Understanding the Myths About Keratoconus
Keratoconus is an eye illness that causes the cornea to expand and form a cone. An abnormally thin cornea is caused by weakened protein fibers that sustain its shape degrading over time. The actual cause of keratoconus is unknown, although risk factors include inheritance, eye rubbing, and poorly-fitting contacts. As a result, many people diagnosed with Keratoconus Philadelphia do not fully comprehend the disease’s complexities. The following are some common misunderstandings and preconceived notions people have concerning keratoconus:
Keratoconus results in blindness
However, blindness is not necessarily the result of the disease. In some instances, it may cause significant visual problems, making even the most basic daily tasks challenging. As keratoconus worsens, corneal scarring and an inability to use contact lenses are possible outcomes. You would need a corneal transplant in this case.
There’s no need for cross-linking for patients who can be managed with contact lenses
Traditional ways of treating patients with keratoconus were glasses or soft contact lenses. Then there are specialist contact lenses, and lastly, a referral for full-thickness penetrating keratoplasty, the last option for doctors (PKP). Waiting until PKP surgery was the sole surgical option made reasonable. A PKP is invasive and may need to be done more than once in a patient’s life.
The survival rates of PKP for keratoconus are as follows: Fifty-one percent of transplants failed at the 20-year mark, and 83 percent died by the time they were 23 years old. It no longer makes sense to sit back and watch as the illness progresses because of FDA-approved corneal cross-linking, which can slow or prevent its advancement. The advancement of keratoconus is not halted by contact lenses, not even by flat-fitting gas permeable lenses. Cross-linking is recommended for patients with progressive keratoconus as soon as feasible to maintain their eyesight.
Contrary to popular belief, patients who have undergone cross-linking will still need to wear glasses, soft contact lenses, or specialty contact lenses. There is some impact on vision in the critical US cross-linking clinical study for keratoconus patients, with an average cornea flattening of 1.60 D. However, the operation slows or stops advancement, not correct vision. Patients who have worn specialist contact lenses before cross-linking will continue to require them after the procedure, although their prescription may have to be changed.
Keratoconus could progress 10-20 years or longer
After puberty or in the early teen years, keratoconus is most common in the eye. Each eye is impacted to a different degree. Keratoconus has a five-year active phase. After this busy time, the corneal shape (topography) may vary somewhat. It is not out of the ordinary. Keratoconus-free corneas may experience minor alterations in corneal topography. Whether Collagen Cross-linking is performed or intra-corneal rings (Intacs) are surgically inserted into the cornea, minor modifications to the “stable” keratoconic cornea may occur.
This condition only affects children and adolescents
Because age is not an established risk factor, anybody may be diagnosed with keratoconus. Keep in mind that keratoconus affects one person in every 500.
The treatment of keratoconus has advanced significantly in the last several years. When optometrists are navigating the evolving procedures for both cross-linking and keratoconus, this is an exciting moment for patients who stand to profit substantially.