes office based treatment. Once the solution is activated it strengthens the cornea fibers over the next 16 weeks helping to stabilize Keratoconus and stop progression. This treatment is non-invasive and recovery is less than 24 hours. In 99.3% of patients, the treatment only needs to be performed once.