Keratoconus incidence / prevalence
Keratoconus is an eye condition that typically occurs during your teenage years and progresses into your mid-20’s and 30’s.
The condition hinders your eye’s ability to focus light onto your retina, resulting in blurred and distorted vision.
Keratoconus develops when your cornea – the clear window at the front of your eye – starts to thin, causing a cone-shaped bulge to develop. This is because the cornea is weaker than usual, and can be exacerbated by eye rubbing. Because of this, there is a high correlation between keratoconus and allergies. Keratoconus often results in irregular astigmatism, where light focuses inaccurately onto the back of your eye.
Keratoconus diagnosis and examination process
We can diagnose keratoconus by performing a comprehensive eye examination that uses a variety of instruments to assess your vision and eye health. These tests are painless and non-invasive.
The tests include:
- Eye refraction
- Slit-lamp examination
- Computerized corneal mapping
Depending on the severity of your condition, we will select one of the following treatments:
- Soft contact lenses
- Hard contact lenses
- Piggyback lenses
- Hybrid lenses
- Scleral lenses
- Collagen cross-linking
- Corneal inserts
- Cornea transplant
What are the early signs of keratoconus?
In the beginning, keratoconus can start with slight blurring and sensitivity to light in one or both of your eyes. Clinical signs of keratoconus typically become apparent around late teens to early 20s. As the year’s pass, progression tends to slow down and the keratoconus can often stabilise.
Who is at risk of keratoconus?
While keratoconus is not a rare eye disease, it also does not occur very often. So far, there has not been any definitive answer as to why keratoconus occurs in one person and not the other. Eye rubbing and ocular allergies are closely linked with keratoconus, hence in the early stages of the disease, there is a lot of emphasis on limiting eye rubbing.
How does keratoconus progress and what treatments?
In the early stages of keratoconus, glasses or contact lenses can be used to correct refractive error and astigmatism. If the disease progresses, the cornea becomes thinner and more cone-shaped. Your eye doctor may suggest rigid gas permeable (also referred to as RGP) contact lenses to correct your vision. To maintain good vision, you will likely need frequent checkups and contact lens fittings to ensure you are receiving the best possible correction for keratoconus. Usually, regular checkups and the right contact lenses can help maintain good vision. In extreme cases of keratoconus, your doctor may discuss the possibility of a cornea transplant. This may be due to corneal scarring or other issues.