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Keratoconus

Keratoconus is progressive thinning of the cornea to form a conical shape usually in the inferior region of the cornea resulting in irregular astigmatism and induced myopia. Keratoconus is derived from Greek terminology, kerato cornea and konos cone. Keratoconus is a common condition with a prevalence of 1/2000 affecting both sexes and all races equally. 

In 1854 it was first described as a conical cornea. It is a non-inflammatory degenerative condition that almost always affects both eyes but not equally. The onset occurs just before puberty and stabilizes from 35 onwards. Keratoconus patients may have frequent changes in their prescription and reduced contact lens tolerance. Vision with spectacles or contact lenses may not be satisfactory therefore procedures such as cross linking and intrastromal rings are performed to stabilize the vision. 25% of cases require corneal transplantation.

In the early stages patients may be asymptomatic and achieve 6/6 vision with correction. Keratoconic patients often complain about halos, glare, ghosting of images, poor night vision and light sensitivity which leaves the eyes feeling fatigued. Patients with keratoconus have a tendency to rub their eyes frequently due to associated ocular allergy. These patients often complain about fluctuations in their vision. 

The exact cause of keratoconus is uncertain however it is thought to be hereditary and associated with certain diseases. 

Patients with keratoconus are often treated by optometrists with spectacles or contact lenses however during the early stages of keratoconus Dr Deist may be able to perform crosslinking or surface laser and simultaneous crosslinking. Patients who do not qualify for crosslinking could be suitable candidates for intrastromal rings.Dr Deist uses Intrastromal rings with the aim of stabilizing the cornea and reducing the astigmatism. Corneal transplants are reserved for patients with severe keratoconus and are not treatable by other means. 

For further information about crosslinking, intrastromal rings and laser corneal transplant please read under procedures and Wikipedia.

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