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.
It is never too soon to take steps to protect your vision. Ensuring we have good vision care should be a high priority in your families health care. Establishing a good vision specialist will protect your eyes in the future. Many of us take for granted our vision care despite the fact that we only have one pair.
Here are 4 things your family can do to ensure good vision:
1. Choose a good vision clinic:
Ensure that your eye clinic has good customer service and is not too busy to give you an appointment in a reasonable time. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff when looking. Note how helpful the staff are and whether they answer your questions without hesitation.
2. Choose an compatible doctor:
Make sure the doctor you choose for your family is one that is concerned with their patients, and has the time to see them. Many times the doctor is good but very busy and doesn’t have sufficient time to dedicate to you and your family. You want to choose a doctor that has time for you! Ask questions to the patients as well. Some doctors have testimonials on their websites; feel free to research them as well. Be serious about your vision care.
3. Get regular checkups:
Make sure your family is being seen every two years. If you have risk factors for eye conditions like Diabetes you should be seen every year. If you have trouble remembering your appointments put it on your calendar. Ensuring your families eyes are checked regularly could save them hassles or catch conditions early on.
4. Educate yourself:
Don’t be afraid to do the research and take some initiative in your vision care. Write down any questions you have for your eye doctor and address them at your next appointment. If you don’t understand the answers they are giving you ask them until you do. This is your vision, and your care.
Contact lenses and eye glasses are usually the first treatment option recommended for Keratoconus. However, as Keratoconus progress contacts become very, especially RGP contact lenses (Rigid Gas Permeable lenses).
Increasingly doctors are now recommended Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) as the first treatment and contacts as a secondary treatment. Holcomb C3-R® helps to stabilize Keratoconus and will help keep you comfortable in lenses longer.
But, what do you do if your Keratoconus has progressed to the point that even after Holcomb C3-R®, RGP lenses are uncomfortable. There are several other specialty Keratoconus contact lens options.
These options include:
Hybrid Contact Lenses (SynergEyes)
What are Hybrid Lenses? They are a mixture of soft lenses and RGP lenses. They provide you with the comfort of a soft lens but the crisper vision of an RGP. Many report these provide a great edge to contact for all day wear without the harsh edge of the RGP lenses.
What are Scleral Lenses? These are similar to RGP lenses only they are larger in diameter. They almost look like a bowl that you fit over your eye. The advantage is they do not rest on the cornea, so they provide increased comfort. In addition, prior to insertion the lenses are filled with saline, so basically all day your eye is bathed in saline, which can help keep your eyes moist and lessen the concerns about dry/irritated eyes.
RGP, Hybrid lenses, or Scleral contact lenses can provide the best option for improved clarity, comfort, and stability. However, the most important benefit to Keratoconus treatment today is the Holcomb C3-R® which will preserve your vision and stop the deterioration of your vision so you can maintain good vision and comfort in contacts and avoid the painful cornea transplant.
There are many benefits of using specialty Keratoconus contact lenses for the treatment of your Keratoconus. Take the time and get the facts. Ask your eye care professional about contact lenses for your Keratoconus Treatments today!
Watch Michael explain how he is now living life all over again thanks to specialty Keratoconus contact lenses.
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 frustrating disease. It effects the lives of the patients significantly and understanding the cause can often help us understand the disease. Here are a few under laying causes of Keratoconus that can help you get started.
Genetics: Though genetics plays a part in keratoconus so does the environment. Keratoconus in a family typically effects more then one family member. The chances of keratoconus is higher in first degree relatives however it is unlikely that one will pass keratoconus to their children. There is only a 6% chance that the disease can be passed from parent to children. However there are precautions you can take to catch keratoconus in your children early. Treatments are available to help stop the progression of early keratoconus.
Generally at the ages of 8-10 a baseline mapping of the eyes or a Topography can be taken. Additional topography’s can be taken each year after to compare results. If changes are found steps to stop the progression can be made before the problem increases.
Free Radicals: Free radicals are the byproducts of the cell metabolism. Unfortunately most of our bodies tissues create byproducts and our bodies defend against them daily. There is a barrier or wall that protects against damage to your corneal fibers by the byproducts called anti-oxidants. Keratoconus develops because the anti-oxidants are not working properly to protect the cornea against the byproducts. The collagen fibers in the cornea are attacked by the byproducts breaking down the fibers like a hammer on a brick wall. As the fibers weaken you develop a bulge in the cornea that creates vision changes, and other complications.
Keratoconus generally develops slowly over time and if you are evaluated properly the damage can be minimal. It is important to find a doctor who is familiar with early stage keratoconus and obtain treatment before it gets too bad. With the new technologies and mapping you can keep ahead of the disease.
There are several things you can do if you feel you are suffering from Keratoconus. The professionals will help not only evaluate your physical status but also take a thorough examination of your medical history.
When visiting the Ophthalmologist or Optometrist they will gather important medical and vision history. It is important to tell them everything you can about your history as well as family history. They will pay attention to your vision complaints to understand better what you have been going through. They will also ask you several questions about your history to try and determine if you have had an eye injury.
The Ophthalmologist or Optometrist will also give you tests to check your visual acuity. This means reading letters from an eye chart much like a general eye evaluation. It can also include measuring the curvature of the corneas using a topographer. Having an irregular curvature could mean possible Keratoconus.
Once you get to this point of the evaluation the doctor may conduct several tests to confirm the diagnosis. Retinoscopy is one test the doctor can preform to confirm Keratoconus. This would involve focusing a light beam on the retina. The Reflex or (Reflection) is observed. If there is a scissor reflex, more tests will be needed to confirm Keratoconus.
One additional test that is often performed is a cornea ultrasound(Pachymetry). This will measure the cornea thickness. A thin cornea can be a sign of Keratoconus.
Another test examines your cornea with a slit lamp(Microscope). More advanced cases can be determined right away with this test, because of the yellow-brown or olive-green rings or a (Fleischer ring)
Seen in 50% of patients with Keratoconus. Also caused by Iron Oxide Hemosiderin that is deposited in the Corneal Epithelium.
Vogt’s Striae- These are fine lines or (stress lines) caused by stretching and can be seen on the front of the cornea.
Munson’s Sign- is another give away of Keratoconus. This is a V-shaped indentation and sometimes seen in the lower eyelid when the sufferer moves their line of sight in the downward direction. Most signs are detected before this stage and is seldom used for diagnosing keratoconus.
It is important to get a definitive diagnosis for keratoconus. Many times it requires several tests to make an absolute confirmation. There are numerous other conditions that have similar symptoms of keratoconus. Make sure you are being seen by a specialist in diagnosis of keratoconus and ask questions if you do not understand your diagnosis. After all it is your health at stake.
Understanding that Keratoconus is a progressive disease and causes stress on the patients should be important to your health care provider. The use of our vision is something we often take for granted until something like this happens. Although we learn the signs, symptoms, and treatment for Keratoconus the medical side of the disease is not the only area we need to manage.
As human beings we are emotional. Our feelings and emotions can play a big part, especially if the disease progresses and how we take care of our disease. Learning to cope with Keratoconus and not let it break us down in our daily life is equally important. We need to know how this can effect us at home and where to look for help.
Below are a few tips to help keep you focused and cope:
Tip 1: Remember we are not alone- There are several places that provide support Online and off to Keratoconus patients. The American Keratoconus Association is a great resource and provides lots of support and information on this disease. Also the Global Keratoconus Foundation provides support groups and activities to help Keratoconus patients. Turning to family and friends to support you and talk to you also helps relief the stress of this progressive disease.
Tip 2: Enjoy yourself- Spend some time pampering yourself. Doing the things you enjoy doing. If you aren’t as able to do the things you have always done…remember you can always try some new ones. Finding activities to occupy your time will help you focus on the happy times and deal with your situation with a clear mind….remember you must not dwell on what can’t be changed.
Tip 3: Participate in your treatment- One thing we take for granted is that we can be our own advocate. You can learn more about your options, ask questions, and decide who your doctor is going to be. The important thing is to make sure you are comfortable with them. That they have your best intentions at heart.
Know that you are not alone. That there is help for you and others going through the same things you are. Reach out for them…share your experiences you maybe able to ease someone else’s pain while you are at it. Keratoconus is progressive but there is help and remember to take it one day at a time!
The eyes are a complex organ with all its layers and parts having an examination regularly is important. However knowing the signs of serious eye conditions can help it be detected and treated early. Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder. It changes the shape of the cornea and damages the vision severely if not treated.
There are many ways to tell if your eyes are in distress. It is important to see an eye doctor as soon as these signs make themselves apparent. Below are a few signs to look for:
Poor vision at night
Sensitivity to light
Blurred vision with new glasses or contacts
Difficulty seeing far away
Flares and streaks around light
Keratoconus doesn’t usually cause pain so you should be getting regular checkups. There are several symptoms related to keratoconus so you should consult your eye doctor at the first sign of symptoms, so treatment can be determined and started.
After you have been diagnosed with keratoconus there are many treatment options that can relieve the symptoms you and your doctor can discuss. Typically in the early stages glasses are worn to help improve the patients vision. However as the disease worsens the use of glasses to correct vision isn’t enough. At that stage it is usually recommended use of special contact lenses.
The special contact lenses will help smooth out the cornea so vision can improve. This is done when the tear fluid fills gaps that keratoconus causes, between the cornea and the lens. If the lenses are not properly removed and replaced they can create more damage to the cornea and hinder the vision more. Once contact lens become uncomfortable for patients many option for corneal implants (INTACS) surgery or insertable contact lenses surgery. Many patients prefer the insertable contact lens and they require less care and are easier to maintain. A new procedure C3-R (Corneal Collagen Crosslinking)which involves one at a time application of a special solution to the eye, supervised by an eye doctor, is showing promise on stopping the progression of the disease. Many patients are apt to have this treatment to avoid the need for surgery and stop the loss of vision.
Diagnoses of the disease is usually in adolescents however it seems to worsen the most in the 20’s and 30’s. Keratoconus is unpredictable and can vary from patient to patient. How fast or slow the disease progresses will depend on the patient. When the disease progresses to both eyes it is difficult for the patient to live normally. It is harder for the patient to drive or even read. The implants are a good relief at this stage, in some severe cases a cornea transplant is needed to relieve the patient. Though this condition is a serious disease if you are seen regularly the disease can be managed and treated. If left untreated it can severely impair your vision. Seek a doctor immediately if you feel you may suffer from this condition, and protect your sight!