Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea (the clear part in the front of the eye) is abnormally thin and protrudes forward. Keratoconus literally means a cone shaped cornea. This abnormally can cause serious distortion of vision.
WHAT CAUSES KERATOCONUS?
Despite ongoing research in this area is not yet known the cause that produces it. Moreover keratoconus is not considered a hereditary disease, the probability of keratoconus in inbreeding is 1 to 10.
The vigorous rubbing of the eye is a cause that relates to keratoconus. Therefore, patients with this disease should be warned about the risk of rubbing the eyes, in the same way that people who wear contact lenses or suffer frequent attacks of allergic conjunctivitis, we must warn you rub your eyes has a potential .
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF KERATOCONUS?
Blurred vision and image distortion are the first symptoms of keratoconus. Symptoms usually appear at the end of the first decade and early in the second. The disease often progress slowly for 10 or 20 years, after which it will stop.
In the first explorations, vision may be only slightly affected, causing glare, light sensitivity or irritation.
Each eye may be affected although the degree may be different evolutionary. The cornea is deformed causing a thinning and increasingly high astigmatism that can not be treated with eyeglasses. This circumstance is one of the key points emerging keratoconus suspect.
HOW IS TREATED KERATOCONUS?
The mild cases are successfully treated with glasses or contact lenses specially designed for this condition. When vision can´t be improved with glasses or contact lenses, surgery must be raised, usually a corneal transplant. We have tried other surgical techniques such as thermokeratoplasty, or adding corneal tissue (epikeratophakia) but the results are not very satisfactory.
At present techniques have emerged that can slow the evolution of thinning of the cornea, such as cross-linking, which "harden" the corneal tissue. This technique is usually combined with other treatment new implant consisting of corneal tissue within a circular segments, to reinforce and again to give a spherical cornea, thus preventing this weakening and improving visual quality.
Regarding cornea transplant, indicated in more advanced cases have failed or when the alternatives mentioned above, there are also new developments. You can do a partial transplant, lamellar, preserving the patient's endothelium, this way is possible to reduce significantly the risk of immune rejection.